We are very proud of our Olives New Zealand Certification, and proudly display the OliveMark® on all of our bottles. To qualify for this certification our extra virgin olive oil must meet specific requirements. These include bottling and labelling standards, as well as chemical and sensory criteria, that Olives New Zealand base on the International Olive Council (IOC) standards for extra virgin olive oil.
These requirements are:
Chemical Analysis: The Free Fatty Acid level measured as oleic acid must be less than 0.5% and the Peroxide Value less than 15mEq per kg. The standards for extra virgin olive oil set by the IOC are less than 0.8% FFA and a Peroxide Value of less than 20.
Sensory Analysis: This is undertaken by an IOC approved Sensory Panel. The oils are evaluated for the absence of defects and the presence of the required desirable attribute, namely fruitiness.
Labelling: The label on the oil must meet the required NZFSA standards, and have the month processed on it. It must also have the Best Before date, which is no more than 24 months after the date processed.
Containers: Oil must be in dark glass bottles or if clear bottles or light glass bottles are used they must be packaged in a container that will exclude light.
Only once our oils have meet all of the above requirements we are eligible to use the OliveMark®.
The OliveMark® is your guarantee that the oil you are purchasing is genuinely New Zealand Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
What it all means
We provide our Olives New Zealand certification for each of the Extra Virgin Olive Oils we produce for our customers to view on a product page.
Below is a description of what the breakdown means.
Free fatty acids are produced by the hydrolysis of oils and fats. Since free fatty acids are less stable than neutral oil, they are more prone to oxidation and to turning rancid. Thus, free fatty acid is a key feature linked with the quality and commercial value of extra virgin olive oil.
The peroxide content (PV), measured in milliequivalents of active oxygen per kilogram, determines the initial oxidation of an oil. The peroxidation of the oil is primary arising because of the oxidation process, high temperature and visibility to light.
This is undertaken by an IOC approved Sensory Panel. The oils are evaluated for the absence of defects and the presence of the required desirable attribute, namely fruitiness.
Ultra Violet Absorption
The olive oil purity and degree of oxidation can be verified by using UV/VIS spectroscopy. Olive oil is known for monounsaturated fats. A low absorption in this area is a sign of a high-quality extra virgin olive oil, whereas low quality oil shows a greater level of absorptions in these areas.
Polyphenols are a key component to Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and are considered to be one of the best health benefits within the oil. Polyphenols furnish the immune system, protect us from heart diseases and display anticancer activity as they act as free radical traps. They also protect olive oil from oxidative damage and they contribute to its superior oxidative stability among other edible oils. They also affect its taste, giving it a distinctive bitter flavour.