Sensory attributes of olive oil
Main positive characteristics:
Fruity: A fruity oil carries certain flavours and aromas that remind us of fresh, healthy fruit, and is obtained from optimally ripe olives.
Bitter: This aroma is characteristic of oils obtained from green olives or olives changing colour. It may be more or less pleasant, depending on its intensity.
Spicy: This sharp peppery sensation is typical of oils obtained from early-harvested green olives. This burning sensation is induced by phenolic compounds in olive oil stimulating the trigeminal nerve endings in the oral cavity.
Main negative characteristics:
Rancid: This taste is typical of fats and oils that have undergone oxidation due to prolonged contact with oxygen.This flavour is unpleasant and irreversible.
Metallic: This metal-like taste is characteristic of oils obtained from fruits that have had prolonged contact with metal surfaces during crushing, mixing, pressing or storage.
Musty or mouldy: This taste is characteristic of oils obtained from unhealthy or fermented olives that have undergone excessive storage in humid conditions and have developed a large number of fungi and yeasts.
Heated or burnt: This taste is characteristic of oils that have undergone excessive or prolonged heating during processing stored.
Winey – vinegary: A high acidic taste that reminds us of wine or vinegar. It is mainly due to the formation of acetic acid, ethyl acetate and ethanol in quantities greater than normal in the olive oil.