SQM OF LABORATORY FACILITIES
TEST CONDUCED ANNUALLY
Fiorentini Firenze has a modern testing laboratory equipped with sophisticated devices that can perform all the tests necessary to guarantee compliance with Commission Regulation (EEC) no. 2568/91 and subsequent amendments.
The laboratory, that is constantly engaged in research to improve its techniques and methods, conducts periodic ring-tests with other public and private laboratories in Italy and abroad.
The laboratory manager is part of a group of experts from companies that are members of the Federolio and Assitol trade associations, as well as representatives of private laboratories who meet to discuss topics inherent to olive oil, to organize ring-tests and experiments on analytical methods.
CHEMICAL ANALYSIS OF THE OIL
The laboratory’s main processes consist of chemical analyses carried out on samples of oil to be purchased (information samples received from the company’s various suppliers), of oil purchased to be unloaded (comparison between the analyses of the sample purchased and the goods supplied), of oil ready to be loaded for the client (issuing of analysis certificate for the client) and oils stored in the warehouse in order to follow the evolution of certain parameters that change over time (UV spectrophotometry, peroxides, pyropheophytin A).
The main parameters of Commission Regulation (EEC) no. 2568/91 are verified (acidity, spectrum, peroxides, ethyl esters…). As soon as the tanker carrying one of the oils selected arrives at FIORENTINI, samples are taken for chemical and organoleptic analyses.
In this phase the absence of defects is assessed, as well as the positive qualities which distinguish that particular oil (intensity of bitterness and spiciness, intensity of the odor with respect to the taste and vice versa, grass, almond, tomato fragrances etc.).
The Test Panel comprises a group of suitably trained persons who are prepared to taste virgin olive oils. It is their duty to evaluate and certify the organoleptic features of the oils (merits and defects): flavor, color, odor and appearance. It is an objective method that uses human sensory organs which, according to certified studies, act like real measuring instruments.
FIORENTINI FIRENZE has a CRA-OLI recognized in-house test panel consisting of a chairman and 8 panelists who are registered on the list of olive oil tasters according to the provisions of Commission Regulation (EEC) no. 2568/91. The test panel works in such a way that each tester expresses his/her opinion of the sensory features of the oil independently of the others. At the conclusion of the tests, each taster fills out a form and expresses an opinion on the presence and intensity of the positive qualities (fruity, bitter, spicy) and any defects (rancid, moldy, fusty, winey, metallic, etc., see below). The test panel analyses are carried out on our products and during processing. The test panel also checks the stability of our products on supermarket shelves to guarantee that they have not been “mistreated” during shipping and storage.
In addition to being on the national register, in order to participate in an organoleptic test the taster must be able to conduct the test at the time and place specified in the notice sent by the chairman.
Eight to twelve tasters participate in each session and the organoleptic assessments are made according to IOC [International Olive Council] procedures. At least three testing sessions are held each month; two or three ring tests are held annually in addition to the Italian test required by the regulations.
The chairman of the panel is in charge of organizing and conducting the organoleptic test. He or she also notifies the testers of the time and date of the tests and is responsible for the equipment – making sure that it is clean – and for preparing and coding the samples to be tested.
EQUIPMENT AND MATERIALS
The tasting room has eight separate stations, each equipped with:
. standard tasting glasses containing the coded samples; they are covered with watch glass and kept at a temperature of 28° C+- 2°
. profile sheet
. pencil or ballpoint pen
. a plate with apple slices
. a glass of water at room temperature
. IOC calculation software for the statistical analysis of the tasters’ data (for the panel chairman)
. computer for running the test program
A certified quality system means that: we have rules, we have established quality standards for our products, we have a monitoring system for our production chain (document management, purchases, production-, marketing-, personnel-, customer service-, logistics- and control-procedures) according to international standards. These are all formalized in a quality system (manuals, procedures, record-keeping forms) and the documents are available to the certifying agency and all our clients during the audit phase (inspections).