Monthly Archives: April 2016

  • Applied Sensory Adds Certification Seal to Olive Oil Sensory Services

    Applied Sensory, LLC, a consulting company providing independent sensory evaluation services to the olive oil industry, is now offering EVOO certification seals as part of their extra virgin olive oil sensory services. The certification seal order form is now available for download on the Applied Sensory website. Olive oils submitted for either the Basic Sensory Evaluation or the Detailed Sensory Evaluation are eligible and must also be accompanied by a chemical analysis which indicates that the oil does not exceed the limits specified in recognized international standards.

    In offering this service, Sue Langstaff, sensory scientist and owner of Applied Sensory, explains that clients have been asking for a certification seal. “Olive oil producers would like to confirm to their customers that their product is indeed, extra virgin olive oil. Additionally, olive oil importers and marketers can use this guarantee to market their products to consumers and distinguish their oils from others.” Langstaff points out that certification seals signify that the oil has been evaluated by an independent third-party organization and these seals will help guide the consumer in their quest for extra virgin olive oils.

    Olive oil sensory analysis at Applied Sensory is conducted by the Applied Sensory Olive Oil Taste Panel (ASOOTP). This taste panel is comprised of scientifically trained and experienced olive oil judges and has been conducting sensory analysis of olive oil since it took over the UC Davis Olive Center’s taste panel and most of its membership in 2015. The ASOOTP participates in the Laboratory Proficiency Program through the American Oil Chemists’ Society (AOCS) and is the only commercial olive oil sensory panel in the US designated as “recognized” by this accrediting organization.

    Panel leader, Sue Langstaff, holds a Master’s degree in Food Science specializing in Sensory Science from UC Davis. She is an instructor for the Sensory Evaluation of Olive Oil Certificate Course conducted through the UC Davis Olive Center and is a professional judge at many international olive oil competitions. Sue is co-editor of the authoritative book Olive Oil Sensory Science, (Wiley/ Blackwell, 2014) and is the creator of The Defects Wheel for Olive Oil.

    For more information, contact Applied Sensory (www.appliedsensory.com) at (707) 344-0254 or by e-mailing info@appliedsensory.com.

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    Applied Sensory, LLC, a consulting company providing independent sensory evaluation services to the olive oil industry, is now offering EVOO certification seals as part of their extra virgin olive oil sensory services. The certification seal order form is now available for download... 
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  • EFSA research points to a possible solution for olive trees in Italy and France

    European Union research has confirmed what has been wreaking havoc on olive trees in Italy and France – and points to a possible solution.
    For the past two years, Europe’s olive groves have been battling ferocious invaders – pathogens that have destroyed thousands of olive trees in Italy and France.

    But this week, new findings have kindled hope that the EU can turn the tide in the olive battle.

    The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), based in the Italian city of Parma, announced Tuesday (30.04.2016) that it has finally mrssconfirmed the culprit.

    The bacterium Xylella fastidiosa is likely being transmitted via meadow froghoppers, an insect common to the affected areas.

    The findings also contained two items of good news for the fight against the pathogen.

    Some plants resistant

    Although Xylella has been known to also affect other commercially important crops – such as citrus, grapevines and stone-fruit – this particular strain does not appear to be affecting them. This will calm fears of the disease spreading to other crops.

    Perhaps more importantly, the research also suggests that some varieties of olive trees are resistant to the pathogen. If the finding can be confirmed by more testing, farmers could begin planting these types of trees.

    This news is, however, of limited use considering that olive trees can take up to 20 years to produce fruit.

    “The results from this project significantly reduce the uncertainties surrounding the risks connected to [this strain] for the EU territory and will help in the planning of future research,” said Giuseppe Stancanelli, head of EFSA’s Animal and Plant Health Unit.

    “Subsequent field and laboratory experiments will have to further explore the responses of Mediterranean olive, with the aim of identifying tolerant or resistant varieties that can be grown by farmers in the areas affected,” Stancanelli told DW.

    Decimating ancient groves

    The problem was first detected in the Italian region of Puglia in 2013.

    Italian authorities destroyed hundreds of trees – some of them ancient – to prevent the disease from spreading. This has angered olive farmers, due to their dependency on mature trees.

    In 2015, the infection was found to have spread to the southern French coast and the island of Corsica. There have been fears that it will spread to the important olive-growing region of Andalusia in Spain, but so far the pathogen has not been detected there.

    The EU is the largest producer (73 percent) and consumer (66 percent) of olive oil in the world. The outbreak is estimated to have caused a 20 percent increase in olive oil prices worldwide last year.

