` Madrid Seeks the 'Perfect' Olive Oil - Olive Oil Times

Madrid Seeks the 'Perfect' Olive Oil

Jun. 3, 2013
Naomi Tupper

Recent News

The Spanish cap­i­tal has car­ried out olive oil tast­ings in shop­ping cen­ters through­out the city to deter­mine what locals con­sider to be best char­ac­ter­is­tics of extra vir­gin olive oil , all in a bid to cre­ate a new super’ oil.

After six years of research, The Madrid Institute for Research and Rural Development, Agriculture and Food have pre­pared a vari­ety of coupages, or mix­tures, of extra vir­gin olive oils from the region, made with dif­fer­ent vari­eties of olives, har­vested at their prime. A mul­ti­dis­ci­pli­nary team made up of biol­o­gists, chem­i­cal engi­neers and agron­o­mists were respon­si­ble for the selec­tion of the best pro­duce avail­able in the 25 thou­sand hectares of olive fields located in the Community of Madrid to make up the five mixed vari­eties. All the mix­tures on offer for tast­ing included the Cornicabra olive vari­ety as a base, which is pro­duced by the major­ity of farms in the region.

Local con­sumers from a vari­ety of socioe­co­nomic and age pro­files were given the oppor­tu­nity to taste and give their opin­ion on the char­ac­ter­is­tics of each mix, in order to deter­mine the olive oil sen­sory pro­file which was the most pop­u­lar and there­fore the most likely to be pur­chased among the Spanish pop­u­la­tion. Tasters had the oppor­tu­nity to sam­ple oils of both mild and stronger inten­sity that var­ied in color, some of which also had a spicy qual­ity, with results indi­cat­ing that over­all the mild-fla­vored oils were deemed the most pop­u­lar.

The research was designed with the idea that, from mixes of sin­gle vari­etal olive oils pro­duced locally, a new super’ olive oil could be cre­ated based on the pref­er­ences of local con­sumers, which will hope­fully become a best seller around Spain. The recipe for the unique oil will have specif­i­cally con­trolled col­lec­tion times and strict para­me­ters for the olive vari­eties and qual­i­ties that have been used in the pri­mary oils before mix­ing so as to pro­duce a uni­form prod­uct and to give the con­sumers what they want, every time. Based on the con­sumer research, it seems likely that the new vari­ety will have a mild fla­vor when it hits super­mar­ket shelves.

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