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Hydroxytyrosol ( CAS #: 10597-60-1 ) is an ortho-diphenol also named 3,4-dihydroxyphenylethanol (DOPET) and with its systematic name 4-(2-hydroxyethyl)-1,2-benzenediol. Its molecular formula is C8H10O3, and its molecular weight is 154.166 g/mol (fig. 1). It is present in a particularly high concentration in extra virgin olive oil either in a free or esterified form, where it accounts for 70 to 80% of total phenolic fraction.

Fig. 1. Chemical structure of hydroxytyrosol

Natural presence of hydroxytyrosol
Hydroxytyrosol is present naturally in olives and extra-virgin olive oil. It is responsible together with other phenolic compounds for its peculiar bitter taste and for its high stability due to the antioxidant activity of hydroxytyrosol.