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Olive Oil Analysis
We provide olive oil analyses for quality and grade according to
international and US trade standards.

What tests do we provide?

  1. Free Fatty Acid content (a.k.a. "Free Acidity")
  2. Peroxide Value
  3. Absorbency in Ultraviolet (UV); includes: K232, K270 and
    Delta K
  4. Total Phenol
  5. Specific polyphenols:Oleuropein and Hydroxytyrosol
  6. Fatty Acid Composition
  7. Pyropheophytin (a.k.a. PPPs)
  8. Diacylglycerol (DAGs)
  9. Sensory Analysis

    For convenience, the first three assays are grouped as
    the Quality Set (OSET), which includes Free Acidity,
    Peroxide Value and UV Absorbency

How to submit samples for analysis?

  1. Provide each sample in a 250 ml (or larger) container
  2. Label each sample to uniquely identify it; (Download 2x4
  3. Enclose a Submission Form ;
  4. On submission form indicate the desired services
  • Either individual tests OR a Set
  • Total Phenol
  • Sensory Analysis
  1. Enclose your payment for the analysis fees. (See Price

What analyses are required?

    International (IOC) and USDA standards to ascertain oil
    grade require sensory assessment by a tasting panel and
    three analytical tests: Free Acidity, Peroxide Value and
    Ultraviolet (UV) Absorbency.

    The California Olive Oil Council's (COOC) Extra Virgin
    Olive Oil Certification program requires for all producers
    a sensory analysis by a tasting panel, and the chemical
    tests indicated on the sidebar.

    The Olive Oil Commission of California (OOCC) requires
    the chemical tests indicated on the sidebar.

    The Los Angeles International Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    Competition requires Free Acidity and Peroxide Value.  

What do the analyses measure?

    Free Fatty Acid Content (FFA) is commonly called the
    “percent acidity” or “free acidity percent”. High values are
    a rough indicator of poor fruit quality or improper handling
    prior to milling. Free acidity arises with the hydrolytic
    breakdown of the oil. Free Acidity is  measured as percent
    (%) free fatty acids expressed as oleic acid, the
    predominant fatty acid in olive oil.

    Peroxide Value (PV) is a rough indicator of the amount
    of primary oxidation within the oil. A high value indicates
    that the olive fruit or paste was likely handled improperly.
    Olive oil with high peroxide value may not keep well.
    Peroxide is measured by a quantitative chemical analysis
    and is expressed as milliequivalent of free oxygen per
    kilogram of oil (meq O2/kg).

    Ultraviolet (UV) absorbency is an indicator of oxidation,
    especially in oils that have been refined. Measured with a
    spectrophotometer, the value of UV light absorbance at
    different wavelengths indicates the quantity of oxidized
    compounds present in the oil. Pomace and refined oils
    have higher values than virgin oils.

    Total Phenol (TPH) is the aggregate measure of
    polyphenol content in the olive oil or fruit. As polyphenols
    are a key antioxidant component in olive oil, Total Phenol
    is an indicator of the oil’s potential shelf life, its style and
    health benefits. Total Phenol in olive fruit before harvest
    can help select optimal harvest time to maximize
    polyphenol content in oil. Total Phenol is normally
    expressed as milligram equivalent of Gallic (or Caffeic)
    acid per kilogram of oil (mg/kg).

    Oleuropein and Hydroxytyrosol: these two polyphenols
    are the most abundant and have also been claimed to
    confer the health benefits of olive oil.

    Fatty Acid Composition: this is the detailed breakdown
    of the fatty acids present in the oil, which may help
    distinguish olive oil from other oils.

    Diacylglycerols (DAGs) measure the proportion of 1,2
    diacylglycerols in the oil, that decreases with storage,
    overtime. It correlates inversely  with the starting FFA
    content of the oil after milling.

    Pyropheophytin (PPPs) are the natural products of
    chlorophyl decomposition occurring during storage, and
    when oil is exposed to elevated temperatures, as in

    Sensory Analysis is the evaluation of an oil’s
    organoleptic attributes, which are appreciated through
    the senses of smell and taste. Sensory analysis is an
    essential part of evaluating olive oil quality. See Sensory
    Analysis of Olive Oil for more detailed information.

What analysis methods are used?
    We use analytical methods approved and recommended
    by The American Oil Chemists' Society (AOCS), an
    international professional scientific society.

Further Questions?
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US Department of Agriculture logo
US Standards

Olive Oil Commission of
California (OOCC

Producers over 5,000 gals:  
Insoluble Impurities,
Moisture and Volatiles
Callifornia Olive Oil Council logo
California Olive Oil
Extra Virgin
Olive Oil certification

Free Acidity less than 0.5%
Peroxide Value less than
15 meq O2 per kg of oil
Ultraviolet Absorbency
K 270 less than 0.22
K 232 less than 2.40
Delta K less than 0.01.

hen production size is:
• less than
5,000 gals:
FFA, PV and UV
• more than 5,000 gals:  
Insoluble Impurities,
Moisture and Volatiles
Los Angeles International Extra Virgin Olive Oil Competition logo
Los Angeles
International Extra
Virgin Olive Oil
these two tests
Free Acidity
less than 0.8%
Peroxide Value less than
20 meq O2 per kg of oil
Extra Virgin Olive Oil


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Olive Oil Chemical Analysis

Olive Oil Sensory Analysis

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