Volume 7 Issue 8
|COOC So. California Regional Meeting||Events|
|Olive Oil Bottle Labeling||Briefs|
|Satellites and Spy Planes Count Olive Groves||Comments from the Internet|
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COOC Southern California Regional Meeting
Figueroa Farms in Santa Ynez hosted the California Olive Oil Council's (COOC) Southern California regional meeting this June. The council is soliciting members from this burgeoning olive growing area above Los Angeles. Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties are becoming important wine growing areas and as with other wine growing regions in California, olive orchards have followed. Santa Ynez is near the tourist town of Solvang, with a climate tempered by coastal breezes. The area is also famous for horse breeding
There was a good turnout to hear an afternoon lineup of speakers. Steve Pepe of Clos Pepe Vineyards introduced COOC president Bruce Golino who gave an update on efforts to create new labeling standards through the USDA and other COOC initiatives. Paul Vossen, U.C. extension Farm adviser, presented a primer on growing olives. He was available afterward for individual consultation with area growers.
Figueroa Farms owners Shawn and Antoinette Addison gave a multimedia presentation on the Chemical Evaluation of olive oil. Using their state of the art Pieralisi Genius system, Figueroa Farms produced some excellent oils this past year. Using in-house acidity and peroxide testing, Shawn and Antoinette have been able to optimize their milling for each varietal and level of ripeness. Some of the oils milled went on to win awards at the Los Angeles County fair. In an interesting experiment, identical samples were sent to several commercial labs in California with widely varying acidity results. Antoinette discussed how lab policy, reagent choice and rounding came up with liberal or conservative acidity levels. Producers were very interested in any way to optimize their figures now that they are being used for COOC certification and bragging rights on labels. Shawn gave tours of the mill to small groups after the presentation.
Karen Guth of Willow Creek Olive Ranch directed an olive oil tasting featuring oils from the Santa Barbara area. Lauren and Richard Cundiff of the Los Olivos Trading Co. provided a sumptuous spread of breads and cheese with wine from local producers.
The COOC is planning a similar event in San Diego on Saturday, September 18, 2004 at Bernardo Winery. See the Events section.
Olive Oil Bottle
Olive oil presents some unique labeling problems. Producers need to create an informative, artistic label which includes the legal requirements for their area . The label should be applied squarely on the bottle with an adhesive which doesn't give up half way through the distribution channel. In addition, once opened, oil spills shouldn't bleed into the label, turning the product into an eyesore. Many producers bottle special varietal or "nuevo" oils or date their product, which requires printing more expensive small runs. All of these problems have a solution.
Label Art: In the spirit of the trend toward more artistic wine labels, winning olive oil labels at the Los Angeles County fair had colorful, simple, but forceful graphic elements. Color labels are more expensive but are necessary for producers who want to stand out on a supermarket shelf. O Olive Oil's simple but colorful graphics clearly stand out and have carried them into many retailers. Smaller producers who sell mostly at local specialty stores and farmer's markets may be able to get away with a less sophisticated "home made" looking label.
Most producers should opt for a professional graphic artist who can create labels which fit into their corporate identity package. If you are creating just a few labels for a wedding or special event, ready made graphics are available on the internet. Beware that most artwork is copyrighted and permission should be sought before "borrowing" it. We have created a variety of decorative label designs that can be customized for uses such as wedding favors, corporate gifts, or gift store items. Because they are pre-designed, we are able to print small quantities economically .
Flavored oils such as lemon or basil flavored oil are new to many customers. Many olive oil producers are adding pictures or graphics which highlight the ingredient. Although there is no federal law against it, COOC members sign an agreement not to label flavored oil as extra virgin to follow International Olive Oil Council standards.
Label Text: Most legally required label information is enforced by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Their website has a variety of information about nutrient and calorie declarations (see site), as does the North American Olive Oil Association which answers many questions about labeling imported oil (see info). Organic claims are now enforced by the USDA (see info). California has laws governing appellation.
Adding more text to your label has advantages and disadvantages. Flavored oils or dippers often benefit from serving suggestions or recipes. Too much text can clutter the label. One solution we use for private label customers at the Olive Oil Source is a horizontal format. Areas heavy in text wrap around to the back of round bottles so they don't detract from the logo.
