Extra Virgin Olive Oil Label explained.
Italian and European Union regulations dictate exactly what must and may not appear on the label of your bottle of extra virgin olive oil.
Mandatory information on the front label.
- Product Name: Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Origin: Product of Italy
- Size, capacity eg 1 litre
Other mandatory information to look out for:
- This exact phrase: “Superior category olive oil obtained directly from olives and solely by mechanical means”. This simply means that no chemicals have been used in the extraction process;
- Storage conditions: “Store in a cool and dark place”. Light and heat oxidise extra virgin olive oil. That is to say they accelerate the ageing process;
- Full legal name and address of where the extra virgin olive oil has been bottled;
- Nutritional Values;
- Lot Number and Best Before Date;
- Recycling indications to help one recycle the packaging materials correctly.
No geographical indication, apart from the country of origin, may appear on the label UNLESS the extra virgin olive oil has been certified PDO Protected Designation of Origin or PGI Protected Geographical Indication (and bears the EU logo and certifiers numbered sticker), and even in this case exact wording must be used.
For example, we may not simply write UMBRIAN extra virgin olive oil. We must write: Extra Virgin Olive Oil “PDO Umbria Colli Assisi Spoleto”.
A label which claims for example to be “Sicilian Extra Virgin Olive Oil” without the above European union certification is highly fraudulent.