Anyone who would like to know more about olive oil will now be able to learn from world-renowned experts without travelling to Rome, Athens or Madrid.

The International Olive Oil School (IOOS), launching this week at…, offers an expanding curriculum of online courses to foster greater knowledge on topics of olive oil quality, its health aspects and usage.

“With an initial offering of courses on olive oil tasting, health and culinary application, the program is being designed for everyone from home chefs to food industry professionals,” said Curtis Cord, publisher of Olive Oil Times and founder of the school. “We are in the process of developing courses on topics such as olive oil marketing, product development and production. IOOS is the bridge between the world’s olive oil experts, and those who would like to advance their knowledge on a variety of practical topics.”

Instructors and participants will engage via an enterprise-level web conferencing platform designed for the school. At the beginning of each lesson, registered participants will logon to their course and be face to face with their instructor, with the ability to ask and respond to questions. For olive oil tasting and sensory assessment courses, a collection of olive oil samples selected by the instructor will be delivered to each participant in advance of the lesson.

One of the instructors in the program’s expanding roster of experts is Antonio G. Lauro, the consultant, journalist and panel leader, who will begin with a session on olive oil sensory assessment. “This is an outstanding opportunity to reach people everywhere who wish to learn more about olive oil and its culture,” said Lauro, who will conduct his lessons from his office in Calabria.

Class sizes are limited to 25 people and will usually be held Friday afternoons (UTC) allowing for simultaneous participation in most time zones. Most sessions will be 2 or 3 hours in duration. Selected webinars will be recorded and made available afterward.

Cord said the web conferencing system needed to be seamless. “Of course the technology is important because the focus needs to be on the subject matter, not the software. What we came up with is a high-performance solution that is easy and intuitive.”

The school comes at a time when interest in olive oil is surging around the world. “What we know from Olive Oil Times readers is that people are increasingly curious about olive oil and are seeking solid answers. There was a need for an independent online course platform centered on advancing education on this vital subject. IOOS compliments the mission of Olive Oil Times perfectly, which is to facilitate such a sharing of knowledge.”

Registration for courses opens Wednesday November 13 at Noon GMT on the olive oil school website.

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