    The European Commission began research after the pathogen was initially identified in France, dedicating 7 million euros from the EU Horizon 2020 program to find out what was causing the outbreak.

    Calls for further support

    Copa-Cogeca, a Brussels-based farmers’ association, welcomed the development. But the group is calling for more funding to help the sector.

    “This is a very serious disease, and research needs to be stepped up to eradicate it,” said Amanda Cheesley, a spokesperson for the group.

    Cheesley also told DW that the association farmers who took eradication measures deserve compensation, “for their income losses so that they can make it through this difficult period.”

    The association wants the commission to analyze social costs in terms of job losses, economic consequences and environmental repercussions, and award compensation through the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy.

    Xylella fastidiosabacterium causes plants to display symptoms such as scorching and wilting of its foliage before dying. It acts on vessels to hinder the transport of water and nutrients within a plant.

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    European Union research has confirmed what has been wreaking havoc on olive trees in Italy and France – and points to a possible solution. For the past two years, Europe’s olive groves have been battling ferocious invaders – pathogens that have destroyed thousands of olive... 
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  • “Electronic Nose” To Expose Fraud Olive Oil

    Coop Italia has started using an anti-fraud “electronic nose” system to identify genuine – and fake – Italian olive oil through its aromatic digital print.

    Since 2013, Coop Italia’s Laboratory in Casalecchio di Reno has been using techniques able to read the DNA of at-risk products (such as meat and fish) and then determining if ingredients correspond to those declared by the supplier.

    The ‘Heracles’ system can best be described as an advanced gas chromatograph combined with a powerful statistical analysis software.

    The tool “sniffs” the characteristic volatile substances emitted from each raw material or product and then attributes a specific identity card or “fingerprint”.

    In this way it is possible to distinguish a conforming food from one that is adulterated.

    For example, Heracles can be used to assess the geographical origin of analyzed samples, and identify plant varieties used in different products (such as olives from different Italian regions).

    After a year of routine analyses, Heracles is now being used to verify the origin of extra virgin olive oil being supplied for Coop Italia’s private label brand “100% Italiano”, thus protecting consumers from possible scams.

    About 4 per cent of the 300 analyzed samples of “100% Italian” olive oil did not pass the test and additional controls to prevent this are now being put in place.

    Coop Italia has already extended the Heracles system to other products at risk of counterfeiting, such as honey.

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    Coop Italia has started using an anti-fraud “electronic nose” system to identify genuine – and fake – Italian olive oil through its aromatic digital print. Since 2013, Coop Italia’s Laboratory in Casalecchio di Reno has been using techniques able to read the DNA of... 
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  • The ImPressed Olive introduces gourmet olive oil as an everyday cooking tool

    Gourmet olive oil isn’t just reserved for hostess gifts and special occasions. In fact, it’s even more accessible, and delicious, than ever. With all the talk of non-olive ingredients in certain imported olive oils, it’s nice to know that there are places close to home that can introduce you to 100% olive oils that run the gamut from extra virgin to Italian herbs natural flavor infused organic olive oil. If you think that’s a mouthful, you’re right… a mouthful of flavor. “What I do for folks who don’t know a lot is to have them sample milder olive oils to get used to the flavor profiles,” explains co-owner of the Suzanne Hall. “Then we’ll move up to the more robust flavors with layered profiles.

    Owners Suzanne and Joe Hall also offer infused balsamic vinegars, hot sauces, specialty foods and gifts for that foodie friend who’s already stopped by the newest restaurant in town. I’m sure they’d appreciate some Chocolate Balsamic Vinegar to accompany their soft cheeses, fruit, pastries, dessert, game meats and yogurt. Perhaps some Blood Orange brownie mix will spice up their dinner party. Then again, gifting some Florida Sea Salt Scrub in key lime sounds like a great way to exfoliate.

    The best part is if you’re unsure of how to use these oils, vinegars or sauces, Suzanne and Joe are on hand to help you out. “Our shop is set up as a tasting room, so you can taste everything before buying,” Suzanne says. They regularly host tastings and have plenty of ideas on how to use their products. “Our olive oils even have antioxident and anticancer properties. They are high in polyphenols, which helps to protect cells from turning into a cancer cells,” says Suzanne. “There’s also a compound in olive oil has anti-arthritic properties. You can even put some directly into dog food for a shiny coat.” So the next time you want to impress some dinner guests or just want to wake up your palate, the Halls have you covered.

    www.ImpressedOlive.com

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    Gourmet olive oil isn’t just reserved for hostess gifts and special occasions. In fact, it’s even more accessible, and delicious, than ever. With all the talk of non-olive ingredients in certain imported olive oils, it’s nice to know that there are places close to home... 
    Read More →