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Quality Criteria for Olive Oil

kritiria poiotitas elaioladouThe basic criteria for the evaluation of the olive oil have been set by the International Olive Oil Council (IOOC) and they are based on three main factors:

1. Acidity

Acidity is one of the most important criteria for professionals and ordinary consumers. It determines the quality classification, grading and the price of the olive oil. The acidity of the olive oil indicates the content of oleic acid in the product. Generally, based on the instructions of the International Olive Oil Council, edible olive oil is considered to be the oil that its acidity does not exceed 3.3 degrees (3.3%). In greek olive oil producing areas, as good olive oil is considered the one that its acidity does not exceed 0.5% of oleic acid content (0.5 degrees).

2.Oxidation

It's what people call "rancidity" of oil, serious deterioration, mainly connected with the inadequate conditions in which the oil is exposed after the extraction of the mill (not suitable containers for storage, exposure to sun, etc.). The determination of the oxidation is being done with laboratory measurements and especially with the measurement of the peroxides.

3.Organoleptic characteristics: Color - Smell - Taste

The color of the oil is mainly determined by the coloring matters that prevail in the time of fruit harvesting. The olive oil is green in the beginning of harvest season, when it comes from unripe olives. The olive oil which comes from ripe olives is golden-yellow in color, and when the fruit is ripened, the extracted olive oil has gray color. In the determination of the olive oil color, an important role also plays the whole system of olive crushing and extracting the oil, i.e. the type of the olive mill.

The control of the two basic organoleptic characteristics, which are closely connected, i.e. aroma and taste, is certainly one of the most basic criteria of the olive oil evaluation. The organoleptic test is being carried out by qualified testers and in accordance with the rules and standards established by the International Olive Oil Council. Like with the wine, the tasters try to detect odors, which are gladly accepted and reminiscent of other products (e.g. fruits such as apples, nuts, etc.). It is purely a matter of experience and knowledge to distinguish the flavors of olive oil. The tasting shows even if the product is properly maintained and if its characteristics are preserved.

Highlighting flavors, reminiscent of fruit or smell oil, which just came out of the oil mill, are highly valued and considered virtues. Generally, olive oil produced by gentle means and modern technology without high temperatures presents exceptional features.