Technological Educational Institute of Kalamata

“Calibrating Panelists’ Minds & Palates” is an international seminar of the sensory attributes of olive oil varieties to be held at the Technological Educational Institute of Kalamata, Greece, between November 18th and the 24th.

The Institute’s newly established olive oil taste laboratory will host the event, where experienced tasters will convey their knowledge to olive sector professionals and researchers. The main purpose for the attendants is to familiarize themselves with the organoleptic characteristics of different olive varieties from the Mediterranean area and the American continent, and to evaluate techniques used in Italy, Spain and the USA.

The group of specialists consists of Angeles Calvo Fandos, member of olive oil sensory experts of the International Olive Council (IOC) and the panel leader of the Taste Panel of Catalunya, Antonio Giuseppe Lauro, olive oil consultant and IOC panel leader, Paul Vossen, farm advisor for the UC Cooperative Extension, and Vasilis Demopoulos, assistant professor of the institute and founder of the olive oil laboratory.

Apart from the tasting techniques, olive oil oil production methods utilized in Spain and Italy will be presented and an open forum will take place on Friday 23rd where speakers will focus on the conditions for premium olive oil in the context of the financial crisis in Europe and examine its prospects and sustainability. The last day of the seminar will include a visit to an olive grove and an olive oil mill in Mani.

Dr. Demopoulos explained that it is a highly anticipated event and he hopes to be able to institutionalize it. “Our olive oil taste team here at the Institute has more than 25 members and they are all anxious about the seminar. If we can sustain and improve it, it will be something big for olive oil producers, traders and professionals of the whole area.”

The seminar is co-funded by the International Olive Council.

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