Facts about Olive Oil


There are three related purposes of the California Olive Oil Council's (COOC) Extra Virgin Olive Oil Certification Program.

The first is to provide olive oil producers and marketers with a standardized method of grading their 100% California olive oil as extra virgin.
The second is to provide olive oil consumers with assurance that the olive oil they purchase is in fact "extra virgin".
The third is to provide olive oil producers and marketers who meet the certification standard with a means of distinguishing their products in the marketplace.

Overview of the EVOO Certification Process

To gain certification, you must submit your olive oil(s) to the COOC Panel of Tasters for sensory evaluation and also have a chemical analysis conducted. The chemical analysis will determine if the olive oil contains 0.5 % or less free fatty acids as well as a peroxide value of 20 meq O2/kg or less. Additionally, if you produce 50 gallons or more the ultra violet absorbency analysis is also required.
Chemical Analysis Requirements:
The olive oil has an acidity level, in terms of oleic free fatty acid, of not more than 0.5 % and a peroxide value of 20 meq O2/kg or less Ultra Violet Absorbency for extra virgin olive oil as follows (required for 50 gallons or more):

K 270 less than 0.22
K 232 less than 2.50
Delta K less than 0.01

The Panel of Tasters

The Panel of Tasters ascertains defects as well as desirable attributes of extra virgin olive oils. The tasters have undertaken a training and certification program and the program follows the guidelines of the IOOC. The team meets each month for the dual purpose of selecting olive oils for the COOC program as well as for continual training.

Send payment to the California Olive Oil Council. We accept check, Visa or Mastercard. The fee for basic members is $250 for the first submitted olive oil, $ 50 per oil thereafter. Supporting members pay $ 150 for the first olive oil, $ 50 thereafter. The fee is non-refundable. Olive oils will not be evaluated unless the fee has been received. A complete fee list is available through the COOC office or at the COOC web site. Please note that if you produce 50 gallons or less, there is a special small production fee of $ 50.00 Submit documentation of the chemical analysis requirements to the COOC. If more than one olive oil is analyzed, please identify the oils specifically. A COOC certified lab must conduct the analysis. A list is available on the web site.
At least one week before the Panel of Tasters convenes, send a sample of the olive oil(s) to the COOC office at 581 Santa Barbara Rd, Berkeley, CA 94707.

Two bottles of the sample are required.
The sample should be 250 ml or larger.
The bottles should be carefully labeled.

The fees and laboratory analysis should be sent to California Olive Oil Council, P. O. Box 7520 Berkeley, CA 94704-0520. For further information, please email the COOC office at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call 888-718-9830.

After your olive oil has been evaluated, you will be notified in writing by the COOC. This normally takes 3 weeks. The results are confidential. If your oil is passed and meets the requirements of the chemical analysis, you will be eligible to use the COOC seal if all requirements are met and required documentation is completed including the mark license agreement, which regulates the use of the COOC seal logo. If your olive oil is not evaluated as extra virgin, you may contact the COOC to discuss the results. You may also choose to re-submit the oil for a second evaluation at no additional cost.