German taster, creator of the World's Best Olives Oils, Heiko Schmidt comments IOC's new requirements

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The International Olive Council (IOC) published during May an open letter to the organizers of olive oil awards lo let them know that they plan to support those contests that met minimum requirements regarding sample representativeness and the skills of judges. Some of the most prestigious Spanish experts and tasters and organizers of several of the most recognized international competitions in the sector offered Spanish magazine Mercacei their particular views on the initiative.

German taster, creator of the World's Best Olives Oils, Heiko SchmidtNow it is the German taster, creator of the World’s Best Olives Oils, Heiko Schmidt who offers his opinion on the matter.

The first aim of contests should be promoting the consumption of extra virgin olive oil, letting consumers know what are the best juices of each campaign and rewarding that way producers year after year in their strive for perfection and excellence in the development of our beloved olive juice.

Having said this, I want to emphasize the views that have expressed my friends and taster teammates Juan Ramón Izquierdo, Mª Paz Aguilera and Marino Uceda, three of the most experienced people in sensory analysis of EVOO and whom I owe most of my knowledge on the subject.

Any producer, with the necessary knowledge and equipment, is theoretically capable of producing a small batch of 1,000 l. of unparalleled quality. This referes to what my friend Juan Ramón called a “design oil”, which is also aimed at achieving the highest possible score on the criteria established in the tasting profile of contests. However, this “design oil” is not what we want, since it does not reflect the rest of the production. The real challenge and accomplishment is to produce the maximum amount of juice of excellent quality, as we get from the 25 leaders of our global ranking. They are all produced in one and five uniform batches of between 50 and 150 thousand kilos with the desired characteristics. So I defend with all my heart the criterion of minimum production of a homogeneous batch of 3,000 l. requested by the IOC.

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