The EVA standard utilizes practical chemical and sensory parameters to define the quality of extra
virgin olive oil when it is made and during the time to its Best Before Date (BBD). The chemistry
involves common tests such as free fatty acids and peroxide levels — measures of degradation useful when the oil is made, plus some other parameters that predictably change over time known as PPP,
UV and DAGs tests. Sensory analysis as always is important not only to determine that the oil is in
good shape but to ensure that its food-enhancing characteristics are maintained to the BBD.
The EVA sensory standard is based on the most used international standards for olive oil but is a bit stricter with regard to flavor intensity required to be in the olive oil at the BBD.
Best Before Date
High quality olive oil maintains its quality because of its natural protectants against degradation — the same reason it is really good for human health. But it doesn’t last forever. Most good oils have a time to BBD of between 18 months to 3 years. This can be accurately calculated based on testing when it is made. This is important for consumers and producers — so consumers are confident that before this time it the oil is great (it will still be edible and good for some time after the BBD), and producers can plan their sales knowing the time they have to do this.
Off the Shelf Testing Program to Assure Quality
All of this is backed up by independent monitoring and testing off the retail shelf of EVA producer’s oils so producers and the retailers can be certain the oil is good and if any problems are detected they are dealt with well before it becomes any kind of problem for consumers.