Grading Olive Oil

Olive oil grade labeling has been a controversial subject due to the high demand for olive oil and the common adulteration of oil.  Adulteration refers to mixing olive oil with products such as other vegetable oils, refined olive oil and olive pomace oil.  This practice has led to a growing mistrust among consumers as to what grade of olive oil they are purchasing.  Testing and enforcement of labels is crucial for ensuring consumers are buying products they believe they are buying; however only one country (Canada) requires and has legal repercussions for producers or distributors who are found to adulterate and mislabel their olive oil.  In 2012, USDA published a Grading Manual for Olive Oil, but testing is voluntary.  Most other countries follow the International Olive Oil Council (IOOC) standards, which follows a United Nations charter for olive oil quality and purity, but, again, testing is voluntary.

At KARMIRI Farms, we try to be as transparent as possible regarding the cultivation, harvesting, and pressing of our oil.  In the table below, we report the average values over the past few years of FFA and absorbency in ultraviolet (UV).  UV tests  measure the quality of the oil by determining the state of preservation and and changes to quality due to processing.  High values indicate oxidized and poor quality oil.  K232 and K270 refer UV absorption under two different UV wavelengths, while ΔK refers to the difference in absorption at wavelengths 264 and 274.  All these measures are compared to Ultra Premium (the highest quality standard) and several Extra Virgin Olive Oil grades from IOOC, USDA , Australia and the California Olive Oil Council (COOC).  KARMIRI oil falls well under all Extra Virgin grades and can be technically classified as an Ultra Premium Extra Virgin Olive Oil.  Note that these scores for KARMIRI are averages; for example, in 2013 our FFA score was 0.2, but in 2014 our FFA score was 0.5.  For each year we have recorded these tests, KARMIRI oil has never fallen below the Extra Virgin Olive Oil grade.

For more information, contact us at +1 443-739-9596 or email us at [email protected]

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