Besides its technical cooperation duties, the Technical Division is also responsible for matters relating to olive oil chemistry and the setting of standards. Its tasks in this area include:
- Updating the IOC trade standard on a continuing basis and harmonising it with international olive oil standards;
- Searching for and developing chemical and sensory olive oil testing methods;
- Monitoring taste panel proficiency and laboratory competence through an IOC recognition scheme;
- Looking into the advisability of updating aspects of table olives;
- Drawing up quality guides for the olive oil and table olive industry;
- The arrangements for the annual Mario Solinas Quality Award.
According to the mandate it has been given under the International Agreement, one of the objectives of the IOC is to study and apply measures to harmonise national laws, in particular on the marketing of olive oil and table olives. This helps to speed up international trading and to detect different kinds of fraud and adulterations that could throw discredit on the product and upset the equilibrium on the international market.
HOW THE IOC CARRIES THROUGH THIS MANDATE IS BY IMPLEMENTING THE FOLLOWING STANDARDS-RELATED ACTIVITIES:
- Drawing up and updating the trade standard applying to olive oils and olive-pomace oils;
- Revising the trade standard applying to table olives in international trade;
- Preparing proposals to revise the Codex Alimentarius food standards;
- Developing quality management guides for the olive oil and table olive industries.
TRADE STANDARD ON OLIVE OIL
This standard fixes the physico-chemical and distinguishing quality and purity criteria of each designation (grade) of olive oil and olive-pomace oil that is mentioned in the Agreement. The IOC members are committed to prohibiting the use of any product designations other than those specified.
The trade standard also specifies the methodology for the collection and chemical analysis of samples. To find the most suitable tools for this purpose, the IOC draws on the collaboration of olive oil chemistry experts from its member countries who have helped to develop relevant methods. The IOC also collaborates with other international organisations and in some instances it refers to methods of analysis of the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) or the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) and the American Oil Chemists' Society (AOCS).
Lastly, the trade standard deals with other aspects, such as food additives, contaminants, hygiene, packing, pack fill tolerances and labelling of olive oil and olive-pomace oil.
|DECISION No DEC-11/S.ex.23-V/2015 ON THE TRADE STANDARD APPLYING TO OLIVE OILS AND OLIVE-POMACE OILS (February 2015)|
|COI/T.15/NC No 3/REV. 8 2015 - TRADE STANDARD APPLYING TO OLIVE OILS AND OLIVE-POMACE OILS (February 2015)|
|RESOLUTION NO RES-1/93-IV/05 ON THE DETECTION OF POLYCYCLIC AROMATIC HYDROCARBONS IN EDIBLE OLIVE OILS AND OLIVE-POMACE OILS|
TABLE OLIVE STANDARDISATION
Another aspect of IOC standards-related work entails revising the trade standard applying to table olives in international trade and fixing the definitions and requirements for all the different trade types of olives. It also involves revising the Codex Alimentarius standard for table olives since it is essential to regulate the quality criteria of the olives intended for international trade.
|RESOLUTION NO RES-2/91-IV/04 ON THE TRADE STANDARD APPLYING TO TABLE OLIVES|
|TRADE STANDARD APPLYING TO TABLE OLIVES|
The IOC also puts forward proposals to revise the Codex Alimentarius food standards for olive oils and olive-pomace oils and for table olives to approximate them to the IOC trade standards.
It is extremely important that the Codex standard is in line with the IOC standard because the former is used by the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in the Agreements on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures and on Technical Barriers to Trade.
QUALITY MANAGEMENT GUIDES
Another prominent feature of IOC action is the development of recommended joint guides for the quality control of the olive oil industry (mills, refineries, packing plants and olive-pomace oil extraction plants) and the table olive industry.
The IOC has drawn up these guides in view of the importance of quality and safety rules for facilities where olive oils and olive-pomace oils are handled, processed and packed, and for table olive processing and packing plants.
|RESOLUTION NO RES-2/94-V/06 ON THE QUALITY MANAGEMENT GUIDES FOR THE OLIVE OIL AND OLIVE-POMACE OIL INDUSTRY|
|QUALITY MANAGEMENT GUIDE FOR THE OLIVE OIL INDUSTRY: MILLS|
|QUALITY MANAGEMENT GUIDE FOR THE OLIVE OIL INDUSTRY: PACKING PLANTS|
|QUALITY MANAGEMENT GUIDE FOR THE OLIVE-POMACE OIL EXTRACTION INDUSTRY|
|QUALITY MANAGEMENT GUIDE FOR THE OLIVE OIL INDUSTRY: REFINERIES|
|RESOLUTION NO RES-3/93-IV/05 ON THE QUALITY MANAGEMENT GUIDE FOR THE TABLE OLIVE INDUSTRY|
|QUALITY MANAGEMENT GUIDE FOR THE TABLE OLIVE INDUSTRY|
GUIDE FOR THE DETERMINATION OF THE CHARACTERISTICS OF OIL-OLIVES (Provisional):
The IOC decided to draw up a guide entitled Guide for the determination of the characteristics of oil-olives outlining provisional proposed guideline parameters and standard methods for producers and laboratories. The first chapter deals with the determination of the calculated processing yield of oil-olives and encompasses: characteristics of olives, olive pomace and vegetable water (fat content, moisture and dry residue); sampling (sampling methodology and sample collection in the field and at the mill); classic and innovative methods for calculating yield. The second chapter deals with the criteria for the determination of fruit ripeness.
|DECISION Nº DEC-17/99-V-2011 - GUIDE FOR THE DETERMINATION OF THE CHARACTERISTICS OF OIL-OLIVES|
|COI/OH/DOC. 1 -GUIDE FOR THE DETERMINATION OF THE CHARACTERISTICS OF OIL-OLIVES|