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Gold, silver or bronze for outstanding extra virgin olive oils

Six extra virgin olive oils were awarded ‘gold’ at the Olive Oil Award 2018 (OOA). Spain once again dominated the competition, claiming five gold awards. Only Portugal was able to match this standard as they also received ‘gold’ for an olive oil with outstanding sensory characteristics. In addition, ‘silver’ was conferred 17 times and ‘bronze’ 15 times. All 126 participating olive oils were judged on their sensory characteristics by the Swiss Olive Oil Panel (SOP) of the Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW). The winners were announced on 26 April 2018 in Waedenswil.

Gold winners: Finca La Torre, Selection Hojiblanca // Maeva & Toro // Goya "Unico" Extra Virgin Olive Oil // Rincon De La Subbetica // Oliveria da Serra Lagar do Marmelo // Parqueoliva Serie Oro

With a total of 126 olive oils from nine nations, there were a good 23 percent more olive oils in the 2018 competition than in the previous year. The Swiss Olive Oil Panel (SOP) judged the oils’ sensory characteristics on the basis of the applicable legal requirements (panel test), and also produced a detailed flavour description and harmony evaluation for each oil. The sensory characteristics evaluation under the OOA is based on a multi-stage testing procedure and provides a sound scientific basis for the identification of premium-quality olive oils. Only those olive oils perceived by the nose and palate as being particularly complex, balanced and having length were among the frontrunners at the end of the competition.

More than 50 percent mono-varieties, but EU-blends also represented

The traditional European olive oil producing countries, such as Italy (45 oils entered), Spain (31), Portugal (18) and Greece (14), once again submitted the most olive oils. More than half (53 percent) of the olive oils in the competition were so-called ‘mono-varieties’. These are oils that are made only from one type of olive. 27 percent of these mono-variety oils received an award. Oils from a specific region but made from more than one variety accounted for the other 43%. Just under a third (31 percent) of these oils were prize-winners. In addition, examples of so-called ‘European blends’ (4 percent) were also successfully represented. Three bronze awards went to oils produced from olives originating from three different countries (Italy, Spain, and Portugal). Other participants this year included Tunisia (7 oils), Croatia (5), Turkey (3), France (2) and, for the first time, Bosnia-Herzegovina (1).

OLIO 2018 - public test in Zurich 

In an open tasting, consumers can personally sample OOA oils at the ‘Gourmesse’ in Zurich-Oerlikon from 13 to 16 September 2018. The ZHAW’s olive oil bar will be in Hall 662. There, as part of a consumer test, this year's favourites will also be sought. The best-placed oils will receive the ‘OLIO 2018’ award.



  • Annette Bongartz, Head of Food Perception Group, Institute of Food and Beverage Innovation (ILGI), ZHAW, Wädenswil, and Head of the Swiss Olive Oil Panel (SOP). 058 934 57 22,
  • Martin Popp, Deputy Head of the Swiss Olive Oil Panel (SOP), Research Associate Food Perception Group, Institute of Food and Beverage Innovation (ILGI), ZHAW, Wädenswil. 058 934 57 99,

Media Relations

  • Cornelia Sidler, School of Life Sciences and Facility Management, ZHAW, Wädenswil. 058 934 53 66,