How to read the organoleptic analyzes of EVO oil (Panel Test)

How to read the organoleptic analyzes of EVO oil (Panel Test)

If you are a consumer who pays attention to the quality of the products you buy, you have probably heard of the panel test of extra virgin olive oil (EVO). But what does it really mean and how can you use the results of this test to make informed choices when purchasing your favorite oil? Let’s find out together!

What is a panel test?

The panel test, or organoleptic test, is a method used to evaluate the sensory characteristics of extra virgin olive oils. It involves a group of expert tasters, called panelists, who evaluate the oil through their senses, focusing primarily on smell and taste.

What do the tasters evaluate during the panel test?

During the panel test, tasters evaluate various attributes of EVO oil, including:

  1. Fruity : This is one of the most important attributes of extra virgin olive oil. Tasters try to identify the different fruity aromas present in the oil, which can vary from light fruity to intense fruity.
  2. Bitterness : Bitterness is another desirable characteristic of extra virgin olive oil, which can be felt on the back of the tongue. It can range from mild to pronounced.
  3. Spicy : Spicy is another positive sensation felt in the throat after tasting the oil. It can range from light to very intense.
  4. Sensory defects : Tasters are trained to detect any sensory defects in the oil, such as rancidity, mold or sediment.

How to interpret the panel test results?

When analyzing the results of a panel test, it is important to take several factors into account:

  1. Overall rating : Look at the whole result rather than focusing on individual attributes. A high quality extra virgin olive oil should have a harmonious balance between fruity, bitter and spicy, without sensory defects (median fruitiness > 0 and median defect = 0).
  2. Graduation : Panel test results are usually expressed on a numerical scale. Higher scores indicate better overall oil quality.
  3. Sensory Description : Some manufacturers also provide a detailed sensory description of the oils tested, which can help you better understand the characteristics of the oil and find the one that best suits your personal tastes.


The extra virgin olive oil panel test is a valuable tool for evaluating the quality and authenticity of oils on the market. By knowing how to interpret the results of this test, you can make more informed choices and ensure you take home a high-quality product that meets your taste and aroma expectations. So, next time you buy extra virgin olive oil, remember to take a look at the panel test results to make the best choice for you and your kitchen.


Also learn to interpret chemical analyses: How to read the chemical analyzes of EVO oil

To learn more about how to read the organoleptic analyzes of EVO oil: The results of the panel test on olive oil: \how to read the sheet

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