A short guide to learn how to read and interpret the information on the label, so that you can recognize a good extra virgin olive oil.
1. Read the information on the label or on the can and make sure that the words “Olio Extra Vergine di Oliva Italiano” and the adjective characterizing (for example: fruity and sweet are present.
2. Identify the kind of farm: If it is an oil mill (e.g. Frantoio Oleario Pace) you can be sure that you bought directly from the producer. Otherwise, for example, if it is indicated Oleificio, firm or Rossi company, you could have bought oil from a company that only deals with marketing it and the origin of the product could be unknown.
3. The wording “Cold product” guarantees the use of low temperatures at all stages of the process. In this way you get a smaller quantity of oil but with a high quality.
4. Make sure that there’s a reference to the harvest campaign on the label and that it’s the one in progress. This is the only way you can be sure to consume fresh oil. If this is not indicated, you are buying an old oil.
5. The absolute certainty of quality and transparency in terms of traceability is ensured by the indications on each package of the batch and lot number and packaging date. The maximum values on the expiry date of: acidity, peroxides, K232, K268, Delta K and waxes are a guarantee of product quality up to the date shown.
6. Make sure that the varieties of processed olives are on the label: The variety of olives indicates the area of origin and the control over the entire supply chain, through the traceability and re-traceability system. Without this indication, the origin is uncertain.
7. The label must include the words ‘Produced and packaged by’ followed by the company name. This is the only way in which production, packaging and marketing are carried out in the same place and by the same company. This statement guarantees origin.
8. Product certification is a guarantee of control by an independent organisation and certifies that the oil respects the real characteristics indicated on the label until the expiry date.
9. The ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 certifications are aimed at the cold production of extra virgin olive oil, the development, production and marketing of olive oils. In order to achieve these goals, the company implements strict controls on all business processes, from the selection of raw materials to consumer satisfaction in full respect of the environment and the regulations in force.
10. The product warranty. The presence of this wording guarantees the consumer the possibility of replacement or refund.