Answer: Grading and certification of olive oil is not required. The revised grade standards for olive oil are voluntary grade standards. Suppliers may wish to have their product graded voluntarily in order to assure their customers of the quality of their product.
Answer: USDA, Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), Fruit and Vegetable Programs, Processed Products Branch (PPB)
provides grading and certification services for olive oil. USDA, AMS, Science and Technology
provides laboratory testing services as needed for grading and certification.
for more information on PPB’s grading and certification service.
Answer: In all cases, olive oil must be truthfully labeled according to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) labeling requirement, Title 21, Code of Federal Regulations (21 CFR 101, part 101.3
). The U.S. grade standards provide a basis for olive oil grade designations that can be used on the labels.
In order to use the “U.S.” prefix, as in U.S. Extra Virgin Olive Oil, olive oil must be officially graded and certified by USDA. For example, if olive oil is graded by USDA and meets the requirements established in the standard for U.S. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
, then the product may be labeled “U.S. Extra Virgin Olive Oil.”
If olive oil is not officially graded by USDA, but meets the requirements of the U.S. grade standards, the product may be labeled as olive oil, as long as the statement is truthful.