One of the most important aspects of olive oil classification and value determination is sensory analysis. According to Paul Vossen, who directs the California Olive Oil Council's tasting panel, human sensory evaluation is up to 100 times more accurate for olive oil than laboratory equipment for certain characteristics such as aroma and texture.

In an effort to educate olive oil consumers and producers, University Extension is offering Sensory Evaluation of Olive Oil on April 27-28, at the University of California, Davis.

Led by Vossen, the course teaches participants to recognize olive oil defects and make objective assessments of olive oil quality. Tastings of commercial olive oils from California and Europe are interspersed with lectures throughout the two-day workshop. For more information on the workshop, call (800) 752-0881.