Label Stock: Small producers or those bottling bulk oil for a special occasion can make a label on their home computer with standard Avery labels but there can be problems. Labels made with the more common home ink jet printers will smear if handled with wet or sweaty fingers. Standard label stock is not impervious to oil so once opened, oil drips tend to make for a greasy look. For small runs at the Olive Oil Source we use heat fixed inks on oil-proof stock using our decorative designs or customer supplied artwork. For larger runs we use commercial printers who have special stock for a label which stays clean.
Applying the label: If you have a small run and cheap labor, labels can be hand applied. Many companies cost out label application at about 35 cents each if done manually. Label machinery can get the cost much lower. Label application machinery can be hand operated or totally automated. The Olive Oil Source sells a small manual machine which will apply pressure sensitive labels on a roll to a variety of round and square bottles. It makes for accurate placement and can apply front and back labels in one motion. A fast operator can label up to 30 bottles a minute.
Automated equipment for bottling lines can apply labels as fast as your bottle filler can feed it. Equipment can be configured to apply glue to paper labels or apply pressure sensitive labels, both typically in rolls. Paper labels are slightly cheaper but we notice they can sometimes fall off on market shelves leaving your bottle naked. The Olive Oil Source represents foreign and domestic label machinery manufacturers and we can configure equipment to your specifications. Most California producers are too small for automated bottling equipment and will go manual or use the services of companies who own such equipment.
Next month: bottle filling equipment
For information about private label olive oil and label purchases, call The Olive Oil Source at Voice:805-688-1014
Satellites and Spy Planes Count Olive Groves
The Wall Street Journal recently reported that global positioning satellites (GPS) and high altitude spy plane photos are being used aggressively in the EU to combat agricultural fraud. Farm subsidies are given according to acreage or the number of trees claimed. Aerial photos can allow auditors to actually verify the tree counts and calculate acreage. EU inspectors on the ground can walk around a very irregular field with a GPS device which will instantly calculate the area. 43% of the EU's €100 billion budget is spent on agricultural and rural development subsidies.
Increased monitoring started in 1981 when EU officials became suspicious as olive oil subsidies to farmers in Italy tripled. Audits found fraud on a massive scale. Parking lots and forests were being claimed as olive orchards. Hundreds were arrested including members of the Mafia and local governments. The EU now has a registry of 600 million olive trees.
For those who want to count olive trees in the U.S., the Geological Survey has aerial and topographic maps on the TerraServer homepage. Unfortunately you can't spy on your neighbor's trees unless they have been in the ground for awhile. Most of the photos are at least a decade old.
New or updated pages:
Do you have information or press releases for the newsletter? Email us!
Mail from the Internet
Alexis asks: Is there such a thing as leaving extra virgin olive oil on my skin for too long (straight out of the bottle) before washing off?
News responds: It is rare to become irritated or allergic to olive oil. People have been leaving olive oil on their skin as a moisturizer for thousands of years. There is a trend in the cosmetics industry to tout olive oil as an ingredient in skin conditioners due to its antioxidant properties.
asks: I am making my own shampoo and having read a high end
olive oil shampoo label I see that it contains "olive water".. what is
it, what benefits does it hold to the quality of the shampoo and where do
you get it??
Linda asks: My question ............. can you cook in cold pressed oil?? I have been told there is a difference between ordinary olive oil and cold pressed and one should not heat cold pressed to a high temperature
News responds: Click for answers to cooking questions Cold pressed is an obsolete term - I'm assuming you mean extra virgin. See definitions. Most people do not fry with expensive and flavorful extra virgin olive oil because the flavor evaporates. Better to fry with a cheap refined oil (labeled "olive oil") and save the expensive oil to add at the table.
J Asks: Is olive oil a vegetable oil? What vitamins and nutriments does it contain?
News responds: Edible oils are divided into animal fats/oils and vegetable oils. Olive oil comes from a plant so is a vegetable oil. Click for nutrtion information
C Asks: Do you know how to do an acidity test which is valid internationally? I mean a titrametric method.
News responds: Titrametric methods are tedious but inexpensive. They are described in standard oil chemistry texts such as Kiritsakis's book. Look at our technical books page for more resources.
Maxine writes: My husband was 'kind' enough to by a young tree for me yesterday but it has black nodules on the branches, they 'pick' off easily and are an empty (slightly domed inside) about match head size leaving no actual damage beneath, but a paler bark. If I keep this tree, can it damage further stock I buy or is it not a tree with a problem!!
