How to Certify Your Oil
To gain certification, first you must be an active member with the California Olive Oil Council. Click here for information on membership.
Next, your oil(s) must be submitted to the COOC Panel of Tasters for sensory evaluation. The trained panel of tasters will assess your oil to ensure that it is free of defects, and therefore qualifies as extra virgin grade.
A chemical analysis from a COOC-certified lab is also required, in addition to completed Seal Certification paperwork and payment. A chemical analysis determines if the oil contains 0.5% or less free fatty acids as well as a peroxide value of 15 meq O2/kg or less. An ultra violet absorbency analysis is also required for producers of 100 gallons or more.
Chemical Analysis Requirements
The oil has an acidity level, in terms of oleic free fatty acid, of not more than 0.5 % and a peroxide value of 15 meq O2/kg or less. Ultra Violet Absorbency for extra virgin olive oil as follows (required for 100 gallons or more):
- K 270 less than 0.22
- K 232 less than 2.50
- Delta K less than 0.01
The Panel of Tasters
The Panel of Tasters ascertains defects as well as desirable attributes of extra virgin olive oils. The tasters have undertaken a training and certification program. The team meets at least twice each month for the dual purpose of selecting oils for the COOC program as well as for continual training.
*To be eligible for Seal Certification, all producers must first have an active COOC membership. Click here for information on membership.
-Review and complete all paperwork included in the 2015 Seal Certification Kit. Paperwork must be complete and submitted in addition to your payment before certification may take place. Send payment to the California Olive Oil Council. We accept check, Amex, Visa or Mastercard. The fee for basic members is $225 for the first submitted oil, $125 per oil thereafter from the same producer. The fee is non-refundable. Oils will not be evaluated unless the fee has been received. A complete fee list is available in the 2015 Seal Certification Kit. Please note that if you produce 100 gallons or less, there is a special small production fee of $125.
-Submit documentation of the chemical analysis requirements to the COOC. If more than one oil is analyzed, please identify the oils specifically. A COOC-certified lab must conduct the analysis. A list of certiifed labs is available here.
-Send a sample of the oil(s) to the COOC office at 801 Camelia Street, Suite D, Berkeley, CA 94710.
- Two bottles of the sample are required.
- The sample should be 250 ml or larger.
- The bottles should be carefully labeled.
The fees, paperwork, laboratory analysis and oil samples should be sent to California Olive Oil Council, 801 Camelia Street, Suite D, Berkeley, CA 94710. For further information, please email the COOC office at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 888-718-9830.
After your oil has been evaluated, you will be notified in writing by the COOC. This normally takes 3 weeks. The results are confidential. If your oil is passed and meets the requirements of the chemical analysis, you will be eligible to use the COOC Seal. If your oil is not evaluated as extra virgin, you may contact the COOC to discuss the results.