New analytical methods for quality & authenticity of olive oil

OLEUM provides an opportunity for laboratories to take part in international method validation studies on the latest methods for assuring the quality and authenticity of olive oil.


A key part of the Oleum project ( is developing new methods for measuring the quality and authenticity of olive oil. These are needed to improve the efficiency of existing methods and procedures but also to detect some of the more sophisticated frauds that are taking place today. Oleum will shortly begin the final stage of this work, i.e. the formal validation of these new procedures so that they can be used with confidence by laboratories and control authorities.


The analytical methods to be studied in the interlaboratory trial will address the following areas:


  1. Polar phenol analysis used for validation of olive oil health claims
  2. Improved methodology for sterols targeting illegal olive oil blends
  3. Improved methodology for fatty acid ethyl esters targeting illegal olive oil blends
  4. Sensory and volatiles analysis for quality and authenticity of olive oil


Who can join? Laboratories that have analytical capabilities and interest in the analysis of olive oil. A separate document with minimum requirements in terms of instrumentation and other resources for every method will be provided. Laboratories can participate in the trials by applying one or more methods.


Why join? Laboratories will receive free training and improve their analytical skills. They will also gain early access to methods that will potentially be used as international standards in the quality and authenticity of olive oil.


When? The validation is designed in two stages. The ‘pre-trial’ will take place from Autumn 2019 with the ‘trial proper’ taking place from Winter/early Spring 2020. A separate schedule and additional information will be provided for every method.


What is expected? If you take part, assuming you have the capability and instrumentation, you will be sent preliminary test materials (pre-trial) together with the standard operating procedure of the new method(s). You will also be invited to a one-day free workshop (taking place in October or December, depending on the method) to get additional training to discuss the results and the method used. The laboratories will then sent a set of “blind” samples to test (‘trial proper’) that will produce the formal method performance characteristics that will be used to justify the procedure suitable an official method.


For more information contact (Tassos Koidis ( or visit the OLEUM Network Basecamp site at


Method 1: Phenols analysis

Method 2: Sterols analysis

Method 3: Fatty acids ethyl ester analysis

Method 4a: Targeted volatiles analysis

Method 4b: Untargeted volatiles analysis

Method 4c: Sensory Analysis

Sensory Panel for virgin olive oil assessment, recognized by national ministries and/or IOC