Food for Life Spain

International course for panel leaders on the sensory analysis of virgin olive oil. IOC (Madrid), 21-25/9/2020

Dear Member representatives and assessors, The International Olive Council, intends to organise an international course for panel leaders on the sensory analysis of virgin olive oil in its headquarters from 21 to 25 September 2020 (provisional programme attached).

Please take into account that the date of this event may change depending on the progress of the pandemic. It is also possible that this course will take place by videoconference. This course is designed to respond to the need for technical officers with the requisite skills to lead an olive oil sensory tasting panel. According to the IOC method for the organoleptic assessment of virgin olive oil (COI/T.20/Doc. No 15/Rev. 8) “the panel leader must be a suitably trained person with an expert knowledge of the kinds of oils which he or she will come across in the course of their work. They are the key figure in the panel and responsible for its organisation and running. The work of the panel leader calls for basic training in the tools of sensory analysis, sensory skill, meticulousness in the preparation, organisation and performance of the tests and skill and patience to plan and execute the tests in a scientific manner”. Reading article 8.1. of this method is recommended (available on the IOC website).

This course is not suitable for persons with no organoleptic assessment experience. If your country would be able to run one or more olive oil tasting panels you are invited to nominate by 10 July 2020, in your order of preference, two prospective panel leaders or deputy panel leaders, whom you propose to participate in the course. These professionals or technicians must already be directly involved in the sensory analysis of virgin olive oil.

You also need to specify the location of the test room(s), equipped as specified in the IOC method, where the panel(s) will perform tasting sessions. As this course will be similar to the ones held previously by the IOC, previous participants may not be put forward as candidates for this course. By responding to this request, you will undertake to ensure that your country makes every necessary effort to support this/these olive oil tasting panel(s) and that it will participate in future IOC check tests under the panel recognition scheme.