Metabolomics involvement in the study of foods is steadily growing. Such a rise is a consequence of the increasing demand in the food sector to address challenges regarding the issues of food safety, quality, and authenticity in a more comprehensive way. Virgin olive oil (VOO) is a key product of the Mediterranean diet, with a globalized consumer interest as it may be associated with various nutritional and health benefits. Despite the strict legislation to protect this high added-value agricultural commodity and offer guarantees to consumers and honest producers, there are still analytical issues needing to be further addressed. Thus, this review aims to present the efforts made using targeted and untargeted metabolomics approaches, namely nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and mass spectrometry-based techniques (mainly LC/GC-MS) combined with multivariate statistical analysis. Case-studies focusing on geographical/varietal classification and detection of adulteration are discussed with regards to the identification of possible markers. The advantages and limitations of each of the aforementioned techniques applied to VOO analysis are also highlighted.
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