Besides a certain amount of relevant chemical parameters, objective quality of olive oil as well as consumer acceptance are depending mainly on its sensory characteristics. Referring to the EC Regulation 1833/2015, there exist different quality categories for olive oil, namely extra virgin, virgin and lampant. To belong to the category “extra virgin”olive oil (EVOO), an oil has to have a certain fruitiness (median > 0) and no defects (median = 0). This means that all olive oils without defect have the same quality level (extra virgin) no matter what kind of sensory characteristics they show. Within EVOOs, type and width of the parameter values of sensory descriptors show a broad variety. In order to mark differences between sensory characteristics in olive oil, the German and the Swiss Olive Oil Panel (DOP and SOP) further developed the panel test (according to EC regulation 1833/2015) by extending their profile sheet with additional sensory parameters, e.g. the “harmony”-value. The evaluation and interpretation of the “harmony” value of olive oils make it possible to monitor and thereby discriminate the sensory quality within the range of EVOOs on the market. This is important for all stakeholders in the olive oil business, aiming to produce, sell, provide and buy EVOOs at different price (and quality) levels.
Part of the book: Products from Olive Tree