Fruity - Set of olfactory sensations characteristic of the oil which depends on the variety and comes from sound, fresh olives, either ripe or unripe. It is perceived directly and/or through the back of the nose.

Bitter - Characteristic primary taste of oil obtained from green olives or olives turning color. It is perceived in the circumvallate papillae on the “V” region of the tongue.

Pungent - Biting tactile sensation characteristic of oils produced at the start of the crop year, primarily from olives that are still unripe. It can be perceived throughout the whole of the mouth cavity, particularly in the throat


Fusty/ muddy sediment - Characteristic flavor of oil obtained from olives piled or stored in such conditions as to have undergone an advanced stage of anaerobic fermentation, or of oil which has been left in contact with the sediment that settles in underground tanks and vats and which has also undergone a process of anaerobic fermentation. Musty-humid - Characteristic flavor of oils obtained from fruit in which large numbers of fungi and yeasts have developed as a result of its being stored in humid conditions for several days.

Winey-vinegary/Acid-sour - Characteristic flavor of certain oils reminiscent of wine or vinegar. This flavor is mainly due to a process of aerobic fermentation in the olives or in olive paste left on pressing mats which have not been properly cleaned and leads to the formation of acetic acid, ethyl acetate and ethanol.

Metallic - Flavor that is reminiscent of metals. It is characteristic of oil which has been in prolonged contact with metallic surfaces during crushing, mixing, pressing or storage. Rancid - Flavor of oils which have undergone an intense process of oxidation.

Other negative attributes

Heated or Burnt - Characteristic flavor of oils caused by excessive and/or prolonged heating during processing, particularly when the paste is thermally mixed, if this is done under unsuitable thermal conditions.

Hay–wood - Characteristic flavor of certain oils produced from olives that have dried out.

Rough - Thick, pasty mouth-feel sensation produced by certain old oils.

Greasy - Flavor of oil reminiscent of that of diesel oil, grease or mineral oil.

Vegetable Water - Flavor acquired by the oil as a result of prolonged contact with vegetable water which has undergone fermentation processes.

Brine - Flavor of oil extracted from olives which have been preserved in brine.

Earthy - Flavor of oil obtained from olives which have been collected with earth or mud on them and not washed.

Grubby - Flavor of oil obtained from olives which have been heavily attacked by the grubs of the olive fly (Bactrocera oleae).

Cucumber - Flavor produced when an oil is hermetically packed for too long, particularly in tin containers.

Wet Wood - Characteristic flavor of oils extracted from olives which have been injured by frost while on the tree.

Source: International olive oil council

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