Daily Archives: January 2, 2015

  • Expert Corner: Olive Oil Sensory Evaluation

    By examining the sensory properties, Extra Virgin Olive Oil is judged according to the characteristics of its odor and taste, assessing its strengths and weaknesses.

    The oil is infact equipped with complex sensory properties comprising of about 200 compounds that cause the different aromas.

    A standardized procedure is coded by the EU Regulation 796/2002 which sets out the parameters by which the assessment must be carried out.

    To evaluate the sensory properties of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, a panel of 8-10 tasters is established. This number is sufficient to make an objective assessment of the presence and intensity of either positive or negative sensations.

    The average threshold of a group composed in this way is regarded as a representative of the whole population.

    Each taster within the group, kept isolated and independent, in a single, special and instrumented cabin, shall proceed to the tasting analysis by following a coded card which contains two lists: one with negative attributes, i.e, most common sensory defects in olive oil, and one with positive attributes. For example, the perception of the presence and intensity of the fruity aroma, bitter and spicy nuances that make it more or less harmonious. The assessor then points out in card the intensity with which he perceives the merits and defects of the oil.

    The “flavor” is the joint feeling of olfactory, gustatory and tactile characteristics
    The test is divided into two phases: the olfactory and tasting analysis.

    During the olfactory analysis, after having brought the oil to about 27 degrees centigrade, it is sucked deeply with both nostrils several times.

    Through a scale of increasing values (mild, medium, intense, very intense) the intensity of odors is measured.

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    The greenly fruit of extra virgin olive oil normally corresponds to the perception of the odor of healthy olive, fresh, taken at the right level of maturity, followed by feelings of green apple, fresh almonds, tomatoes, or more generally from flowers and herbs.

    In the tasting analysis, the extra virgin olive oil is put into the mouth and swirled to come into contact with the taste buds, without swallowing.

    It is essential to analyze the tactile sensations/feelings namely fluidity, consistency, unctuousity and above all the sweet, bitter and spicy sensations of taste.

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    Rating: 4.1/10 (21 votes cast)
    VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +6 (from 12 votes)
    By examining the sensory properties, Extra Virgin Olive Oil is judged according to the characteristics of its odor and taste, assessing its strengths and weaknesses. The oil is infact equipped with complex sensory properties comprising of about 200 compounds that cause the different... 
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  • Expert Corner: Judge The Olive Oil By Its Taste - The Sensory Dictionary for Olive Oil

    Positive Attributes

    Fruity: Set of olfactory sensations characteristic of the oil which depends on the variety and comes from sound, fresh olives, either ripe or unripe. It is perceived directly and/or through the back of the nose.

    Bitter: Characteristic primary taste of oil obtained from green olives or olives turning colour. It is perceived in the circumvallate papillae on the “V” region of the tongue.

    Pungent: Biting tactile sensation characteristic of oils produced at the start of the crop year, primarily from olives that are still unripe. It can be perceived throughout the whole of the mouth cavity, particularly in the throat.

    Optional Terminology For Labelling Purposes

    Upon request, the panel leader may certify that the oils which have been assessed comply with the definitions and ranges corresponding to the following adjectives according to the intensity and perception of the attributes.

    Positive attributes (fruity, bitter and pungent), according to the intensity of perception:
    – Intense, when the median of the fruitiness is more than 6;
    – Medium, when the median of the fruitiness is between 3 and 6;
    – Light, when the median of the fruitiness is less than 3.

    Fruity: Set of olfactory sensational characteristic of oil which depends on the variety of olive, comes from matured and fresh olives and in which neither green nor ripe fruitiness predominates. It is perceived directly and/or through the back of the nose.

    Greenly fruity: Set of olfactory sensational characteristic of oil which is reminiscent of the green fruit, depends on the variety of olive and comes from green, matured, fresh olives. It is perceived directly and/or through the back of the nose.

    Ripely fruity: Set of olfactory sensational characteristic of oil which is reminiscent of a ripe fruit, depends on the variety of olive and comes from matured, fresh olives, green or ripe. It is perceived directly and/or through the back of the nose.

    Well balanced: Oil which does not display a lack of balance for the olfactory, gustatory and tactile sensations. In such case the median of the bitter and/or pungent attributes is 2 (two) points higher than the median of the fruitiness.

    Mild oil: Oil for which the median of the bitter and pungent attributes is 2 or less

    Negative Attributes

    Fusty/muddy sediment: Characteristic flavour of oil obtained from olives piled or stored in such conditions as to have undergone an advanced stage of anaerobic fermentation, or of oil which has been left in contact with the sediment that settles in underground tanks and vats and which has also undergone a process of anaerobic fermentation.

    Musty-humid: Characteristic flavour of oils obtained from fruits which have been stored in humid conditions for several days and as a result large numbers of humid fungi and yeasts have developed on it.

    Winey-vinegary Acid-sour: Characteristic flavour of certain oil with reminiscent of wine or vinegar. This vinegar flavour is mainly due to a process of aerobic fermentation in the olives or in acid-sour olive paste left on pressing mats which have not been properly cleaned which leads to the formation of acetic acid, ethyl acetate and ethanol.
    Metallic: Flavour that is reminiscent of metals. It is characteristic of oil which has been in prolonged contact with metallic surfaces during crushing, mixing, pressing or storage.

    Rancid: Flavour of oils which have undergone an intense process of oxidation.

    Heated or burnt: Characteristic flavour of oils caused by excessive and/or prolonged burn/heating during processing, particularly when the paste is thermally mixed, especially if this is done under unsuitable thermal conditions.

    Haywood: Characteristic flavour of certain oils produced from olives that have dried out.

    Rough: Thick, pasty mouthful sensation produced by certain old oils.

