• Food

    Food testing and laboratory analysis

  • Animal Feed

    Animal Feed analysis

  • Water

    Water analysis

  • Enviroment

    Environmental & Waste Analyses, Biological Treatment

  • Olive Oil

    Olive oil quality, purity and safety


Olive Oil

Olive oil quality, purity and safety

Descriptions on the labels and definitions of olive oil is obligatory, used in trade in and out of EU, as long as they are in accordance with international compulsory rules (Commerce International Olive Council Standard IOOC, Alimentarius Codex).

According to Article 4§2 and Annex I of Regulation 865/04, in the retail stage  only oils of the following quality classes may become available:

  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Virgin Olive Oil
  • Olive Oil–  composed of refined olive oils and virgin olive oils
  • Pomace

Classification of olive oil in one of these categories is made after determining  three basic parameters: the acidity, K constants and the number of peroxides. Wherever trading of olive oil, it is obligatory to indicate the category to which it belongs, and parameter values.

Acidity (%) High acidity indicates that the oil is plagued by diseases of the olive fruit, hydrolysis or oxidation
Constants  K270–K232–DK Criteria distinguishing oil of poor quality or doped with another refined olive oil
Peroxides High peroxides indicates oxidative deterioration and short durability

Equally important information result from further analyzes concerning the purity of olive oil. Also, specification of certain parameters such as volatile halogenated solvents, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, etc. demonstrates possible environmental contamination of olive oil or olive-pomace oil.


Humidity (KARL FISCHER method) High moisture amount suggests wrong method application during oil extraction and export
Humidity & volatile at 105 °C
Foreign substances insoluble in petroleum ether High level of impurity suggests applying wrong practices during oil extraction and export of oil
Halogenated volatile solvents Contamination of olive oil with various toxic substances
Fatty acids – trans fatty acids Indication of the presence of refined oil in virgin olive oil
 2-monopalmitine Indicates presence esterified (“synthetic”) oils
Triglyceride composition (by ECN) Indication of possible tallow presence
D ECN42 Indication presence of seed oils
Wax Indication presence of pomace
Alkylkesteron  Low rate alkylkesteron denotes fresh, good quality olive oil
Sterols – Erythrodiol – Uvaol  Indication of possible pomace presence
Aliphatic alcohols Indication of pomace presence
Sterols & aliphatic alcohols
3,5 – stigmastadienes Indication of the presence of refined oil in virgin olive oil
1,2 – diglyceride  High rate of this parameter denotes fresh, good quality olive oil
Pyropheophytin Low rate of this parameter denotes fresh, good quality olive oil
alpha tocopherol (vitamin E) Component with high biological value and high antioxidant properties
Total polyphenols  High rate suggests protection against rancidity and greater durability
Mineral oils Impurity indicator



Oil safety criteria Οil contamination with substances og varying toxicity degree
Pesticide residue control    (450 active substances) Contamination due to air & waterborne substance residues used as plant protection for growing olives or other neighboring cultivations.
Pesticide residue control    (200 active substances)
Pesticide residue control    (50 active substances)
Benzopyrene Contamination index  from combustion processes that have occurred near olive trees or mills
Phthalates (plasticizers) Contamination due to improper oil contact with unsuitable plastic hoses or plastic tanks and containers
Heavy metals (iron, copper, lead, arsenic, nickel, cadmium) Contamination may be due to mechanical equipment and water  used in the extraction of olive oil
Ηalogenated solvents This type of contamination may occur in all stages of oil processing and packing