An oil, to be market as virgin or extra virgin oil, must present some standard parameters set by a clear regulation and it must have specific organoleptic features. It was considered essential to introduce a method of assessment called panel test.
The sense of the organoleptic characteristics of an olive oil primarily occurs through taste, sense of smell and sight. The method of tasting is regulated by a rule currently in force that has established rules to be respected. There are simple rules easily understood by all interlocutors:
1) Look carefully at oil against light, shaking it inside the bottle and appreciating the fluidity;
2) Pour oil into a cup, about a spoonful, avoiding an excessive quantity that doesn’t enhance tasting but it makes it worse;
3) Smell a sample trying to pick up all pleasant and unpleasant perceptions;
4) Warm it with the palm of the hand to release and enhance the volatile aromatic parts, taking oil inhaling with a suction slow and gentle, then stronger, in order to vaporise it in the oral cavity, leading it in very direct contact with the taste buds;
5) Let the mouth stand, moving slowly the tongue against the palate;
6) Re-aspirate with the tongue against the palate and lips slightly open;
7) Repeat from point 4 again and again, leave oil in the mouth at least 20 seconds;
8) Expel oil.