    Greasy: Flavour of oil reminiscent of that of diesel oil, grease or mineral oil.

    Vegetable water: Flavour acquired by the oil as a result of prolonged contact with vegetable water which has undergone fermentation processes.
    Brine: Flavour of oil extracted from olives which have been preserved in brine.

    Esparto: Characteristic flavour of oil obtained from olives pressed in new esparto mats. The flavour may differ depending on whether the mats are made of green esparto or dried esparto.

    Earthy: Flavour of oil obtained from olives which have been collected with earth or mud on them and not washed.

    Grubby: Flavour of oil obtained from olives which have been heavily attacked by the grubs of the olive fly (Bactrocera oleae).

    Cucumber: Flavour produced when oil is hermetically packed for too long, particularly in tin containers, and which is attributed to the formation of 2, 6 nonadienal.

    Wet wood: Characteristic flavour of oils extracted from olives which have been injured by frost while on the tree.

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    Rating: 5.4/10 (17 votes cast)
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    Rating: +4 (from 4 votes)
    Positive Attributes Fruity: Set of olfactory sensations characteristic of the oil which depends on the variety and comes from sound, fresh olives, either ripe or unripe. It is perceived directly and/or through the back of the nose. Bitter: Characteristic primary taste of oil... 
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  • Recipe: Greek Walnut Spice Cake with extra-virgin olive oil

    A rich, flavorful syrup infuses this Mediterranean-inspired walnut coffee cake with the bright aroma of oranges and cloves. Heart-healthy olive oil and whole-grain barley flour add subtle complexity and texture to this nutty treat.

    Makes: 12 servings
    Active Time: 45 minutes
    Total Time: 2 hours

    NUTRITION PROFILE
    Low cholesterol | Low saturated fat | Low sodium | Heart healthy | High fiber |

    INGREDIENTS

    CAKE
    1 1/4 cups coarsely chopped walnuts, divided
    1 1/2 cups white whole-wheat flour (see Note)
    1/2 cup barley flour (see Note)
    2 teaspoons baking powder
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    2 large eggs, at room temperature
    3/4 cup packed dark or light brown sugar
    2/3 cup low-fat Greek yogurt
    2 teaspoons freshly grated orange zest
    1/2 cup orange juice
    1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

    SYRUP
    1/3 cup orange juice
    1/4 cup packed dark or light brown sugar
    1 small strip orange zest (1-by-1-inch)
    2 whole cloves

    PREPARATION
    To prepare cake: Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat an 8-inch-square glass baking dish with cooking spray and dust it with flour, shaking out the excess.
    Spread walnuts on a baking sheet and toast, stirring once halfway, until fragrant, about 7 minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool. Reduce oven temperature to 325°.
    Whisk whole-wheat flour (see Measuring Tip), barley flour, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, baking soda, nutmeg and salt in a large bowl. Whisk eggs and brown sugar in a medium bowl until thoroughly blended. Combine yogurt with orange zest and juice in a small bowl and stir until smooth; gradually whisk into the egg mixture along with oil. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients in 2 additions, stirring well in between until just blended. Fold in 1 cup of the walnuts. Spread the batter into the prepared pan.
    Bake the cake until a wooden skewer or toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached, 35 to 45 minutes.
    To prepare syrup: Meanwhile, combine 1/3 cup orange juice, 1/4 cup brown sugar, orange zest strip and cloves in a small heavy saucepan; bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring a few times. Adjust heat to maintain a simmer and cook until thickened, 4 to 5 minutes (you will have a scant 1/3 cup); remove the zest and cloves. Let cool.
    When the cake is done, transfer the pan to a wire rack. Using a toothpick, pierce the top in about 18 places and brush the syrup over the cake 3 or 4 times, allowing it to seep in each time. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup walnuts and let cool for 30 minutes; loosen the edges with a knife; cut into 12 squares. Enjoy warm or room temperature.
    TIPS & NOTES
    Make Ahead Tip: Store at room temperature under a cake dome or in an airtight container for up to 1 day.
    Ingredient notes: Barley flour has a mild yet distinct flavor, which some describe as slightly sweet and malty. Barley is high in fiber and has a low glycemic index. Look for it in the natural-foods section of large supermarkets or at natural-foods stores; it’s often available in bulk. Store in the freezer.
    White whole-wheat flour, made from a special variety of white wheat, is light in color and flavor but has the same nutritional properties as regular whole-wheat flour. It is available in large supermarkets and at natural-foods stores. (Or find it online from bobsredmill.com or kingarthurflour.com.) Store it in the freezer.
    Measuring tip: We use the “spoon and level” method to measure flours. Here’s how it is done: Use a spoon to lightly scoop flour from its container into a measuring cup. Use a knife or other straight edge to level the flour with the top of the measuring cup.

    NUTRITION
    Per serving: 294 calories; 14 g fat (2 g sat, 5 g mono); 36 mg cholesterol; 38 g carbohydrates; 18 g added sugars; 7 g protein; 3 g fiber; 215 mg sodium; 166 mg potassium.

    Nutrition Bonus: Iron (16% daily value), Vitamin C (15% dv).
    Carbohydrate Servings: 2 1/2
    Exchanges: 1 starch, 1 1/2 other carbohydrates, 2 1/2 fat

    Recipe source

    VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 4.7/10 (38 votes cast)
    VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +1 (from 17 votes)
    A rich, flavorful syrup infuses this Mediterranean-inspired walnut coffee cake with the bright aroma of oranges and cloves. Heart-healthy olive oil and whole-grain barley flour add subtle complexity and texture to this nutty treat. Makes: 12 servings Active Time: 45 minutes Total... 
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