Virgin Olive Oil Acceptability in Emerging Olive Oil-Producing Countries


A sample of 99 habitual consumers sensory-evaluated 2 extra virgin and 2 ordinary olive oils in terms of overall liking and willingness to purchase based on 9-point structured scales and responded to a check-all-that-apply question comprising a list of 18 positive and negative attributes. In the second session, the same consumers evaluated the same oils also based on their respective commercial specifications and sensory profiles previously prepared by a panel of 9 trained tasters. Two consumer clusters with contrasting behavior were identified. Whereas 52% of respondents gave high overall liking scores to the extra virgin oils and scores below commercially acceptable limits to those of ordinary virgin quality, 48% gave low overall liking scores to the extra virgin oils and high overall liking scores to those oils that were defective. Consumers of neither cluster were influenced by the information made available in Session 2. Although a slight majority of consumers described the oils consistently with the sensory profiles available from the tasting panel, an alarmingly large number of respondents described the two extra virgin oils in terms of defective, bad-tasting, strange-tasting, poor quality and rancid, and those oils that were defective in terms of good quality, tasty, sweet, aromatic, mild-flavored, delicious and fresh. These results highlight the need for the implementation of relevant consumer sensitization programs in emerging olive-producing countries like Uruguay, where virgin olive oils of varied quality are locally available.

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A. Gámbaro, A. Ellis and L. Raggio, "Virgin Olive Oil Acceptability in Emerging Olive Oil-Producing Countries," Food and Nutrition Sciences, Vol. 4 No. 10, 2013, pp. 1060-1068. doi: 10.4236/fns.2013.410138.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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