Skip to main content
Completed project

Australian olive industry sensory training (OL17003)

Key research provider: The NSW Department of Primary Industries
Publication date: Tuesday, July 14, 2020

What was it all about?

The Australian olive industry, while small on a global scale, produces consistently high-quality extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) and table olives. To maintain this consistent and superior quality in domestic and international markets, rigorous sensory evaluation and ongoing training was conducted to ensure that our domestic product aligns with global standards and accreditations.

This project which ran in 2019 and early 2020 implemented a range of training programs to inform and strengthen olive growers and processors knowledge on the sensory quality attributes of EVOO and table olives. This was achieved through:

  • Three online and eight face-to-face TasteBook® sessions brought together industry stakeholders such as sensory panelists, olive oil show judges, growers and producers to assess and evaluate EVOO and table olive samples. The sessions provided valuable insight into the EVOO and table olive quality andimproved the participants understanding of how to appreciate and judge these products in line with global standards.
  • Seven masterclass workshops were held for consumers in various locations of Australia to improve understanding and awareness of the positive and negative sensory attributes of EVOO and table olives. Activities included consumer tasting, a young judges training program and a consumer survey which explored consumer understanding and awareness of olive oil and table olive sensory attributes.
  • A review of the Australian Olive Oil Sensory Panel (AOOSP) members was undertaken to understand how the panel is performing. In addition, training for new entrants was conducted in March-2020 over 12 sessions to ensure the AOOSP maintains a detailed understanding of key sensory attributes of olive products.
  • Extension of evidence-based findings to olive growers and industry stakeholders was achieved through regular updates in the Australian Olive Association (AOA) quarterly magazine Australian and New Zealand Olive grower and Processor.


Learn more about the TasteBook® initiative and access downloadable resources from this page, including workshop presentations, videos and helpful guides on olive sensory evaluation.

Nine articles relating to this project have been published and dispersed throughout various editions of the Australian and New Zealand Olivegrower and Processor magazine. Login here to access March, June, September and December-2019 and March-2020 editions, all which host information about the project.

Additionally, three R&D insights articles on sensory skills and quality parameters (pg 7-8), olive sensory training workshops (pg 8) and extra virgin olive oil sensory experience (pg 8) can be accessed for further information on the project.

Related levy funds

978 0 7341 4603 8

Funding statement:
This project was funded through the Hort Innovation Olive Fund using the olive R&D levy and contributions from the Australian Government

Copyright © Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited 2020. The Final Research Report (in part or as a whole) cannot be reproduced, published, communicated or adapted without the prior written consent of Hort Innovation, except as may be permitted under the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth).