Reading the label

How to read the information on the back of the bottle

Like all food labels, the oil label is a kind of product identity card. It is important to know how to read it correctly.

The indications that it is compulsory to show on olive oil labels are as follows:

  • 1.

    Sales denomination: the sales denominations usable for oil categories, are as follows:
    • "Extra virgin olive oil"

    • “Virgin olive oil”.
    • “Olive oil consisting of refined olive oils and virgin olive oils”.

    • “Olive-pomace oil”.
  • 2.

    Designation of origin (only for extra virgin and virgin): the State where the olives were harvested and the State where the mill that pressed them is located.
  • 3.

    Information on the category of oil: each type of oil must be labelled with a specific wording. That of extra virgin olive oil, for example, is: 'superior category olive oil obtained directly from olives and solely by mechanical means'.
  • 4.

    Net quantity: may be expressed, at the operator's choice, in litres (symbol L or l), in centilitres (symbol cl) or in millilitres (symbol ml).
  • 5.

    Minimum durability date: the date within which the product retains its specific properties under appropriate storage conditions.
  • 6.

    Particular storage conditions: information on the correct storage of the product.
  • 7.

    Name or company name and address of the person or body responsible for marketing the product.
  • 8.

    Lot: indication of the lot is not required when the date of minimum durability is indicated by day, month and year.
  • 9.

    Nutrition declaration concerning the energy value and the quantities of fat, carbohydrates, salt, fibre, protein, vitamins and mineral salts.
  • 10.

    Harvest year: only if 100 per cent of the oil in the package comes from the same harvest.
  • 11.

    Location of the packaging plant: If the oil is packaged by a company other than the commercial department, the name of the packer need not be indicated.
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