`Experts in Olive Oil Authentication Called to Madrid Workshop - Olive Oil Times

Experts in Olive Oil Authentication Called to Madrid Workshop

Apr. 23, 2013
Julie Butler

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Olive oil authen­ti­ca­tion is to be the focus of an invi­ta­tion-only sci­en­tific work­shop to be held in Spain from June 10 – 11.

Organized by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Agriculture, the Joint Research Centre of Geel, and the International Olive Council (IOC), it will be held at the IOC’s Madrid head­quar­ters.

Scant detail is avail­able so far but in their joint press release, the three orga­niz­ers said the work­shop would focus on the eval­u­a­tion of the qual­ity para­me­ters of edi­ble olive oils as well as their authen­ti­ca­tion.”

The objec­tive of the work­shop is to clar­ify the terms of ref­er­ence to start inter­na­tional research projects in view of devel­op­ing ana­lyt­i­cal meth­ods as well as rein­forc­ing the qual­ity para­me­ters of extra vir­gin and vir­gin olive oil.”

The work­shop will bring together world­wide experts work­ing in the field of olive oil authen­ti­ca­tion, com­ing from IOC coun­try-mem­bers or not,” the release says.

Details to be made pub­lic soon after event

The pro­ceed­ings are to be pub­lished on the Commission’s Agriculture and Rural Development web site shortly after the work­shop, and also on the IOC web site and in the IOC’s Olivae pub­li­ca­tion.

A Commission spokesper­son for Agriculture and Rural Development told Olive Oil Times a pro­vi­sional pro­gram was still being devel­oped and fur­ther inter­nal dis­cus­sion was needed before more spe­cific agenda top­ics could be agreed.

He said the invi­ta­tion list, to be decided by the three orga­niz­ers, was not yet final­ized.

The research projects referred to will be funded by the European Union.

New and promised changes on ver­i­fi­ca­tion tests and para­me­ters

Just last month, the European Union pub­lished new reg­u­la­tions on test­ing designed to pre­vent and detect olive oil fraud. Among the require­ments are that as of 2014, EU mem­ber states will have to do at least one tar­geted check annu­ally per thou­sand tons of olive oil mar­keted in them and send more rig­or­ous reports to the Commission on their test­ing.

In his olive oil action plan, European Commissioner for Agriculture Dacian Cioloş had also said the IOC would be asked to expe­dite its work on cer­tain chem­i­cal para­me­ters, among them reduc­ing the lim­its for stig­mas­ta­di­enes and alkyl esters, defin­i­tive adop­tion of the global method for the detec­tion of extra­ne­ous oils, and adop­tion of a diglyc­erides and triglyc­erides test.

However, due to the pre­vi­ously reported and con­tin­u­ing paral­y­sis affect­ing IOC activ­i­ties, it is under­stood the Commission is still await­ing fur­ther response from the IOC on this issue.

Better pro­tec­tion and infor­ma­tion for con­sumers

Meanwhile, the EU is poten­tially a step closer to ban­ning refill­able olive oil con­tain­ers in restau­rants and other parts of the hos­pi­tal­ity sec­tor.


A draft reg­u­la­tion pro­vid­ing for this and also for stricter label­ing rules — to ensure the cat­e­gory and ori­gin of an olive oil is more vis­i­ble and leg­i­ble — was referred to the Geneva-based World Trade Organization (WTO) Committee on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) in February.

The TBT opened a 60-day com­ment period which expired on April 20 but details of the out­come have yet to be made pub­lic.

On receiv­ing its response, the Commission’s Management Committee for the Common Organisation of Agricultural Markets will hold a for­mal vote on the pro­posed changes.

When it held an indica­tive vote in February, the pro­pos­als were sup­ported with just 161 votes in favor, 131 against and 53 absten­tions.


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