The California Department of Food and Agriculture approved grading and labeling standards for California olive oil, which went into effect on September 26, 2014.
The standards set California-specific guidelines that will apply to handlers producing 5,000 gallons or more of olive oil made from olives grown in California. Importers and distributors of bulk and bottled olive oil produced outside of California as well as smaller-scale in-state millers are exempt from the standards.
The standards, which are based on scientific research at the UC Davis Olive Center, establish a more stringent limit for free fatty acids, a negative attribute that signals a breakdown of olive oil quality due to exposure to heat, light and oxygen.
The 2015-2016 Standards consists of the following three components:
- Grade and Labeling Standards for Olive Oil, Refined-Olive Oil and Olive-Pomace Oil
- Appendix “A” –Sampling, Testing and Grading Methodology for Olive Oil, Refined-Olive Oil and Olive-Pomace Oil
- OOCC Tank Sampling Guidance Document–This document presents suggested procedures for sampling