`International Olive Council Studying Oils Beyond the Limits of its Standard

Grades

International Olive Council Studying Oils Beyond the Limits of its Standard

Oct. 11, 2011
Curtis Cord

Recent News

In 2008, the Inter­na­tional Olive Coun­cil’s group of expert chemists designed a study to gain a bet­ter under­stand­ing of olive oils that dis­played cer­tain para­me­ters beyond the lim­its allowed in the coun­cil’s trade stan­dards adopted five years ear­lier.

IOC mem­bers and non-mem­bers includ­ing the United States, Aus­tralia, New Zealand, Chile and Argentina were off­i­cally invited, via a 2009 Note Ver­bale, to help iden­tify the unique char­ac­ter­is­tics of their regional olive oils in a com­mon effort to improve the inter­na­tional stan­dard, pro­tect olive oil authen­tic­ity and pre­vent poten­tial fraud,” accord­ing to the coun­cil’s Exec­u­tive Sec­re­tariat.

The IOC said it had since made repeated requests for sam­ples to ana­lyze, even while some New World pro­duc­ers were busy draft­ing their own stan­dards to be more in line with local char­ac­ter­is­tics. Mean­while the IOC, which admit­ted its calls for action had yielded vary­ing degrees of suc­cess,” plans on pre­sent­ing the con­clu­sions of the study to the Coun­cil of Mem­bers for approval at its 100th ses­sion in Novem­ber, 2012.

The sam­ples they did man­age to col­lect were reviewed last week in the IOC offices at a meet­ing of the coun­cil’s work­ing group on olive oil com­po­si­tion — part of the bian­nual meet­ing of expert chemists that assem­ble in Madrid to dis­cuss a range of chem­istry and stan­dards-related busi­ness.

At this ses­sion the group exam­ined new test­ing meth­ods, dis­cussed the results of recent stud­ies and pro­posed pri­or­i­ties for future work.

Advertisement

It was their first meet­ing since Aus­tralia offi­cially eschewed inter­na­tional olive oil stan­dards by adopt­ing its own guide­lines, cre­at­ing a new mar­ket seg­ment for olive oil exporters through­out the world. Accord­ing to an IOC spokesper­son, the chemists assem­bled last week agreed on the impor­tance to bring stan­dards into line with eachother in order to pro­mote qual­ity, encour­age inter­na­tional trade and pro­tect con­sumers.”

Although they were invited, and have attended past ses­sions, rep­re­sen­ta­tives from Aus­tralia, the USDA, FDA, the Cal­i­for­nia Olive Oil Coun­cil and the Uni­ver­sity of Cal­i­for­nia at Davis were absent from the meet­ing this year.

Atten­dees included rep­re­sen­ta­tives from Alge­ria, Argentina, Spain, France, Greece, Italy, Por­tu­gal, Slove­nia, Egypt, Iran, Israel, Jor­dan, Morocco, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, as well as from the Amer­i­can Oil Chemists’ Soci­ety, Codex Ali­men­ta­r­ius, Inter­na­tional Orga­ni­za­tion for Stan­dard­iza­tion (ISO) and the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion.

The group pro­posed pre­sent­ing the method for the deter­mi­na­tion of sterols and triter­pene dial­co­hols for defin­i­tive IOC adop­tion next month. The same method would be adopted by the ISO for olive oils.

Related News