`Olive Center Offers Two Courses for Olive Oil Sensory Evaluation - Olive Oil Times

Olive Center Offers Two Courses for Olive Oil Sensory Evaluation

Jun. 1, 2015
Sukhsatej Batra

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The UC Davis Olive Center is offer­ing its 12th and 13th Sensory Evaluation of Olive Oil Certificate Courses start­ing on June 15, 2015.

Hosted at the Silverado Vineyard Sensory Theater in the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science, the sen­sory eval­u­a­tion course is for any­one look­ing to learn more about eval­u­at­ing the qual­ity of olive oil includ­ing pro­duc­ers, buy­ers, importers, chefs, writ­ers, dis­trib­u­tors and con­sumers.

Dan Flynn, exec­u­tive direc­tor of the UC Davis Olive Center and one of the instruc­tors for the courses said, Anyone who wants a deep under­stand­ing of the sen­sory range of olive oil can ben­e­fit from tak­ing these courses.”

In addi­tion to Flynn, sen­sory train­ing will be pro­vided under the expert guid­ance of Sue Langstaff, who has led the UC Davis Olive Oil Taste Panel and is a mem­ber of the California Olive Oil Council Taste Panel, as well as Selina Wang, research direc­tor of the UC Davis Olive Center.

Sensory Evaluation of Olive oil I, a two-day course that runs from June 15 – 16th, is designed for the begin­ner as well as the expe­ri­enced taster. Trainees will learn about the sci­ence of tast­ing and be edu­cated on fac­tors affect­ing sen­sory qual­ity, under­stand­ing stan­dards, defects and attrib­utes of olive oil.

The sec­ond course, Sensory Evaluation of Olive Oil II, which runs from June 17 – 19th, will build upon knowl­edge gained from the first sen­sory course. Emphasis will be on train­ing par­tic­i­pants to rec­og­nize the qual­ity of olive oil as mem­bers of a sen­sory panel and eval­u­ate at least 60 olive oil sam­ples.


Using an advanced sen­sory soft­ware, trainees will be able to com­pare their eval­u­a­tion of olive oils to other tasters. Other mod­ules of the course include dis­cus­sion on sen­sory prin­ci­ples and olive oil blend­ing.

In all, atten­dees of both courses get to eval­u­ate more than 100 dif­fer­ent olive oil sam­ples from top pro­duc­ers such as Spain, Italy and Greece over the course of five days. Participants will also learn how to use olive oil in the kitchen and how to pair olive oil with dif­fer­ent foods under the coach­ing pro­vided by William Briwa who is a Chef-instruc­tor at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone.

In the past, the sen­sory courses have attracted tasters not only from the United States but from coun­tries such as Brazil, Canada, Greece, Italy, Mexico, Peru, Chile, Australia, New Zealand and Spain. Since the first course offered in 2008, more than 600 indi­vid­u­als have com­pleted the sen­sory courses.
See Also: UC Davis Olive Center Sensory Evaluation of Olive Oil Courses
According to Flynn, atten­dees use the infor­ma­tion gained dur­ing the train­ing in var­i­ous ways. Producers learn how to improve their pro­cess­ing and stor­age by under­stand­ing how olive oil sen­sory qual­ity is influ­enced by pro­cess­ing, stor­age and pack­ag­ing vari­ables. Importers, buy­ers, and dis­trib­u­tors learn to improve their odds of get­ting a bet­ter prod­uct for the price. Chefs and writ­ers dis­cover the wide range of qual­ity avail­able, get how to eval­u­ate qual­ity and value, and how to use olive oil in the pro­fes­sional kitchen and at home.”

About 125 indi­vid­u­als have reg­is­tered for the courses so far, and there are a few seats avail­able for those inter­ested in attend­ing the courses.


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