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Talc in oil production

Talc addition was once considered taboo, but nowadays even the scientific world is starting to investigate its use and potential benefits. There is something we want to know: does talc affect the yield and quality of extra virgin olive oil? Professor Francesco Caponio, together with his colleagues from the University of Bari, is trying to answer this question. What happens when physical extraction adjuvants are added to olive paste during malaxation?

Lorenzo Cerretani


Without olive trees there is no future

Enough of this geriatric approach towards olive tree cultivation. We need renovation. How can we possibly conceive a sector operating at a loss? If there is no profit, olive cultivation makes no sense. At Olio Officina Anteprima in Alghero, the protagonists of the event were the “Captains Courageous”, oil masters Domenico and Pasquale Manca. With them, the most distinguished Italian authorities discuss the newest trends in olive tree cultivation

Luigi Caricato


Olive oil is good

The International Olive Council participated in the 22nd session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP22), which was held in Marrakech (Morocco) from 7 to 18 November 2016, and whereby the UN sought to adopt a framework for action against global warming

Olio Officina


Current trends in oil appraisal

Has the method employed for the sensory analysis of extra virgin olive oil reached the end of the line? Is it time to change approach and/or targets? These questions require urgent, unambiguous answers, and the entire oil sector must now respond. Currently there is a sort of distorted view. Too much attention is given to defects and too little to the positive traits of oil. We are training a class of defect hunters

Lorenzo Cerretani

What happens inside the olive

These pictures, taken by Giorgio Sorcinelli, portray olives at different stages of maturity. There are various methods to estimate their degree of ripeness. One of the most popular is the so-called Jaen index. Many scientific investigations concur that there is an optimal maturity level for every variety, offsetting the sensory features and aromatic profile of the olives, as well as their phenolic composition

Lorenzo Cerretani


Spain, the first global producer and exporter

Spain has increases its extra-EU exports of olive oil and olive pomace oil by 20% in the first 11 months of 2015/16 (October 2015-August 2016), compared to the previous crop year

International Olive Council


The 2017 Forme dell’Olio contest

Everything is ready for the fourth edition of the contest devoted to the packaging and labelling of olive oil. There is a great novelty this year: it is now possible to enter labels only, which will be judged separately in a distinct category. Quality, as we all know, lies not only in the content, but also in the container: its importance should be better acknowledged, and more attention should be paid to its aesthetics and functionality

Olio Officina


The best harvesting method

There is one question I am frequently asked: is it better to pick olives by hand, or use mechanical means? We should be aware that harvesting is a delicate and potentially risky procedure, because it may trigger the hydrolytic reactions that increase the free acidity levels in olive oil, with detrimental effects on its quality

Lorenzo Cerretani

The 2016 olive season in Italy

We do not expect it to be a memorable harvest. Quite the opposite, and many farmers are rather concerned. The olive fruit fly has wreaked havoc all over Italy, from north to south. Yet, compared to the disastrous 2014 season, there is a greater degree of optimism, because at least nobody was caught unprepared

Luigi Caricato


Olive harvests in the Mediterranean countries

What is the outlook of the olive harvesting season in the Mediterranean countries? The estimates of a renowned international olive oil broker who operates on the Greek, Spanish, Tunisian, Turkish and Moroccan markets. There is still a lot of uncertainty regarding the overall amounts of available oil and the prospects of the key olive-producing countries

Adriano Caramia


It all starts here

The new oil has arrived, as we can see from the many photos posted on the internet. Most producers show pictures of the oil flowing out of the separator. However, the key stage of oil production is when it is extracted from the malaxing unit, for this is when its bouquet of scents and flavours originates

Lorenzo Cerretani


Olive growing in China

According to official sources, the Olive tree (Olea europea) was introduced into China over 40 years ago. However, the crop only started to expand at the beginning of the millennium. The areas of greatest potential for the development of olive growing are Gansu, Shaanxi and Sichuan. China currently has an olive hectarage of 86 000 ha, of which 43% is under irrigation. More than 27% of the current surface area is under production

International Olive Council

The Ioc method for tasting table olives

The olive samples to analyze are collected in tulip glasses, which are traditionally used in oil tasting. The olives tasting normally take place at ambient temperature, around 20-22°C (68-72 F). If olives are in the brine, it is necessary that the liquid covers all fruits in the glass

Olio Officina


Guide for the production of quality in the field

CEQ is a consortium that promotes and protects the quality of extra virgin olive oil, extending the concept to the entire production process, from cultivation to marketing and conservation. The aim is to ensure that the consumer receives an excellent product from both an analytical and a sensorial point of view, and that this is achieved while fully respecting the environment

Ceq Consortium to Guarantee Quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil


The appearance of olive oil

How much do colour and cloudiness matter in extra virgin olive oil? It would appear that the consumers are strongly influenced by these two aspects. Are colour and cloudiness in any way related to freshness? What are the results of countless investigations on this issue? Are we sure that oil filtering is a useful process?

