The University of Jaén (UJA) through the University Research Institute in Olive Groves and Olive Oils (INUO) imparts the 19th edition of the Title of Expert in Virgin Olive Oil Tasting, with the support of the International Olive Oil Council (IOC). Around 35 participants come from the main producing countries such as Tunisia, Turkey, Italy, Portugal, Greece, Jordan, Algeria, Morocco or Georgia, have taken part in this edition.
The inauguration of this edition has count on the presence of the Vice Rector for Research of the UJA, Gustavo Reyes, of the academic heads, Sebastián Sánchez Villasclaras, Marino Uceda Ojeda, Leopoldo Martínez Nieto and Alberto José Moya López, and of the executive director of the IOC, Abdellatif Ghedira.
In his speech, the Vice Rector for Research of the UJA highlighted the continued support of the IOC for developing this title: “This is a consolidated and quality course, an international reference, aimed at professionals who want to specialise in this area,” he said. In addition, he referred to the OLEA Meeting organised last May by the International Projects Office (OFIPI) of the UJA at the IOC headquarters in Madrid. In this meeting, the international olive projects carried out by the UJA related to sustainability and the fight against climate change were discussed. Regarding this issue, he pointed out the agreement reached between both institutions to advance together in this matter.
For his part, Abdellatif Ghedira highlighted the importance of this “rigorous” training for the sector and “therefore for the IOC”, due to the need to count on experts. In this sense, he recalled that annually the IOC awards a scholarship to participants from different countries so that they could take part in this title. Likewise, he pointed out the need to focus on quality to face a campaign that is expected to be smaller than the last one, as well as the consequences that the war in Ukraine has for the market.
About the course
In the 19th edition of title of expert, the bases of sensory analysis and its methodology are exposed, applying them to virgin olive oils from a theoretical-practical point of view, analysing factors, positive and negative attributes that define the sensory quality of olive oils and their relationship with the cultivation and elaboration processes, as well as with other general physical and chemical parameters of quality control.
The complete course, corresponding to 350 hours, will be developed in 6 modules of approximately 60 hours. Students have the option of doing each of the modules independently. At the end of each module, a diploma will be awarded for the part of the course that has been taught. The student who completes and passes the 6 modules will receive the Title of Expert in Virgin Olive Oil Tasting.