The scientific workshop on olive oil authentication, jointly organised by the European Commission's Directorate-General for Agriculture and the Joint Research Centre, Institute of Reference Materials and Measurements (Geel, Belgium) together with the International Olive Council, took place in Madrid on Monday 10th and Tuesday 11th June.
It gathered 22 worldwide experts working in the field of olive oil authentication.
The first day was divided into two sessions. The first one was devoted to the trade standards, regulations and fraud cases and the second one was focused on the state-of-art and challenges in olive oil authentication.
The second day was based on an interactive approach under which the participants were asked to discuss the ways to detect soft deodorisation and adulteration of olive oil to ensure its authentication.
This work will enable to prepare the terms of reference of the international research project on olive oil authentication which will be included in the research program of the European Union so-called Horizon 2020 in the period 2014-2020.
A call for research project on olive oil authentication should be launched by the end of this year/beginning of next year and will be open to EU Members States and any international cooperation in science and technology.
The European Union is the leading producer and consumer of olive oil, producing 73 % and consuming 66 % of the world's olive oil. To maintain and strengthen the position of olive oil in world markets, an action plan was presented in June 2012.
This action plan focuses on 6 axes, quality and control being the first one which covers, within the frame of a research programme, the determination of methods enabling the detection of fraudulent blends.
The workshop was a tool to allow preparing the terms of this research programme.