News responds: You have scale insects on your tree. If the tree is small you can pick them off manually. Ask your local nursery what products are offered for scale control. In orchards ants often protect scales from predators; in return the insects secrete a drop of honeydew. Stopping the ants at the trunk with sticky tape sometimes allows natural predators to control scale infestations. Also see: UCDavis
Brad asks: My wife and I have heard that there is a convent in CA where the public harvests the olives for the nun and this is how they support the convent. Have you heard about this and do you know how I can find out more about this?
News Responds: Father
Bernie Bush had a yearly harvest at the Jesuit Retreat House and the
Carmelite nuns' property in Santa Clara. Unfortunately the olive fly has
hit them hard and they do not have the resources to spray properly so
they no longer have this Thanksgiving day tradition. The public was
invited to pick and received a bottle of oil for their efforts.
News Responds: The IOOC's Mario Solas awards, the Leone d'oro and the Los Angeles County fair are the ones we follow. There are regular regional competitions in every olive oil country, some of which attract foreign competitors, but they don't seem to get much international press coverage. Many competitions are slanted towards large producers, they require minimum lots of tens of thousands of gallons which must remain under seal during the evaluation process.
Brett Asks: I am a student with a keen interest in olive oil, especially the aroma and flavour compounds. I saw on the olive chemistry page of your site that there is a chemical test for rancidity, and I was wondering if you would be able to give me some details about it.
News answers: As
lipids oxidize, they form hydroperoxides which may further decompose to
aldahydes, ketones, acids and alcohols; Snyder et al (1985) reported that
saturated carbonyl compounds such as pentanal, haxanal, octanal and
nonanal are the major compounds formed in oxidized olive oil. John
Harwood and Ramon Aparicio's "Handbook of Olive Oil" has an excellent
chapter on olive oil oxidation.
Jeff asks: how many olives do I need to eat to equal 1 tablespoon of oil
News responds: It
depends on how big the olives are and what their oil content is. The
large black canned olives are actually quite low in oil - sometimes only
7%, which is why they are table olives and are not used generally to make
oil. Some smaller olives used primarily for oil making can have up to 35%
oil content. Olives can range from 1 to 14 grams in weight. There is
about 1 tablespoon of olive oil in:
Paso Robles Olive Festival August 28, 2004 10 AM- 5 PM City Park Please contact Gary Brown if you are interested in participating or attending this event 805-239-7500 or Gary@weolive.com
Euro Fed Lipid Congress September 5-8, 2004, Edinburgh University Scotland
Carmel TomatoFest September 12, 2004 at Quail Lodge sponsored by Sunset Magazine - tomato dishes created by 60 of America's best chefs, tasting of 100 premium wines, International Olive Oil Tasting, Salsa showcase of 100 salsas, food, wine, gardening demonstrations, music, dancing. Tickets sold out 2 months in advance last year
COOC San Diego Regional Meeting
Saturday, September 18, 2004 Bernardo Winery San Diego, CA.
Lectures: GROWING OLIVE TREES Bruce Golino, Santa Cruz Olive Tree
Nursery, MAKING OLIVE OIL Shawn & Antoinette Addison, Figueroa Farms,
SENSORY EVALUATION OF OLIVE OIL Thomas L. Curry III, Temecula Olive Oil
Company, OLIVE OIL, WINE AND CHEESE TASTING. Bernardo Winery,
13330 Paseo Del Verano, San Diego, CA 92128 (858) 487-1866 Directions:
Corning Olive Festival September 20-21 Corning, Ca. Parade, bed races, street dance, arts and crafts, food, entertainment and fun run. Call 530-824-5550
V International Symposium on Olive Growing September 27 - October 2, 2004,(Turkey) Info: Dr. Mucahit Taha Ozkaya, University of Ankara, Faculty of Agriculture, Department of Horticulture, 06100 Ankara, Turkey. Phone: (90)5355264860, Fax: (90)3123179119, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Cañada College Arts & Olive Festival Sunday, October 3rd Redwood City, CA
CIAS International Conference on Olive Oil and Health October 21-23, Jaen, Spain.
FEVAL - Don Benit Badajoz Spain, November 10 - 13, 2004 . FIAL. Feria Ibérica de la Alimentación. APIBERIA. Feria Internacional de Apicultura
Olive Biotechnology and Quality November 22 - 24, 2004, Errachidia, Morocco.
EIMA International Agricultural and Gardening Machinery Manufacturers Exhibition, Bologna, Italy November, 2004
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