` 4th Beyond Extra Virgin Conference to Focus on Olive Oil Excellence

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4th Beyond Extra Virgin Conference to Focus on Olive Oil Excellence

Jul. 19, 2010
By Alexandra Kicenik Devarenne

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The fourth edi­tion of Beyond Extra Vir­gin is being held in Verona, Italy on Sep­tem­ber 20 – 22, 2010. Billed as an Inter­na­tional Con­fer­ence on Olive Oil Fla­vor and Excel­lence, Beyond Extra Vir­gin IV will focus on the sen­sory qual­i­ties of super-pre­mium olive oil. It will be pre­sented in Ital­ian and Eng­lish with simul­ta­ne­ous trans­la­tion, at the Palazzo Giusti.

Beyond Extra Vir­gin is unique among olive oil con­fer­ences in the scope of its pro­gram. It gives equal empha­sis to both sides of the super-pre­mium olive oil equa­tion: the pro­duc­tion and eval­u­a­tion of excel­lent olive oil, and its culi­nary appli­ca­tion. The orga­ni­za­tions behind the con­fer­ence are the Acad­emy of
Geor­gofili, Asso­ci­a­tion 3E, the Culi­nary Insti­tute of Amer­ica and the
UC Davis Olive Cen­ter.

Pro­duc­ing excel­lence and bring­ing it to the table

The con­fer­ence is aimed at olive oil pro­duc­ers who are com­mit­ted to achiev­ing the high­est qual­ity. Pre­sen­ta­tions and panel dis­cus­sions will address top­ics such as plan­ning for par­tic­u­lar fla­vor pro­files, con­trol­ling crit­i­cal pro­duc­tion oper­a­tions for sen­sory influ­ence, appro­pri­ate sen­sory mea­sure­ment, and describ­ing olive oil char­ac­ter­is­tics in the mar­ket­place.

Pre­sen­ters and pan­elists for the con­fer­ence include:

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  • Harold McGee, author of On Food & Cook­ing: The Sci­ence & Lore of the Kitchen
  • Paul Bar­tolotta, exec­u­tive chef/partner, Bar­tolotta Ris­torante di Mare, win­ner of two James Beard awards, Las Vegas
  • Prof. Luis Rallo Romero, Uni­ver­sity of Cor­doba
  • Bill Briwa, chef instruc­tor, The Culi­nary Insti­tute of Amer­ica at Grey­stone, Napa Val­ley
  • Prof. Jean Xavier Guinard, Uni­ver­sity of Cal­i­for­nia, Davis
  • Maria Jose San Ramon, chef/owner, La Taberna del Gourmet, named Spain’s best tapas bar in 2009, Ali­cante, Spain
  • Prof. Erminio Mon­teleone, Uni­ver­sity of Flo­rence
  • Nancy Har­mon Jenk­ins, food writer and spe­cial­ist in Mediter­ranean cui­sine

The pro­gram for the final day of the con­fer­ence focuses on the culi­nary appli­ca­tion of super-pre­mium olive oil. Ulti­mately, olive oil is an ingre­di­ent in food, so the Beyond Extra Vir­gin con­fer­ence explores this world in depth. A series of cook­ing demon­stra­tions and tast­ings will empha­size the inter­ac­tion of fla­vors when dif­fer­ent olive oils are com­bined with food. Chefs, writ­ers, pro­duc­ers and olive oil pur­vey­ors will ben­e­fit from this dis­cus­sion of a new cul­ture of olive oil that can be a ref­er­ence point and inspi­ra­tion for con­sumers, the media, retail­ers, and oth­ers.

What is Super-pre­mium olive oil?

Super-pre­mium is the cat­e­gory of olive oil that lies beyond extra vir­gin.” A stan­dard devel­oped by the inter­na­tional Asso­ci­a­tion 3E (the 3 E’s are Ethics, Excel­lence and Eco­nom­ics) sets the bar for super-pre­mium well above extra vir­gin. The 3E stan­dard looks at both the prod­uct and the process. Chem­i­cal para­me­ters are much stricter than the IOC extra vir­gin stan­dard: free acid­ity must be less than 0.3% (extra vir­gin stan­dard is 0.8%), per­ox­ide value less than 7.5 (EV is 20) and K232 less than 1.85 (EV is 2.50). In addi­tion to the absence of defects, the super-pre­mium cer­ti­fi­ca­tion looks at the pos­i­tive attrib­utes of an olive oil. A detailed sen­sory analy­sis is part of the cer­ti­fi­ca­tion process, and each oil receives a descrip­tion of its fla­vor pro­file which is part of the oil’s iden­tity card.

Equally impor­tant is the process: com­plete trace­abil­ity from tree to bot­tle and a com­mit­ment to strin­gent qual­ity con­trol. Asso­ci­a­tion 3E super-pre­mium selec­tion olive oils come from pro­duc­ers who have under­gone an in-depth audit of their pro­duc­tion processes and have agreed to com­plete trans­parency. The preser­va­tion of diver­sity in olive oil is a crit­i­cal part of the 3E mis­sion. It is rec­og­nized that there are no geo­graph­i­cal, vari­etal or other bound­aries to the com­mit­ment to excel­lence. Non-Ital­ian asso­ciates of 3E will receive one free con­fer­ence reg­is­tra­tion. Due to the for­mat of Beyond Extra Vir­gin, par­tic­i­pants in the con­fer­ence will be lim­ited to 120 peo­ple.

For more infor­ma­tion and con­fer­ence reg­is­tra­tion, visit the orga­niz­er’s web­site: Asso­ci­a­tion 3E — Beyond Extra Vir­gin IV

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