We offer three types of olive oil sensory evaluation (also known as organoleptic or taste testing) -

Basic Sensory Evaluation, IOC Panel Test and Detailed Sensory Evaluation.  All sensory evaluation services are performed by a panel of scientifically trained and experienced olive oil judges. The Applied Sensory Olive Oil Taste Panel is recognized by the International Olive Council (IOC) and is accredited by the American Oil Chemists’ Society. Standardized sensory evaluation protocols and procedures are used. Oils are NOT evaluated for preference.


We also offer a Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) Certification Seal based on governmental standards. Our certification seal signifies that the olive oil has been evaluated by an independent third-party organization and helps guide consumers in their quest for extra virgin olive oils.


Olive oil grade standards are based on both sensory and chemical data. While we do not conduct chemical analysis, we do recommend several laboratories that offer this service.

Seal certification of extra virgin olive oils

For a basic sensory evaluation, trained specialists objectively rate the intensity of olive oil sensory attributes:

  • Defects (fusty/muddy sediment, musty-humid-earthy, winey-vinegary-acid-sour, frostbitten olives/wet wood, rancid, others)
  • Overall fruit
  • Bitterness
  • Pungency

The sensory grade of the oil is determined according to the standards of California Grades of Olive Oil and the U.S. Grades of Olive Oil.

The written report includes attribute intensities and sensory grade (see sample  Basic Sensory Evaluation Report).

Use the Basic Sensory Evaluation when checking to confirm olive oils meet sensory grading requirements.

Use this form when submitting olive oil samples for Basic Sensory Evaluation.

Price per sample: $125

IOC Panel Test

Basic Sensory Evaluation

Additional Resources

(707) 344-0254

Detailed Sensory Evaluation

The IOC panel test is the same as the basic sensory evaluation except that:

The sensory grade of the oil is determined according to the standard of the International Olive Council (IOC).

The written report includes IOC attribute intensities and sensory grade.

Use the IOC Panel Test when checking to confirm olive oils meet sensory grading requirements according to the IOC standard.

Use this form when submitting olive oil samples for IOC Panel Test.

Price per sample: $130

Book:  Olive Oil Sensory Science by Erminio Monteleone and Susan Langstaff

Olive Oil Sensory Evaluation

An easy to use, detailed educational guide for aroma and flavor defects found in olive oil. This wheel is a complete reference to common defects which may occur in olive oil and is an indispensable tool for olive oil producers, retailers and students . Available in both English and Spanish.

An invaluable resource for olive oil scientists, product development and marketing personnel on the role of sensory evaluation in relation to current and future market trends.

For a detailed sensory evaluation, trained specialists objectively describe olive oils using pre-selected flavor attributes, in addition to defects, overall fruit, bitterness and pungency. The style/intensity level of the oil is also assessed (delicate, medium or robust). A detailed written report includes sensory grade , style/intensity, a cobweb plot and a bar graph of attribute intensities (see sample Detailed Sensory Evaluation Report).

Use the Detailed Sensory Evaluation when specific sensory descriptors and style are needed for marketing materials or blending decisions.
Use this form when submitting olive oil samples for Detailed Sensory Evaluation.
Price per sample: $175

Olive oils which has been evaluated by The Applied Sensory Olive Oil Taste Panel for the Basic Sensory Evaluation, the IOC Panel Test or the Detailed Sensory Evaluation are eligible for the EVOO certification seal if the following two criteria have been met::

a) Extra Virgin sensory grade

b) Accompanying chemical analysis (see list of recommended laboratories) indicates that the oil does not exceed the limits specified by either the  "California Department of Food and Agriculture - Grade and Labeling Standards for Olive Oil, Refined-Olive Oil and Olive-Pomace Oil", or the "United States Standards for Grades of Olive Oil and Olive-Pomace Oil", or the "IOC standard".

Use this form when ordering certification seals.

Harvest dated certification seals come in rolls of 500 seal ($40 each) and 1000 seals ($75 each). Please include $10 for shipping and handling.


New clients are required to complete and mail a signed copy of the Certification Services Agreement to the specified mailing address or email to sue@appliedsensory.com