Esteemed Customers and Colleagues,
The USDA Has recently issued their new standards for Grades of Olive Oil, and Olive Pomace Oil within the United States that will go into effect October 24th, 2010. The older standards that were enacted in 1949 will be replaced with these new standards. Cibaria and its suppliers have been active in voicing the USA’s need for enhanced standards when it comes to olive oil quality. Initially, the new standards will be used by U.S. Customs to inspect incoming shipments and will be voluntary for those doing business within the United States. However, we are confident that it is the beginning of the U.S.’s move to stricter standards within the olive oil industry. In an effort to ensure that all olive oils in our marketplace are meeting the International Olive Oil Council’s standards, we believe this new regulation is a small improvement, of hopefully many more, to come from the USDA regarding olive oil.
What this New Standard Means For Your Company, and Your Customers
Cibaria International, Inc. will continue to strictly adhere to these regulations. In accordance with this new USDA policy, Cibaria now encourages you to submit Purchase Orders which include the clause that state “All deliveries must be in accordance with USDA standards”. By including this clause on your verbal or written purchase orders, you are ensuring that the oil you are receiving is exactly what the label states. Although Cibaria has been clearly and honestly labeling products for years, many companies and distributors don’t practice this crucial process, which leads to increased fraud in the marketplace.
This new regulation is a small step in making companies more aware of the olive oil that they are receiving. It is aimed at eliminating the mislabeling of products pertaining to the grade of olive oil that it may be. This new regulation will also bring to light any oils that carry any unknown allergens that may be present in oils that do not meet the new USDA Olive Oil standards.
Vegetable Oil can no longer be blended with Olive Oil without carrying a clear label, which identifies all of the oil’s contents. The previous standards of 1949 did not offer a solution to those misrepresenting varieties of oils. This is truly a step in the right direction to better protect your company, and your customers.
To view the USDA’s document regarding these new standards: http://www.cooc.com/docs/USDAstandard.pdf
Thank you for your patronage,
Cibaria International, Inc.
1203 Hall Ave.
Riverside, CA 92509
Cooking with olive oil is like cooking with wine. Never use a wine or olive oil that does not taste good to you. An inferior one will leave an aftertaste. If you do the taste test and compare the “pure” to the “extra-virgin” and the you’ll understand the difference.
When cooking with olive oil, save your extra-virgin expensive oils for salads, dressings, and vinaigrette. You can also drizzle it over slices of crusty bread or onto open-face sandwiches. Use it on a baked potato or add it to mashed potatoes instead of butter. Extra virgin olive oil tastes great on cooked vegetables or brushed onto fish or meat before serving.
When sauteing or frying, use either a combination olive oil (one that is simply a blend of extra virgin and regular olive oil) or a straight olive oil.
For deep frying, the olive oil grade “olive oil,” is excellent because it has a higher smoke point (410º F) than virgin or extra virgin oils.
Buying oil in small sizes, or splitting larger bottles with friends, is a practical way to buy expensive oils. Oil purchased in bulk should always be poured into smaller containers, preferably in a can or a dark-colored bottle.
Remember – Olives are fruit; olive oil is a fruit juice. Air, heat, and light will cause olive oil to turn rancid (rancid is the flavor which is imparted in an oil after it has undergone the process of oxidation. Since prolonged contact with oxygen is the rot cause of oxidation, rancidity is a common defect, so it should be stored in a cool place in an airtight container). If your oil has a buttery taste, then it’s probably rancid.
The ideal temperature for storing olive oil is 57°F or 14 degrees C, although a normal room temperature of 70ºF works very well if the olive oil is stored in a dark area where the temperature remains fairly constant. A kitchen cabinet located away from the stove and away from direct sunlight will work quite well. If you have a wine cellar, store your olive oils there and keep a small amount in your kitchen. Do not put olive oil in a container without a tight cap.
Refrigeration does not harm most grades of olive oil, but it is not recommended for expensive extra virgin varieties because condensation may develop in the bottle, affecting the flavor. When chilled, or in cold weather, the oil may turn cloudy and even solidify. Such oil will clear again as it warms, so cloudiness should not be taken as an indication that the oil is past its prime. Be sure bottles are tightly sealed. Refrigeration will extend the life of olive oil without harming the oil. Doing so will cause it to congeal and turn cloudy, but should not affect flavor. If refrigerated, olive oil will return to its original, liquid state when warmed to room temperature again.
Tinted glass, porcelain, or stainless steel are the best materials for containers; oil should never be stored in plastic or in reactive metals. Stay away from plastic containers as the oil can absorb PVCs.