Olive Oil Sensory Analysis
We provide sensory assessment (analysis) of olive oil by an
expert olive oil taster.
What is Sensory Assessment?
Sensory Assessment is intended to provide an expert
taster’s assessment of the oil in areas critical for
producers and marketers:
- Marketing language descriptive of the oils’
- Determination of oil profile or style: Mild, Medium or
- Detection of defects ;
- Early detection of rancidity.
What are the benefits of a Sensory
Our Sensory Assessment provides critical, cost-effective
information to assist in product characterization and
differentiation for marketing and risk management. It is
not intended to replace the sensory analysis by a tasting
panel (8 to 12 tasters), required by the International Olive
Council (IOC) and the US Department of Agriculture
(USDA) for assessing quality.
Olive oil producers interested in the expert opinion of a What information does a Sensory
trained taster can use this information to properly rate oil
style (mild, medium or robust) and/or anticipate defects
that may be found when the oil is presented to a full
tasting panel, as it happens during a competition.
Olive oil importers may benefit from this information when
sourcing from new suppliers, obtaining not only the
standard chemical quality profile, but also insight into
defects, possible rancidity and the organoleptic attributes
that are likely to impact consumer choice.
Olive oil merchants may sample their existing inventories
to perform due diligence in anticipation of problems with
transportation, storage and aging. Spot checks could be a
component of a comprehensive risk management strategy.
Olive oil producers, importers and marketers will benefit
from language describing their product in terms that
differentiate it and resonate with sophisticated consumers
seeking to optimize food paring or simply explore new
The sensory assessment report contains three sections:
Negative Attributes (i.e. defects), Positive Attributes and
Positive and negative attributes are assigned numerical
ratings from 0 to 10 to indicate attribute intensity, as
dictated by the International Olive Council.
The Descriptive section covers flavor and aroma attributes
that characterize the sample in language commonly used
by the olive oil tasting community.
Who performs the Sensory Assessment?
How can you obtain a Sensory
The sensory assessment is performed by Nancy Ash, a
recognized olive oil tasting expert with extensive
experience in multiple tasting panels over many years.
Nancy is owner of Strictly Olive Oil, a consulting company
offering marketing services for olive oil producers and
tasting seminars for consumers. As a taster and
internationally certified Taste Panel Leader, Nancy has
taught tasting seminars to groups large and small, and
has also served as a panel judge and lead judge at
several olive oil competitions.
For further information see Strictly Olive Oil’s website:
Agbiolab provides sensory assessment in conjunction with
the chemical analysis required to determine quality and
grade. You can request sensory assessment by checking
the corresponding box in the submission form you will
enclose with your samples. (Get a Submission Form)
Sample size should be 250 ml or larger.
Note that the sensory analysis is performed “blind” to
avoid influencing the result with information about the oil,
such as its origin (i.e. domestic or imported), olive
varieties in the oil, or possible age of the sample.
Turnaround time for chemical and sensory analyses is
usually 5-7 business days (10 business days during very
Please Contact us for any questions or if you have special
Strictly Olive Oil
“Mild aroma intensity with
light floral, nutty,
earthy/dusty and ripe olive
characteristics. Flavor was
nutty and buttery.
Mouthfeel was slightly
greasy. Oil seemed “tired”
(was it 2009 harvest?) and
perhaps milled using too
“If a full panel (at least 8
tasters) agreed with above
assessment, the slight
flavor defect would mean
that it would be a Virgin
and not Extra Virgin grade
|Nancy Ash awarded
the Pioneer Award
We warmly congratulate
Nancy on receiving this key
award for her pioneering
work in the California olive
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