The California Department of Food and Agriculture has approved grading and labeling standards for California olive oil, which took effect on September 26, 2014.
The standards will set California-specific guidelines that will apply to handlers producing 5,000 gallons or more of olive oil made from olives grown in California. Importers and distributors of bulk and bottled olive oil produced outside of California as well as smaller-scale in-state millers are exempt from the standards.
The standards will also establish a more stringent limit for free fatty acids, a negative attribute that signals a breakdown of olive oil quality due to exposure to heat, light and oxygen.
The standards will be the first in the world to require testing of every lot of oil produced.