Narrator: This is Science Today. Sensory taste panels have helped elevate California olive oil to premium status. University of California Cooperative Extension farm adviser Paul Vossen was instrumental in establishing the state's first olive oil sensory taste panel, which was officially recognized by the International Olive Council in 2001.
Vossen: That taste panel and my work essentially has taught all of the producers in California the differences between a good olive oil and a defective olive oil. And then some of the nuances between what is a ripe olive — what does olive oil taste like from ripe fruit? What does olive oil taste like from greener fruit? What's a combination of the two? And what's the influence of the different types of processing equipment?
Narrator: Vossen says this helps the producer hone in on the style and varieties of oil they want to produce.
Vossen: Now they're able to have the confidence when they're talking to consumers about, well this is my oil, these are the characteristics of my oil, this is why my oil is like this.
Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.