` IOOC Combats Olive Oil Fraud With New Tools - Olive Oil Times

IOOC Combats Olive Oil Fraud With New Tools

Jun. 16, 2010
Daniel Williams

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Next sea­son, the inter­na­tional olive oil sec­tor, bot­tling indus­try and export­ing com­mu­nity will all fol­low a new com­mer­cial reg­u­la­tion devised by the International Olive Oil Advisory Council. The rule was approved by the IOOC last November and will imple­ment mea­sures designed specif­i­cally to deter­mine the chem­i­cal con­tent of var­i­ous olive oils.

Specifically, these tests look to eval­u­ate the con­tent of methyl and ethyl esters in olive oil by means of gas chro­matog­ra­phy (split­ting the gasses with a cap­il­lary col­umn to deter­mine the oil’s chem­i­cal makeup). With this new test­ing, the IOOC expects to improve the abil­ity to detect fraud­u­lent meth­ods of pro­duc­tion, specif­i­cally those that mask the smell of infe­rior oils by var­i­ous processes of deodor­iza­tion.

With the imple­men­ta­tion of the new rule, gas chro­matog­ra­phy tests will be imple­mented reveal an olive oil’s true con­tent and thereby expose fraud­u­lent pro­duc­ers. The approval of the new rule will directly affect the olive oil sec­tors of IOOC mem­ber coun­tries given that it was this very Council that mod­i­fied the European Economic Commission’s Rule 2568 in 1992 which pre­vi­ously set indus­try stan­dards in European olive oil sec­tor.

The IOOC hopes to imple­ment this change before the end of the sum­mer in order to give the indus­try a much-needed boost for the com­ing olive oil sea­son. Experts see the imple­men­ta­tion of such qual­ity con­trol mea­sures as nec­es­sary in order to dis­cour­age fraud­u­lent prod­ucts. Fighting the adul­ter­ation of olive oil is an essen­tial pil­lar in the long-term plan to res­cue the inter­na­tional olive oil indus­try and is part of a greater world­wide cam­paign to res­cue prices that have dropped sig­nif­i­cantly in recent times.

The International Olive Oil Council at the head of this process is the only olive oil inter­gov­ern­men­tal orga­ni­za­tion in the world and was formed in Madrid in 1959 under the guid­ance of the United Nations. Its wel­come mes­sage states that the Council is, in a unique posi­tion as a forum for author­i­ta­tive dis­cus­sion on issues of inter­est to the olive indus­try”. Member coun­tries make up 98% of the world’s olive oil pro­duc­tion and are required to adhere to the stan­dards it enforces.

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