Why does olive oil need a quality monitoring program?
It can be confusing to consumers to understand the differences in olive oil. By
working with USDA and utilizing a testing protocol that adheres to the voluntary
U.S grade standards for olive oil and is harmonized with International Olive Council
(IOC) criteria, we are helping consumers better distinguish between products and
make informed decisions.
Is there a quality control problem with the production and bottling of olive
The challenge is ensuring that a bottle of extra virgin olive oil really is extra
virgin olive oil. There have been situations where this is not the case. There can
also be instances when definitions of “extra virgin olive oil” differ.
How does the Quality Monitoring Program for olive oil verification benefit Pompeian?
It helps Pompeian inform consumers about the quality of the olive oil produced under
the program. In addition, consumers will benefit from knowing the extra virgin olive
oil they purchase has the quality and purity they expect. The Quality Monitoring
Program also benefits the entire olive oil industry because it offers a new option
for objective, third-party verification.
How will products produced under the program be identified?
Pompeian will include the USDA the Quality Monitoring Program for olive oil logo
on labels of its extra virgin and organic extra virgin olive oil bottles.
What is Pompeian’s relationship with the USDA on this initiative?
Pompeian volunteered to be the first manufacturer to participate in the Quality
Monitoring Program for olive oil.
Why was Pompeian selected?
We took the initiative and volunteered. USDA responded to our interest, evaluated
our operation, and found it to have the necessary capability, performance, and product
quality to meet the Quality Program for olive oil requirements.
Are there costs associated with the program?
Companies participating in the Quality Monitoring Program for olive oil agree to
pay AMS for this voluntary service, which allows the agency to recover its costs.
This is in line with other grading, certification and verification services.
What kinds of tests were undertaken?
The USDA tests were developed based on quality guidelines in accordance with the
U.S. grade standards for olive oil. These are harmonized with standards set by the
International Olive Council and include both chemical testing for quality and purity
and sensory (taste and smell) test panels; doing both is very important and is a
requirement of the program. USDA will continue its tests using samples it selects
during ongoing unannounced plant visits at our Baltimore plant.
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