`Council Seeks Input on Olive Oil Definitions and Test Methods

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Council Seeks Input on Olive Oil Definitions and Test Methods

May. 30, 2014
Julie Butler

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Inter­na­tional Olive Coun­cil

Stop­ping use of the descrip­tive terms pure’ and light’ – which have long mis­led olive oil con­sumers – is among changes sought by indus­try mem­bers that the Inter­na­tional Olive Coun­cil is now seek­ing feed­back on.

Rede­f­i­n­i­tion of the term olive oil” – cur­rently used for prod­ucts con­tain­ing a mix of refined olive oil and vir­gin olive oil and another source of con­sumer con­fu­sion – is also on the table as part of a pro­posal from Turkey.

And among var­i­ous changes put for­ward to test­ing and para­me­ters is a fast and sim­ple” way to mea­sure phe­no­lic com­pounds which would aid use of health claims on labels.

Under a new sys­tem designed to boost trans­parency, the IOC has begun cir­cu­lat­ing such pro­pos­als on new or revised meth­ods of analy­sis, para­me­ters or lim­its. Today it pub­lished 12 such pro­pos­als and invited feed­back by Sep­tem­ber 8 from rel­e­vant stake­hold­ers. The pro­pos­als come from var­i­ous parts of the world and are not from the IOC’s exec­tive sec­re­tariat but they were exam­ined by the IOC chem­istry experts at their last meet­ing and dis­cussed by the IOC Advi­sory Com­mit­tee at its May 22 – 23 meet­ing in Croa­tia.

They include:

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- Relax­ation of the K270 (UV absorp­tion) limit for refined olive oil from 1.1 to 1.25 and of the K270 limit for olive oil from 0.9 to 1.15. Pro­posed by the IOC’s Turk­ish del­e­ga­tion, this is linked to dif­fi­culty main­tain­ing the cur­rent val­ues when export­ing olive oil to other coun­tries and aimed at facil­i­tat­ing trade.

- A new method for the deter­mi­na­tion of the cop­per pyropheo­phytin con­tent of olive pomace oil. Pro­posed by Taiwan’s Food and Drug Admin­is­tra­tion to fight against fraud, namely using cop­per pyropheo­phytin to green up” olive pomace oil.

- Rou­tine use of the sim­ple, fast” col­ori­met­ric method (Folin-Cio­cal­teu, expressed in hydrox­y­ty­rosol) for the quan­tifi­ca­tion of the phe­no­lic com­pounds con­tent in olive oils. Pro­posed by IOC experts and use­ful for nutri­tion claims on labels.

- The com­bi­na­tion of three analy­sis meth­ods in one, namely those for the prepa­ra­tion of methyl esters, deter­mi­na­tion of fatty acids and deter­mi­na­tion of trans fatty acids. Pro­posed by a work­ing group on IOC meth­ods as a sim­pli­fi­ca­tion of meth­ods in the IOC stan­dard.

- A new or changed def­i­n­i­tion of olive oil”.; dele­tion of the ordi­nary olive oil” cat­e­gory; clas­si­fi­ca­tion of oils with an acid­ity >2.0 per­cent as lam­pante olive oil”; dele­tion of the words pure” and light”; and replace­ment of the term well bal­anced” by high inten­sity bit­ter and pun­gent”. Pro­posed by the Turk­ish del­e­ga­tion to avoid mis­lead­ing con­sumers by bet­ter defin­ing and describ­ing olive oil. Sim­pli­fi­ca­tion of cat­e­gories and use of more descrip­tive terms will improve inter­na­tional trade and con­sumer under­stand­ing of the prod­uct.”

A full list of the pro­pos­als is posted on the IOC web­site. The IOC said they will be ampli­fied in draft tech­ni­cal pro­pos­als as and when deliv­ered by the authors to its exec­u­tive sec­re­tariat.


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