Grasas y Aceites, Vol 65, No 2 (2014)

Virgin olive oil color and perceived quality among consumers in emerging olive-growing countries

A. Gámbaro, L. Raggio, A. C. Ellis, M. Amarillo



Five virgin olive oil samples were evaluated by 122 consumers for their color acceptability and expected quality on 9-point structured scales. A description of the attributes expected in the different oils was obtained from the responding consumers by means of a check-all-that-apply questionnaire consisting of a list of 17 possible virgin olive oil attributes. Hierarchical cluster analysis led to the identification of two consumer clusters with distinct behavior. Whereas one consumer cluster attributed higher quality to those oils that were greener in color, which they described as tasty, rich-flavored, strong-tasting, herb-flavored and expensive, consumers in the other cluster assumed that greener olive oils were of a poorer quality, as they described them as strange-tasting, strong-tasting, herb-tasting and defective. Despite the contrasting perception of a virgin olive oil’s green color, the respondents, irrespective of cluster, presumed that the virgin olive oil that was the yellowest in color was of poor quality and cheap, also assuming that it had a milder taste than the other oils.


Color; Consumer; Olive oil; Sensory evaluation

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