Quality Assurance - William Aitken

By: Lupi Olive Oil  05-Apr-2012
Keywords: Olive Oil, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Balsamic Vinegar


Before being shelved in New Zealand supermarkets, each bottle of Lupi Olive Oil has undergone a rigorous series of quality assurance tests.

Each bottle of Lupi Extra Virgin Olive Oil begins with carefully selected olives, cold-pressed to extract the precious oil without destroying its natural goodness.  Each batch of olive oil undergoes thorough testing to ensure that it meets the standards for Extra Virgin Olive Oil, before being blended by a team of experts to produce a product with the consistent appearance, flavour and aroma that our customers expect from Lupi Extra Virgin Olive Oil.  The olive oil is tested again before being bottled at one of our Italian sites, and only if it meets the strict standards of the International Olive Council, is it permitted to bear the Lupi Extra Virgin label.

Lupi Extra Light in Taste Olive Oil is prepared by a similar process, but the crude olive oil is refined to remove the naturally occurring components that give Extra Virgin Olive Oil its colour and flavour.  Extra Light in Taste Olive Oil is ideal for higher-heat cooking, or for applications where a strong olive flavour is not desired eg baking.

Lupi Pure Olive Oil is simply a mixture of Extra Virgin and Extra Light Olive Oils giving a multi-purpose product with wide appeal.


The International Olive Council specifications for Extra Virgin Olive Oil are comprised of 35 tests to determine the purity and quality of the Olive Oil, and to check for defects such as rancidity, which cause the oil to lose its health benefits and may also reduce its shelf-life.  Some of the key tests involved are:

  • Acidity – Acidity tests measure the level of free fatty acids in an olive oil. Damage to the fruit before the olives are pressed causes natural enzymes to be released.  These enzymes start to break down the olive oil, releasing free fatty acids, which affect the flavour of the oil and reduce its shelf life.
  • Peroxide Value – The Peroxide Value is an indicator of rancidity.  Deterioration of olive oil causes the release of natural peroxide, which ultimately lead to rancidity.  Rancid oils develop unpleasant flavours and are also harmful to health.
  • Organoleptic testing – Taste testing of the oil under controlled conditions by a panel of trained experts is used to identify defects in flavour and aroma, including rancidity.


Lupi Olive Oil is blended and bottled in Italy at a purpose-built facility which meets the regulatory requirements of the European Union, and has internationally-recognised food safety certifications including ISO 9001:2000, International Food Standard (IFS) and British Retail Consortium (BRC).

The Lupi Olive Oil Quality Assurance Programme includes testing before and after blending to ensure that all products meet International Olive Council standards.  William Aitken & Co also purchases products from the shelves of New Zealand supermarkets on a regular basis, and sends these back to Italy for testing against International Olive Council standards.  This provides an additional assurance that the Lupi Olive Oils on supermarket shelves are worthy of the name.

Keywords: Balsamic Vinegar, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Mediterranean Cooking, Mediterranean Diet, Olive Oil

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