Grasas y Aceites, Vol 45, No 1-2 (1994)

Consumer attitudes and olive oil acceptance: the traditional consumer

Ella Pagliarini
DISTAM, Sezione Tecnologie Alimentan Milan, Italy

Mario Bertuccioli
Universitá degli Studi della Basilicata, Potenza, Italy

Silvia Abba
Biagini FSD, Lucca, Italy


In order to investigate extra virgin olive oil acceptance, preference tests were carried out on two olive oil consumer groups, representative of two different cultures and traditions.
The first consumer group consisted of 20 South Italian families from Potenza. The second group consisted of 152 Northern Individual consumers tested in Milan.
These tests were carried out on 6 oils (2 Greek, 2 Spanish and 2 Italian) produced during the 1992-93 season.
Similar methods were employed in both tests but they were carried out under completely different environmental conditions. For our testing of the 20 families we tried to ensure that the consumption conditions remained as traditional as possible. On the contrary, the test carried out on the 152 consumers was more standardized and allowed a direct comparison between the samples. The responses to preference tests were processed using the PREFMAP statistical method.
The preferences of Southern Italian consumers are sharply differentiated: what is considered to be optimal for a consumer may be unacceptable for another one.
Whereas the preferences expressed by the consumers of a city in Northern Italy is more homogeneous.Therefore, for both Southern and Northern Italian consumers, the sensory profile of extra virgin olive oil should be programmed and standardized. This allows maximum acceptability to be obtained and consumer expectations to be fulfilled.


Acceptance; Consumer; Virgin olive oil

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Copyright (c) 1994 Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC)

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