Lorenzo Cerretani


Olive growing in Tunisia

In response to the invitation from the Tunisian authorities, the 27th extraordinary session of the International Olive Council (IOC) will be held in Hammamet (Tunisia) from 11 to 16 July. Olive oil is a key export product given that more than 80 pc of local production is exported. Tunisia is the second exporter worldwide after the European Union

International Olive Council

Naturally richer in polyphenols

Cibus, the most important fair in the food and drink sector in Italy, was the occasion to present a new jewel in the crown for the Olitalia Group: the new “30” extra-virgin olive oil

Olio Officina


The ABCs of extra virgin olive oil

Nobody was born an expert. Proper use, as condiment and during cooking, is crucial. Suggestions on the choice, the preservation of the quality, the risk of deterioration, the correct use. A short but fundamental handbook to avoid mistakes

Luigi Caricato


Olive oil and table olives in 2015/16

The analysis of the market data for the 2014/15 and 2015/16 crop years and the changes with respect to the estimates released in November 2015

International Olive Council


How I judge an oil

Panel members responsible for the sensory analysis of an oil use a different appraisal method from that employed by the members of a jury panel, passing from an analytical assessment to a more hedonistic one. In many respects, oil competitions are similar to beauty pageants. The appreciation of an extra virgin oil may vary from jury to jury

Lorenzo Cerretani

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Olive growing in Iran

This month we will be focusing on olive cultivation in Iran, a country that is a Member of the International Olive Council since January 2004 and which will be hosting the 47th meeting of the IOC Advisory Committee on Olive Oil and Table Olives and a regional seminar on quality, marketing and biodiversity, both scheduled to take place in Tehran on 16 and 17 May 2016

International Olive Council


Trends in World table olive consumption

During the 25 years between the 1990/91 and 2015/16 seasons, world consumption of table olives increased 2.8 times. In 2015/16, the world’s top ten consumers were Egypt, Turkey, Algeria, the United States, Spain, Syria, Italy, Brazil, Iran, France and Russia. Looking at the countries in the European Union, we find that table olive consumption has risen by 70.6 pc

International Olive Council


New World oil presses forward

The US has always tried to excel in every field. California now seems to want to replicate the success it had with wine. If this is the case, no doubt it will succeed. They are executing a well-laid strategy, and leaving nothing to chance. After breaking with the International Oil Council, the US intends to fight Europe’s hegemony. In this respect, Italian companies are particularly vulnerable, since they often find themselves under the eye of the anti-fraud units. In perspective, we, who have unwittingly been the most helpful in paving California’s road to success, will be the ones who will presumably lose the most.

Massimo Occhinegro


Trends in World Olive Oil consumption

World consumption of olive oil increased 1.8 fold in volume between 1990/00 and 2015/16. As can be seen from Chart 1, this upward movement has been located primarily in non-IOC member countries whose share of world consumption climbed from 11 pc to 24 pc between the start and end years of the reporting period. In 2015/16, the volume of olive oil consumed at world level looks set to be around 4.6 pc higher than in 2014/15

International Olive Council

Choosing the right container

Which are the best containers for storing extra virgin olive oil, and for retail purposes in particular? What are the best materials? What should we look for? How do we clean these vessels? Packaging is a critical factor, because oil cannot be sold unbottled on the retail market

Lorenzo Cerretani, Giovanni Lercker, Stefano Cerni, Luigi Mengucci


Olives on display

An exhibition devoted to the “gentle mothers of oil”, as poet Vivian Lamarque defined olives in her celebrated acrostic published in “L'Aria dei Messapi”. The pictures taken by Fabio Lazzari depict fourteen varieties olive trees that are native to Apulia, a region in southern Italy

Olio Officina


Trends in US olive oil imports: bulk and packaged

Over the last two decades, US imports of olive oil and olive pomace oil have increased almost two and a half times, rising from 125 000 t in 1993/94 to 311 000 t in 2014/15

International Olive Council


The olives on the market

Many are the types of olives lining the supermarket shelves or on sale in the stands and stalls of country markets. They come in all shapes and sizes: cured, uncured, dehydrated, dried, black and so-called special olives

Maria Carla Squeo