Here we explain what we consider the most important points about labeling, for both obligatory or optional elements.
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Virgin olive oil
- Lampante olive oil
- Refined olive oil
- Olive oil
- Crude olive pomace oil
- Refined olive pomace oil
- Olive pomace oil
- In addition to the sales description, but not necessarily next to it is the following information about oil categories:
a) extra virgin olive oil: superior olive oil obtained directly from olives by mechanical means only
b) virgin olive oil: olive oil obtained directly from olives by mechanical means only
c) olive oil: contains only refined olive oil and virgin olive oil, i.e., oil that contains only olive oils that have been treated or refined mixed with oils extracted directly from olives.
d) olive pomace oil: made from oil that has been extracted from treated leftover olive pulp mixed with oil extracted directly from olives. In other words, oil made from olive pomace mixed with oils obtained directly from olives.
On the label of extra virgin olive oil and virgin olive oil, there will be a designation of origin (geographic place name).
On the label of olive oil and Olive pomace oil there is no designation of origin. For the purposes of the current regulations “designation of origin” is understood to be the geographic place named on the package o the label.
The designation of origin contemplated in this section will consist only of the following:
a) in the case of olive oils originating from a member State or other country, what is specified is the name of the Member State, European Union or other third party country, as appropriate.
b) in the case of olive oil blends from more than one Member State or third party country, the designation of origin will consist of one of the following, as appropriate:
B.1 “blend of olive oils originating from the European Union” or a reference to the EU.
B.2 “blend of olive oils not originating from the European Union” or a reference to the non-EU origin.
B.3 “blend of olive oils from European Union and non-European Union countries” or with a reference to the place of origin within the EU as well as the non-EU origin.
c) Protected Designation of Origin or Protected Geographical Indication according to the (CE) Ordinance no. 510/2006, in accordance with the provisions of the product conditions in question. February 2015 label regulations and health marking requirements of food products in Spain and the European Union.
3. The Designation of Origin which refers to a Member State or European Union will correspond to the geographical area where the olives in question were harvested and where the mill that extracted the oil from the olives is located. In the case where the olives are harvested in one Member State or third party country that is not in the same region where the mill that extracts the oil is located, the Designation of Origin will state the following:
“(Extra) Virgin olive oil obtained in (the European Union or Member State in question) from olives harvested in (the European Union, Member State or third party country in question)”
4. Among the optional indications that may appear on the olive oil label, those indicated here are obliged to conform to the following:
a) “first cold pressing” may be used only with extra virgin or virgin olive oil extracted at less than 27º C, through a first mechanical pressing of the olive paste via a traditional hydrolic press process.
b) “cold extraction” will be stated only for extra virgin or virgin olive oil obtained at less than 27º C by way of filtration or centifugation of the olive paste.
c) Indications for the organoleptic characteristics in reference to flavor or aroma will only be stated for virgin or extra virgin olive oil; the terms listed in point 3.3 of annex XII of (CEE) Ordinance no. 2568/1991 may only be stated on the label if they are based on the results of an evaluation carried out according to the method prescribed in this annex.
d) The indication of acidity or maximum acidity can only be stated if it is shown, in the same visual space and with the same size lettering, accompanied by the values forc peroxides, wax content and ultraviolet absorption, determined in compliance with (CEE) Ordinance no. 2568/1991-
5. In the case of when a blend of olive oil (extra virgin olive oil, virgin olive oil, olive oil, or olive pomace oil) with other vegetable oils is stated on the label apart from the list of ingredients (be it through words, images or illustrations), the sales designation of the blend will be the following: “Blend of vegetable oils (or specific name of the vegetable oils) and olive oil” immediately followed by the % of olive oil in the blend. It is only allowed to state the presence of olive oil on the label in the blends mentioned in the first paragraph (?) (mejor: above) through images or graphic representation if the percentage is more than 50%. The Member States are allowed to prohibit the production of blends of olive oil (contemplated above) with other vegetable oils in their territory for internal consumption. Nevertheless, they are not allowed to prohibit the sale in their territory of such blends that originate in other countries, nor are they allowed to prohibit the production of such blends in their territory which aim to sell it in a different Member State or to export it.
6. Only the following oils may be sold at retail: Extra virgin olive oil, Virgin olive oil, Olive oil and Olive pomace oil.
7. Oils will be presented to the end customer in packaging of 5 liters maximum. The package should have a closure system that loses its integrity after it is first used, and a label that conforms to articles 3 to 6. However, in the case of oil sold for consumption in restaurants, hospitals, cafeterias and other like centers, the Member States can establish a capacity over 5 liters depending on the type of establishment in question.
8. There should be information on the package itself or on a label regarding best conditions for oil conservation such as keeping it away from heat and protecting it from light.
9. Indication of harvest date can be stated only when 100% of the contents come from that harvest.
10. The net content should be indicated according to the metric system (units of “Système international”) in units of obligatory volume information.
11. Sanitary Registration (No.R.S.I…): this information is obligatory, to guarantee health compliance.
12. Business information: Information of the business that packages the product. This information is obligatory.
13. “Best consumed by” date: This is the date after which the product loses its proper characteristics. After this date there is no danger to health but there is a loss of product quality. Obligatory.
Olive Oil School of Spain
Translation: Susan Hoover.