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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’
    organoleptic properties;
  • Determination of oil profile or style: Mild, Medium or
  • Detection of defects ;
  • Early detection of rancidity.

    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.

What are the benefits of a Sensory

    Olive oil producers interested in the expert opinion of a
    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
    organoleptic dimensions

What information does a Sensory
Report provide?

    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?

    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:

How can you obtain a Sensory

    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
    busy periods).

Further Questions?

    Please Contact us for any questions or if you have special
Strictly Olive Oil logo

Strictly Olive Oil
Quotes from

“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
high temperature.”

“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


Olive oil tasting glasses
Olive oil tasting for sensory assessment
Olive oil bottle
Nancy Ash awarded
the Pioneer Award

We warmly congratulate
Nancy on receiving this key
award for her pioneering
work in the California olive
oil industry.

View the article
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Services Summary

Olive Oil Chemical Analysis

Olive Oil Sensory Analysis

For Growers and Mills

Variety Identification

Disease Diagnosis
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Durham, CA 95938
Phone/Fax 530-924-4789

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