OLIVE OIL BENEFITS IN HEALTH AND COOKING
The Menus of Change conference, part of a joint initiative of the International Olive Council (IOC) and the Culinary Institute of America (CIA), took place in Napa Valley, CA, from 18 to 20 April 2023.
The breakout session A2 focused on ‘Olive Oil and the Plant-Forward Kitchen: Strategies and techniques for leveraging Flavour in Mediterranean-Inspired Cooking’. The session was attended by representatives from the US olive oil sector, and the IOC was represented by the Head of the Standardisation and Research Unit, Dr Mercedes Fernández Albaladejo.
Dr Fernández presented the IOC’s activities and objectives, in particular relating to standardisation, quality and health, olive oil in food and olive oil tasting.
Dr Fernández led a tasting session where participants had the opportunity to taste the award-winning olive oils from the Mario Solinas Quality Award 2022 following the IOC method for the organoleptic assessment of virgin olive oil (COI/T.20/Doc. No 15).
This conference, part of the joint initiative ‘Olive Oil and the Plant-Forward Kitchen: Strategies and techniques for leveraging Flavour in Mediterranean-Inspired Cooking’, falls under a multi-year collaboration agreement signed between the IOC and the CIA. The project aims to create flavour-matching strategies to help chefs move beyond a one-size-fits-all approach to olive oil. This initiative will help chefs build flavour portfolios with a variety of oils that meet different needs in their kitchens and on their menus, ultimately leading them to make healthier, more sustainable menu choices. More information can be found on the CIA’s website.
Some of the objectives under this agreement are to continue to disseminate scientific information, in particular on IOC standards and the physico-chemical, organoleptic and nutritional characteristics of olive products; to encourage technology transfer, research, education, harmonisation and the dissemination of information on the importance of olive oil and its impact on society; and to increase and improve technical knowledge about olive oil and quality through culinary influencers in the US.
A meeting was also held for guests attending in-person and through videoconference to discuss the needs of the US olive sector, its progress and other topics of interest, such as standards in the US.
More information can be found on our website.