The Madrid headquarters of the International Olive Council was the venue for the first ever international IOC course for leaders of table olive tasting panels.
Twenty technical officers from a long list of countries [Algeria, Argentina, Croatia, European Union (Greece, Italy, Portugal, Slovenia and Spain), Iran, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Montenegro, Tunisia and Turkey] took part in the course, which lasted from 4 to 8 June 2012.
This training event was designed to equip future panel leaders with the technical and practical grounding they need to set up and manage a table olive tasting laboratory and to select tasters.
Participants went home with an understanding of many aspects:
- How the human perceptive system works and how it is applied to sensory analysis
- How to organise a tasting laboratory and to set up a tasting panel
- How to optimise panel organisation through taster motivation and leadership
- How to prepare the samples and handle the olives
- How to prepare reference samples of the taste, kinaesthetic and negative attributes
- How to classify table olives according to the IOC standard
- How to apply the IOC sensory analysis method as well as the prevailing rules and regulations
The IOC is already a pioneer in drawing up standards and methods for this type of testing. Now, through this course, it means to be a trailblazer in organising training courses for leaders of table olive panels.
A big thank-you goes to the team of experts – Andrea Giomo, Roberto de Andreis, Antonio Higinio Sánchez Gómez, Barbara Lanza, Juan Ramón Izquierdo, José Álvarez Calderón, Efstathios Panagou, Daniel Husson, among others – who did such an excellent job in helping to make the course come about.
We hope this initiative will be an additional tool for strengthening the knowledge base of the IOC Members and that it will bring consumers closer to the magical and often little known world of the sensory evaluation of olives.