NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) AgEnviro Labs Oil Testing Service in Wagga Wagga has obtained accreditation from the International Olive Council (IOC) for the organoleptic (sensory) and chemical analysis of olive oil, enabling it to grant extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) status.
DPI AgEnviro Labs leader Belinda Taylor said the accreditation is valuable in supporting the Australian olive industry, as the only lab in Australasia with this accreditation.
“The IOC Accreditation recognizes that DPI’s AgEnviro Labs oil analysis service meets international industry analysis standards adopted by the IOC, which aim to regulate the quality, purity and authenticity of commercially available olive oils,” Taylor said. “With a tasting panel trained to IOC standards to undertake sensory analysis of olive oils, this means that olive oil producers and exporters olive have access to a qualified independent local laboratory to determine extra virgin status or whether the products meet export standards.
“Accreditation reinforces for olive oil growers, producers and exporters that the data extracted through laboratory assessment is quality assured. DPI AgEnviro Labs is delighted to be able to continue supporting the Australian olive oil industry by offering both olive oil chemistry and sensory analysis.
Analyzing the chemical profile of the olive oil or olives determines the quality of the product, while oils undergoing organoleptic or sensory evaluation ensure that the oil meets the requirements of the EVOO standard.
“Edible oils, olives and oilseeds are unique products, the quality of which is influenced by a variety of factors, including variety, maturity of the fruit or oilseed, time of harvest, processing technology, management of groves, climate and storage conditions,” Taylor said.
“Using their trained palates, the sensory analysis panel determines the extra virgin status of the olive oil by evaluating any volatiles or defects in the oil, including taking into account the odors emitted by the olive oil. ‘oil. Other defects analyzed include sour taste, evident by a swampy taste produced from over-fermented olives; musty which is the presence of mold on the olives; and the rancidity of old oxidized olives. The most common defect identified during extra virgin evaluation is evidence of rancidity.
NSW DPI AgEnviro Labs Oil Testing Service is also accredited by the National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) and the American Oil Chemists’ Society (AOCS). Additionally, it is a reference laboratory for industry bodies including the Australian Oilseed Federation (AOF) and the Australian Olive Association (AOA).
DPI AgEnviro Labs IOC accreditation is valid from December 1, 2021 to November 30, 2022.
Inquiries about olive oil testing can be made by calling DPI AgEnviro Labs at Wagga Wagga on (02) 6938 1999. Further information on DPI AgEnviro Labs’ suite of testing services, including the soil health, water quality, plant nutrition and feed quality, can be found by visiting www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/labs.