` Spain Seeks New Technology for Olive Oil Quality Testing - Olive Oil Times

Spain Seeks New Technology for Olive Oil Quality Testing

Dec. 29, 2020
Clarissa Joshua

Recent News

An inno­v­a­tive project in the area of olive oil test­ing and qual­ity rat­ing has been launched in Spain.

The col­lab­o­ra­tive effort between sev­eral impor­tant indus­try bod­ies aims to find a tech­no­log­i­cal instru­ment that com­ple­ments or replaces the cur­rent panel test.

What is clear is that Spain… has the best con­di­tions for research­ing and obtain­ing the best method­ol­ogy at the ser­vice of our sec­tor, and there­fore we have an essen­tial role in the European reg­u­la­tory devel­op­ment of olive oil.- spokesper­son, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food

An agree­ment for the project was signed by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAPA), the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Sustainable Development of the Junta of Andalusia, and the Interprofessional Organization of Spanish Olive Oil.

See Also: Laws Governing Olive Oil Sector in Spain Set to Change

To kick off what might likely be a lengthy time­line, the Interprofessional Organization of Spanish Olive Oil will con­tribute €150,000 toward the first two years of the research and inno­va­tion project.

Like any sci­en­tific-tech­ni­cal research eval­u­a­tion project, its devel­op­ment takes a long period of time,” a spokesper­son from the MAPA told Olive Oil Times.

The International Olive Council (IOC) panel test has been used in Europe to clas­sify the com­mer­cial cat­e­gory of vir­gin olive oil since the 1990s. The method­ol­ogy has been reg­u­larly updated over the years.

The panel test is a proven, objec­tive method car­ried out by tasters trained and accred­ited by ENAC, and sub­jected to inter­com­par­i­son sen­sory analy­ses that demon­strate its robust­ness,” the MAPA spokesper­son said. However, any sci­en­tific-tech­no­log­i­cal advance that allows us to process more sam­ples with guar­an­tees and rigor will always be wel­come as a tool to improve food qual­ity con­trol.”

ENAC is the national accred­i­ta­tion body for Spanish orga­ni­za­tions and its cer­ti­fi­ca­tions are rec­og­nized in more than 70 coun­tries. According to the Official State Gazette (BOE) of Spain, the olive oil sec­tor is one of the most impor­tant in the Spanish agri-food sphere, and con­trol­ling its qual­ity is fun­da­men­tal.

The phys­i­cal, chem­i­cal and organolep­tic char­ac­ter­is­tics of olive oil are already reg­u­lated by the European Union (E.U.). While E.U. leg­is­la­tion is among the most advanced in this area, this project could poten­tially lead to even fur­ther strength­en­ing of con­trols.

When asked whether a suc­cess­ful tech­no­log­i­cal test­ing instru­ment could go on to be used out­side of Spain, the MAPA said, it is not a ques­tion that we can fore­see in the short term.”

What is clear is that Spain, being the largest pro­ducer of olive oil in the world and a leader in its trade and in its lab­o­ra­tory and sen­sory analy­ses, has the best con­di­tions for research­ing and obtain­ing the best method­ol­ogy at the ser­vice of our sec­tor, and there­fore we have an essen­tial role in the European reg­u­la­tory devel­op­ment of olive oil,” the min­istry added.

This project comes at a crit­i­cal time for olive oil. With olive oil con­sump­tion set to out­pace pro­duc­tion this sea­son, prices are being dri­ven up. As com­pe­ti­tion increases, assur­ing qual­ity is key in pro­tect­ing the rights of the con­sumer.

As well as being involved in this inno­v­a­tive project, the MAPA said, the MAPA is going to approve an olive oil qual­ity stan­dard in mid-2021 that will place Spain as a bench­mark for excel­lence in the pro­duc­tion and mar­ket­ing of this food from Spain. This stan­dard is very impor­tant since the qual­ity stan­dard for this food has not been updated for more than two decades.”





Related News

Feedback / Suggestions