In this article

Trainings on analytical methods, networking opportunities and databank development in the EU funded OLEUM project.

Assuring the quality and authenticity of olive oil

With olive oil being one of the food products more suffering fraud attempts, the EU 2020 OLEUM project is growing an olive oil stakeholder network, validating new and/or improved analytical methods, promoting the labs proficiency by giving trainings and establishing an olive oil databank.


The high price, the distinctive sensory profile, the processes for its production, and reputation as one of the healthier source of dietary fats, make olive oil a food product with a high added value, thus particularly attractive for the consumers but, at the same time, a possible target for counterfeiters. Despite the presence of well-working and widespread analytical methods to ensure the olive oil authenticity, there is a need for specific improvements and for the set up of reliable, easy-to-use, and cheap methods for detecting olive oil fraud.

OLEUM Project

Partners in the OLEUM project have joined forces to empower the detection of olive oil fraud in three ways: validation of new and/or improved analytical methods, establishment of an OLEUM Databank and formation of an OLEUM Network that brings together stakeholders involved in the olive oil sector. In addition, OLEUM aims to support policy makers to improve regulatory standards and develop a communication strategy to explain the extraordinary research around olive oil authentication.

Analytical methods

OLEUM partners are revising existing analytical methods to ensure the quality and authenticity of olive oil by improving performance and efficiency parameters such as sensitivity, reproducibility, cost and time. Researchers also are working for identifying novel analytical markers for detecting illegal blends and compliance with geographical origin,olive oil freshness, as well as its content in healthy phenolic compounds.

Their findings on new and improved analytical methods will be discussed and tested within the OLEUM Network, used in trainings and used to fill and update the OLEUM Databank.

OLEUM Network

The OLEUM Network aims to increase collaborations, exchange knowledge, enhance and harmonize the global expertise on olive oil analyses. The OLEUM Network is open to all interested stakeholders such as public sector, private laboratories, companies and consumers worldwide, through two different platforms each with a specific purpose. The broader public can easily learn more about olive oil by joining OLEUM on LinkedIN . If you are an expert and like to receive trainings and/or discuss and test analytical methods you can apply to join the Basecamp group.

OLEUM Databank

The OLEUM Databank is an online database of analytical methods, data, and calibration materials related to the chemical and organoleptic characteristics of olive oil. The OLEUM Databank will be launched very soon.

For more information and to be updated of the latest OLEUM activities visit OLEUM website and subscribe to the newsletter available in six languages.

OLEUM an EU funded initiative

For whom: All stakeholders in the olive oil supply chain: traders, experts, laboratories, consumers

Objective: Better guarantee olive oil quality and authenticity by empowering the detection and thereby fostering the prevention of olive oil fraud.

Reason: Improvements in the quality, safety and authenticity of olive oils will boost consumer confidence and ultimately enhance the competitiveness of the olive oil market.

How: Developing advanced solutions, analytical tools and networking actions that will enhance knowledge and assure the authenticity and quality of olive oils at a global scale: 1) validate new and/or improved analytical methods, 2) establish the OLEUM Databank and 3) establish the OLEUM Network for stakeholders.

Areas of interest: Food fraud, authenticity, food safety analyses, sensory and instrunemal analyses.

When: From 2016 to 2020.

Funded by: European Union, with grant agreement number 635690.

Partners: Twenty partners including universities, research centers, laboratories, private companies, non-profit EU wide network organizations.

Coordination: Tullia Gallina Toschi, Alma Mater Studiorum – University of Bologna, Italy.

Contact: or get in touch via the form below.



Gallina Toschi T., Valli E., Conte L., García-Gonzáles D. L., Maquet A., Brereton P., Mcgrath N., Celemín L. F., Bendini A. 2017. EU project OLEUM: Better solutions to protect olive oil quality and authenticity. Agro Food Industry Hi-Tech, vol. 28 (5), pp. 2-3,

Tsimidou M. Z., Nenadis N., Servili M., García-Gonzáles D. L., Gallina Toschi T. 2018. Why tyrosol derivatives have to be quantified in the calculation of “olive oil polyphenols” content to support the health claim provisioned in the EC Reg. 432/2012. European Journal of Lipid Science and Technology, DOI: 10.1002/ejlt.201800098.

Nenadis N., Mastralexi A., Tsimidou M.Z., Vichi S., Quintanilla-Casas B., Donarski J., Bailey-Horne V., Butinar B., Miklavcic M., García González D.-L., Gallina Toschi T. 2018. Toward a Harmonized and Standardized Protocol for the Determination of Total Hydroxytyrosol and Tyrosol Content in Virgin Olive Oil (VOO). Extraction Solvent. European Journal of Lipid Science and Technology, DOI: 10.1002/ejlt.201800099

This article was developed in the context of the project OLEUM “Advanced solutions for assuring authenticity and quality of olive oil at global scale“ funded by the European Commission within the Horizon 2020 Programme (2014–2020, grant agreement no. 635690). The information and views set out in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of the European Union. Neither the European Union institutions and bodies nor any person acting on their behalf may be held responsible for the use which may be made of the information contained therein.

Want to get more information about this topic?

Get in touch

Contact person:
Tullia Gallina Toschi
Job title:

Full professor at the Department of Agricultural and Food Science Coordinator of the research group of instrumental and sensory analysis of food.


Alma Mater Studiorum – University of Bologna

You may also be intrested in the following articles

Upcycling of plant-based food side streams

2 By transforming the side streams into useful products, we can not only enhance the sustainability of our food chain but …


Sustainable packaging for fresh fruit and vegetable

2 In the world of fresh-cut produce, the very way our snacks breathe is crucial to their shelf life. As fresh-cut …


Sustainable drying technologies

2 Drying fruits, vegetables, and mushrooms is a preservation method that’s been with us since ancient times. The sun and air, …


Low oxygen juice extraction and mild preservation

2 The scientists of the FOX project have designed a small-scale, mobile, and flexible unit for fruit processing that involves integrating …