A research group at the University of Jaén, Spain, has developed a new software program designed to evaluate and classify extra virgin olive oils.

The innovative software is hoped to be a breakthrough in the sensory evaluation process of olive oil and is a joint collaboration between the university, olive oil technology company Citoliva, CM Europe SL Laboratories and computer engineering company MENGISOFT.

According to research group member Macarena Espinilla, the new software will vastly improve the sensory evaluation of virgin olive oils by reducing both the time and cost associated with the procedure.

The software will function by streamlining the process of olive oil evaluation, allowing the individual monitoring of the evolution of different tasters for different samples and sessions in real time. Interventions to correct deviations of organoleptic properties can then be carried out by the chief of the panel.

The software also has the potential to plan olive oil tasting sessions, manage oil evaluations and generate final reports, thus offering further optimization of the process.

The program allows the use of the evaluation methodology established by the International Olive Council for sensory classification of olive oil, but can also be used with new methods of evaluation that have been developed by the group, that are currently undergoing evaluation.

The method is based on the “fuzzy logic system,” a mathematical logic that is designed to make a decision as a human being would, considering all available information and making the best decision based on this input. This innovative model for sensory evaluation is being presented as an alternative to the current International Olive Council model, and is hoped to facilitate improvement in the areas of information processing, tasting and training of assessors, whilst still maintaining the efficiency of results.

Further down the track, the new model for sensory evaluation is hoped to be implemented with the new software, with the aim to add value to the olive oil industry by improving marketing processes and increasing competitiveness of companies in the industry.

The new program, in addition to the sensory evaluation model, are part of a project funded by the Ministry of Economy, Innovation and Science of the Council of Andalucía.

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