A quick

A quick “Olive Oil Sensory Analysis” lesson by MONOGRAM Team


1.Pour about 15ml of olive oil in a suitable cup or glass.

2.Hold the cup with one hand to warm up the sample and with the other one cover the cup

3.Swirl gently the cap or glass slightly in all directions to wet the inner surface with the olive oil in order to release the aromas.

3. (Olfactory test): Bring the glass to your nose and take deep short breaths. Sniff the sample to detect and evaluate the fruitiness and aroma. Is it pleasant? Is it fresh? Can you recognize any aroma like herds, fresh cut grass, tomato leaf, almond, banana etc?

4. (Buccal sensations): Take a small ship (3ml) of olive oil into your mouth. Take short inward breaths through your teeth to distribute the sample through the oral cavity. Do you notice any bitterness?

5. Finish by swallowing the oil and noticing if it leaves a stinging sensation in your throat (pungency).

Each of the above actions focuses our attention on a specific positive attribute in the oil. First we evaluate the olive fruit aroma (fruitiness) by inhaling from the glass. When the oil is in our mouths we further evaluate the aroma retro-nasally as well as determine amount of bitterness on our tongues. Lastly we determine the intensity of the oil’s pungency in our throats as we swallow it.
Both bitter and pungent are positive and closely related to the quality and healthy attributes of a good EVOO

Finally cleanse your palate with water, apple or plain bread for the next olive oil tasting

Perhaps you noticed that the oil’s color is not addressed during sensory assessment. The reason is that contrary to the common belief that the colour of an olive oil is a qualitative characteristics, color is NOT an indicator of either the oil’s flavor or quality. In fact, in scientific assessments, we sample from specially designed blue glasses that obscure the color of the oil. Tasting from a dark glass prevents us from having preconceptions about the flavor of the oil before we actually smell or taste it.

Ref: IOC/T.20/Doc. No 15/ Rev.10«Sensory analysis of Olive Oil- Method for the Organoleptic assessment of virgin olive oil