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New EU regulations on olive oil
November 23 2022

New EU regulations on olive oil

Regulatory Update

Regulation on olive oil is needed because it is one of the most vulnerable food to food fraud. Olive oil is obtained from the fruits of Olea europaea L. (Oleaceae family) commonly known as the olive tree. It consists of 99% monounsaturated fatty acids (63-83%), saturated, polyunsaturated and a series of other compounds capable of positively influencing health (antioxidants…) and responsible for its exclusive organoleptic properties. (Hydrocarbons, tocopherols, polyphenols, alcohols, sterols, and pigments…).

Only a few foods have strong regulations such as those governing the classification, production, and marketing of olive oil, also because olive oil is one of the most vulnerable foods to food fraud. In the last 3 years there have been more than 170 cases of olive oil fraud due to substitution, dilution, mislabelling, counterfeiting and Grey market (Data source: Safety HUD) and for this reason, the European Union has recently issued two new regulations (in support of existing ones) for the protection of this precious food.

1) Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2022/2105 laying down rules on conformity checks of marketing standards for olive oil and methods of analysis of the characteristics of olive oil.  In particular, the Regulation lays down:

  • legal obligations of Member States about official controls of conformity.
  • the obligations of food business operators to monitor compliance.
  • sampling and analysis methods to determine the compositional and organoleptic characteristics of olive oils.
  • recognition of a panel of tasters.

2) Commission Regulation (EU) 2022/2104 about marketing standards for olive oil.  In particular, the regulation establishes the chemical-compositional and organoleptic characteristics of olive oil, the marketing standards (e.g. sales ranges, mixtures with other vegetable oils, use in foodstuffs…) and the labeling aspects (e.g. sales descriptions, mandatory/optional indications, oil category, storage conditions, origin, acidity, peroxide index…).  

Merieux NutriSciences support

As a provider of 360º solutions for the agri-food and distribution industries, Merieux NutriSciences provides up-to-date data on food alerts and frauds and current regulations for food matrices of interest.

Our laboratories are also able to provide a complete analytical service for the detection of fraud in extra virgin olive oil through different approaches combined with each other, based on specific needs:

  • Targeted analysis and testing of individual samples
  • Specific design of the experimental protocol according to the characteristics of fraud and customer needs (target and non-target screening)

Sources:

Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2022/2105 of 29 July 2022 laying down rules on conformity checks of marketing standards for olive oil and methods of analysis of the characteristics of olive oil

Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2022/2104 of 29 July 2022 supplementing Regulation (EU) No 1308/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards marketing standards for olive oil, and repealing Commission Regulation (EEC) No 2568/91 and Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 29/2012

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