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The labeling on olive oil

The emergence of food fraud in oils has led to the establishment of standards for the labeling of olive oil. This regulation refers to the aspects of retail marketing and from it we draw the following conclusions:

In the label of these oils there must be a mandatory and other optional mention that only the manufacturer makes if he wishes, since he is not obliged to do it.

Among the obligatory highlights is the information on the category of the oil, whether of extra virgin olive, virgin olive, olive pomace or simply olive.

It is mandatory that all containers have an opening system that loses its integrity after first use, as well as indicate the geographical origin of the oil on the label when it comes to extra virgin olive oil or virgin olive oil. It must also be indicated on the label if it is a protected designation of origin or a protected geographical area.

Also, there are a number of mentions that offer more information to the consumer that are left to the manufacturer’s choice to name them or not. These are some examples:

The characteristics of flavor and other organoleptic properties should only appear on the labels of extra virgin olive oil and virgin olive oil.

Likewise, it is no longer obligatory in any type of oil to name the degree of acidity, although at present manufacturers have chosen to use words like “mild” or “intense” among others.

Also, when olive oil is mixed with other types of oils, it should be indicated on the label with the percentage of each oil in the mixture. Thus, it is forbidden to use drawings of olives, olives or similar on the label when the percentage of olive oil does not reach 50%.


It should be mentioned that each member of the European Union decides whether olive oil mixed with other types of vegetable oils can be marketed in it, but what it can not prohibit under any circumstances is the production of this type of mixture to market in another country where its sale is authorized. In the case of Spain, the mixture of olive oil with other vegetable oils is allowed.

Likewise, the bulk sale of all oils destined to the final consumer is prohibited, and must be sold in sealed containers and under a registered trademark. Also prohibited is the sale of virgin olive oil with an acidity greater than 1.5%.

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