Avatar Placeholder
AOC de Provence Olive Oil
What is it when you are crushing olives by themselves that produces extra virgin olive oil, you throw in wedges of lemons into the crusher and now suddenly it is no longer extra virgin? It's the same darned olives.
Caivirgin is 100% correct. There is a difference between co-crushing fruit & olives than, taking a vial of lemon oil and pouring it into a tank of olive oil and calling it lemon infused.
The only proper way to make infused olive oil is to crush the herb or fruit with the olives, which as Calivirgin says is a lot of work. Co crushing means you are dealing with fresh fruit, the fruit you are using to aromatise the crushed olive paste and the fresh olives themselves. This is far different than just pouring various oils into olive oil and calling it infused.
Avatar Placeholder
Peter McFarlane
Whilst I share the authors concerns, rather than fight the usual IOC rear guard action, why not accept that flavoured 'olive oil' is popular with both consumers and producers, and work out how to constructively embrace this consumer trend. Respected Australian olive oil chemists advise that the chemical profile of a high quality infused or co-processed olive oil is practically indistingusable from that of EVOO, whereas it would be relatively easy to detect if the oil was flavour infused refined olive oil, or other food oil base. The problem is that there is NO legal / industry accepted standard for an infused or co-processed olive oil.
Quality and authenticity criteria established for the different grades of olive oil under AS5264-2011® don’t apply to flavoured, infused or Agrumato style olive oils. Once a flavouring or infusion has been applied (added) to any grade of olive oil, the product obtained doesn’t belong to any nationally (or internationally) recognised olive oil grade. Agrumato style olive oils are traditionally made from crushing citrus fruits with ripe olives – so strictly isn’t a natural olive oil, and can’t be described as Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Virgin Olive Oil or Olive Oil. Given that flavoured olive oil products can be made using EVOO, VOO or Refined olive oil - the main issue is how these are labelled so as not to mislead / deceive consumers? Under the Australian Standard for olive oil AS5264-2011®
Section (part) “When edible natural olive oils, refined olive oils or pomace oils are used as a principal ingredient of food, the labelling of the food product shall specify the grade of the oil used in accordance with clause (Grades of edible natural olive oils, refined olive oils and olive-pomace oils)”. Furthermore, under The Australian Olive Associations OliveCare Code of Best Practice program: Recommended terminology to be used with flavoured (Infused) olive oils.
XXXX (e.g.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (or Virgin Olive Oil or Refined Olive Oil)
[XXXX] being optional descriptors
With the characterising ingredient (Lemon Infused) shown on a separate line in equal or larger type case as the oil grade. BACK LABEL:
Ingredients: Australian Extra Virgin Olive Oil (or other grades of oils), and (distilled) essence of (eg lemon), (as well as including
the normal nutrition panel, batch code and best before date). Recommended label terminology to be used for flavoured Agrumato style olive oils.
XXXX (e.g. Lemon) Agrumato [Style or traditional method] Olive Oil,
[Style or traditional method] being optional descriptors. Note: The use of grade terminology ‘extra virgin’ or ‘virgin’ is not permitted in the labelling of a Co-processed / Agrumato style
product given the oil was never of EVOO or VOO grade, nor is EVOO or VOO used as an ingredient to these
products. BACK LABEL:
Ingredients: Olives co- processed with XXX (eg fresh lemons),
(as well as including the normal nutrition panel, batch code and best before
date). Noting it will be a long and difficult process to educate producers of flavoured olive oil to adopt more acceptable labelling practices. Peter McFarlane
Australian Olive Association Ltd
OliveCare Code of Best Practice Administrator
Hide Replies 2
Avatar Placeholder
Okay, Peter but chemical verifications is only half the required analysis of the finished product for extra-virgin or virgin grade according to COI international standards (but not presumably the Aussie standard for flavoured oils). Is that right? Do you not agree that anything that says it’s extra-virgin should be subject to taste verification? For this reasons I agree with the article argument
Hide Replies 1
Avatar Placeholder
As someone who has been judging flavored olive oils in competition for years, I can say that taste tells a lot. It is a common misconception that adding flavor to defective oil will hide the defect. Not so. You will simply end up with flavored defective oil (and please, do not enter it in competition). And it is critical to recognize the point Mike Coldani makes about agrumato-style oils. They are difficult to make well, and are a product that deserves recognition as a culinary asset. Given what a struggle it is for many olive oil producers to be economically viable, I think well made and correctly labeled flavored olive oils are an absolutely legitimate part of a company's portfolio. What is missing is better regulation of labeling -- the Olive Care code is a good example of what needs to be widely adopted. It should be clear when an oil is infused and when it is co-milled with fresh fruit, vegetables or herbs. And the term Extra Virgin doesn't fly except as a back-label ingredient, and there we are penalizing the co-milled oils since the olive oil was never EVOO by definition (not fair).
Calivirgin olive oils
There is a huge difference between "flavored oils" and oils made in the agrumato method by crushing fresh produce together with olives. Flavor crushed oils need to be addressed in this article. As a company that makes 10+ flavored oils using fresh produce and consistently earning accolades in competitions I don't think you can compare the two. If done correctly; flavor crushed oils can have both a fresh olive oil taste as well as the fresh produce or herb flavor. We start our season making flavored oils. We are using our highest quality early season olives for this product and this is just a direction we decided to go in. Temperature and processing methods are the exact same as when we make our traditional extra virgin oil. As a olive miller I can tell you that making flavored oils this way is much harder than making regular extra virgin olive oil. There are so many more moving parts. Added moisture, coordination of the produce delivered, extensive cleaning only to name a few. When I get to just milling single varietals of olives it seems like a breeze. Don't get me wrong, I am a purist as well and I have a special place in my heart for a fantastic E.V. Picual or Ascolano but I have never felt like high quality flavor crushed olive oils have gotten the respect they deserve and at the end of the day they sell very well in today's market. Anyone can pour a bottle of essence or flavoring into an oil and slap a flavored label on it but there are a handful of millers out here that use a painstaking craft approach to making flavored oils and I guarantee the finished product has a "sense of freshness to it". I am thrilled that there is at least some news on flavored oils as even bad news is still news. - Mike Coldani Calivirgin Olive Oil
Hide Replies 2
Avatar Placeholder
Yes, but what he is saying and I agree too is that you should not say extra virgin on the front of the bottle because it is unverifiable (not to mention counter to international standards). On the back in the ingredients evoo can be listed - this is the correct way to not confuse
Hide Replies 1
Avatar Placeholder
can is be an ingredient?