`Taste Panel App Digitizes Sensory Analyses

Europe

Taste Panel App Digitizes Sensory Analyses

Nov. 23, 2015
Ylenia Granitto

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A new app called iOlive was launched last week at the 14th edi­tion of Agri­e­tour, the national exhi­bi­tion of agri­tourism and mul­ti­func­tional agri­cul­ture, held in Arezzo, Tus­cany.

The app, one of the five win­ners of the 2015 Green Oscar,” the award of Coldiretti Young Entre­pre­neurs for inno­v­a­tive ideas in agri­cul­ture, was con­ceived and devel­oped by Pietro Bara­chini and Dario Bronchi and is cur­rently look­ing for spon­sors.

iOlive offers the pos­si­bil­ity to dig­i­tize and keep safe the sen­sory analy­sis, which is still the most sig­nif­i­cant test.- Pietro Bara­chini, iOlive

Bara­chini, an expe­ri­enced agron­o­mist who man­ages a farm that sells olive trees in Tus­cany and recently became a pro­fes­sional olive oil taster, founded the startup with Bronchi, a com­puter engi­neer.

We have dig­i­tized the IOC pro­file sheet for the assess­ment of olive oil, which is used in 44 coun­tries to cer­tify extra vir­gin­ity,” Bara­chini explained to Olive Oil Times. Using our dig­i­tized plat­form, tasters can put their own fin­ger­prints on each olive oil pro­file, ensur­ing trans­parency and safety.”

After the tast­ing, the taster presses a but­ton on a tablet to send the eval­u­a­tion that is irre­versible, while data are stored in real time on mul­ti­ple servers to ensure their pro­tec­tion.

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This cer­ti­fi­ca­tion process of olive oil can be use­ful both for the con­sumer, to have a guar­an­tee of authen­tic­ity of prod­uct, and for pro­duc­ers to pro­vide absolutely clear data about their prod­ucts. More­over, con­trol bod­ies can eas­ily con­trast pos­si­ble frauds or coun­ter­feit­ing with a dras­tic reduc­tion of man­age­ment costs,” he added.

The result of the project is an elec­tronic guide of extra vir­gin olive oils. 150 farm­ers from Tus­cany have already joined the project, which is based on a QR code track­ing sys­tem.

Each extra vir­gin olive oil has a QR code, first used by tasters dur­ing the assess­ment, then made avail­able in the guide to con­sumers to obtain infor­ma­tion about organolep­tic pro­files and other char­ac­ter­is­tics and, if they want, to buy the prod­uct through­out an inte­grated e‑commerce plat­form,” Bara­chini explained.

Many small pro­duc­ers are unable to sell their EVOOs, beaten by the com­pe­ti­tion of big com­pa­nies. With iOlive we wanted to give vis­i­bil­ity and sup­port to qual­ity pro­duc­tions,” Bara­chini said.

Nowa­days only chem­i­cal tests are dig­i­tally cer­ti­fied and pro­tected. iOlive offers the pos­si­bil­ity to dig­i­tize and keep safe the sen­sory analy­sis, which is still the most sig­nif­i­cant test.”

The project has been tested by Agro-Lab, the lab­o­ra­tory arm of Pro­moFirenze, an agency of the Flo­rence Cham­ber of Com­merce. The mar­gin of error was reported to be reduced by 15 per­cent using the app, a per­cent­age that can make the dif­fer­ence from extra vir­gin to vir­gin, and we know how this dis­crep­ancy can have a huge eco­nomic impact,” the two entre­pre­neurs explained.

Dur­ing the recent har­vest months in Italy about 40 tast­ing cen­ters han­dle about 300 sam­ples, and for each sam­ple at least 8 assess­ment sheets are required. The iOlive tool solves the prac­ti­cal issues due to the amount of paper needed — a move toward a sus­tain­able approach that also reduces data pro­cess­ing time.

It is essen­tial for small pro­duc­ers that we use an objec­tive and trans­par­ent method to show the real pro­file of their EVOO and make the oper­a­tions of sup­ply chain clear to con­sumers, which deserve qual­ity at the right price,” Bara­chini con­cluded.

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