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:
- 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”.
- 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.
- 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'.
- 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).
- Minimum durability date: the date within which the product retains its specific properties under appropriate storage conditions.
- Particular storage conditions: information on the correct storage of the product.
- Name or company name and address of the person or body responsible for marketing the product.
- Lot: indication of the lot is not required when the date of minimum durability is indicated by day, month and year.
- Nutrition declaration concerning the energy value and the quantities of fat, carbohydrates, salt, fibre, protein, vitamins and mineral salts.
- Harvest year: only if 100 per cent of the oil in the package comes from the same harvest.
- 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.