Analyses to determine the quality of 2022 Tuscan olive oil

We have reached the end of the 2022 olive oil season, another one affected by anomalous climate, which was certainly not memorable at national level.

In Tuscany and in the central north in general, we have had areas of high production characterised by good quality and areas that had to fight against the fly and where production was not very abundant. 

In the south, the situation was worse: only a few areas managed to maintain high levels of quality and productivity.

The rains caused most of the problems especially in the south where, from November onwards, the fly damaged the olives resulting in poor quality of the oils produced. The anomalous hot weather in May and June did not help the harvest either, in some areas hindering fruit set.

Analyses to determine the quality of 2022 Tuscan olive oil

Below is a table of the analyses performed in the CDR chemical Lab “Francesco Bonicolini” with the CDR OxiTester analysis system. The values in the table are listed according to the date of the sample analysis.

I risultati delle analisi dell'olio di oliva toscano stagione 2022

In general, the quality of the olive oils analysed proved to be medium to high, considering the polyphenol value as a quality-determining parameter.

Polyphenols are in fact a key indicator of the quality of olive oil: they exert a protective action on the oxidation of the oil by oxygen, they are consumed thus preserving the oil from oxidation.

In the table, better quality oils are highlighted with a darker green colour that lightens as the polyphenol value decreases. Visually, it can therefore be seen that oils with better organoleptic characteristics are more concentrated in the first part of the harvest period, even though oils with a medium or high polyphenol value were also produced in late November.

The polyphenol value averaged 497 mg/Kg, significantly higher than last year, while the acidity value was a little higher: 0.22% compared to last year's 0.12%. However, even this year the acidity value is more than satisfactory and indicates that in the area where the samples originated, the presence of fly was minimal.

The peroxide value of all samples analysed was also largely below the limit required to classify the product as extra virgin.