A food and drink research firm has been chosen by the UK government to carry out authenticity testing on olive oil imported to the UK.
Following the entry into force in the UK of the EU’s olive oil regulations in February 2014, the Rural Payments Agency (RPA), a UK government agency which supports the farming and food sector, selected Campden BRI after a call for submissions to test and analyze all types of olive oils imported into the UK.
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Testing will be done at the company’s laboratory approved by the International Olive Oil Council (IOC), located at their headquarters in Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire. Authenticity testing will include conformity checks at olive oil bottlers and retailers by analyzing the lipid components of oils to confirm they are authentic and unadulterated.
In a news release, Julian South, head of chemistry and biochemistry at Campden BRI said “Food authenticity continues to be a high-profile issue and we are delighted to be chosen by the RPA to help industry and government meet the challenge of beating food fraud. This contract reflects our position as a trusted and respected center providing technical excellence to the food and drink industry.”
Authenticity testing is necessary to identify cases of fraud where olive oil is adulterated with inferior quality oils or other vegetable oils.
The EU has proposed EU-wide measures to combat counterfeit oils under the European Commission’s regulation Regulation N° 2568/91 of July 11, 1991 on the characteristics of olive oil and olive-residue oil and on the relevant methods of analysis.
The regulation aims to guarantee the quality and authenticity of olive oil by listing the physical, chemical and organoleptic characteristics to be examined during testing and the methods to be used.
Research on olive oil authentication is supported by the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 program.