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Olive oil tips for professional buyers

Jul 14, 2015

Know the processKnow the process.
Evaluate whether processors observe minimal best practices:

  • Fresh, undamaged olives are processed as soon as possible after harvest.
  • The processing facility is clean and the equipment thoroughly washed daily.
  • Oil is settled for 24 to 48 hours prior to transfer to temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks for racking, storage and possible filtration.

Evaluate different olive oils and choose those that will meet customer needs. Retain samples of the oils selected and compare to the oils delivered.

Raise specifications.
Taste before buyingUC Davis studies show that olive oils usually pass the common chemistry standards (FFA, UV, PV) even when the oils are old and defective. Require the supplier to deliver only oil from the most recent harvest, to meet better chemical standards that have a higher correlation with flavor quality and freshness (DAGs and PPP) and insist upon an independent sensory panel analysis.

Test regularly.
A supplier’s certificate of analysis may not reflect whether the olive oil is old and defective. Choose a laboratory to conduct sensory panel, DAGs, PPP, FFA, UV, and PV tests to get an independent assessment of quality. Test oil upon delivery or randomly throughout the year.

Store cool.
Test regularlyIdeal warehouse storage temperature is 59 °F to 64 °F (15 °C to 18 °C). Warmer storage conditions will accelerate the deterioration and shorten the shelf life of the olive oil.

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Check out our best practices, review UC Davis olive publications from 1885 to the present, and access essential UC resources for olive growing and processing.

UC Davis Olive Center

The UC Davis Olive Center is a self-funded university/industry coalition that seeks to do for olives what UC Davis did for wine.

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