` Olive Council Examines ‘Legality’ of Flavored Extra Virgin Olive Oils

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Olive Council Examines ‘Legality’ of Flavored Extra Virgin Olive Oils

Feb. 11, 2014
By Julie Butler

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The pop­u­lar­ity and bur­geon­ing range of extra vir­gin olive oils fla­vored with plant extracts such as gar­lic, lemon, thyme and rose­mary poses a big dilemma for the olive oil sec­tor — should these olive oils really be labeled extra vir­gin?

As the Inter­na­tional Olive Coun­cil (IOC) has itself put it, How can vir­gin olive oil be con­sid­ered extra’ when the sub­stances added to it make it impos­si­ble for organolep­tic analy­sis to con­firm that it really is extra grade?”

The IOC announced today that it thus seek­ing input from stake­hold­ers in the olive oil indus­try about this del­i­cate issue” with a view to resolv­ing the uncer­tainty.

It said that lately the IOC Exec­u­tive Sec­re­tariat had been asked sev­eral times about prod­ucts labelled as flavoured extra vir­gin olive oils’ con­tain­ing plant extracts such as gar­lic, lemon, thyme or rose­mary. It was an issue fre­quently dis­cussed with IOC exec­u­tive direc­tor Jean-Louis Bar­jol dur­ing his trip to the United States in Jan­u­ary. His itin­er­ary included a visit to the Fancy Food Show in San Fran­cisco, at which there were many such oils.

The IOC is keen to make sure that con­sumers are given ver­i­fi­able infor­ma­tion and that busi­ness oper­a­tors know where they stand legally. It there­fore wishes to engage in a dis­cus­sion on whether to draft an explana­tory paper on these prod­ucts to which the IOC trade stan­dard is not applic­a­ble,” it said.

The IOC Exec­u­tive Sec­re­tariat has asked del­e­gates in its mem­ber coun­tries and IOC experts and rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the IOC Advi­sory Com­mit­tee on Olive Oil and Table Olives to pro­vide their feed­back by March 7.

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Stake­hold­ers in non-IOC Mem­ber coun­tries are also wel­come to con­tact the IOC Exec­u­tive Sec­re­tariat by this date in order to share their views.


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