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PPP Test will favour trade in more robust oils
The PPP (pyropheophytins) test that is being promulgated by Australian and USA interests measures the degree of oxidation of extra virgin olive oils. The test has been labelled as inaccurate and inconsistent by those that oppose its introduction, including the International Olive Council.
Given that robust olive oils high in polyphenols, or anti-oxidants, are more resistant to oxidation it would seem that the PPP test will favour more robust oils. A high level of polyphenols is mainly manifest by intense bitter and pepper tastes in the oil.
To reduce the risk of product failing the PPP test and consequent costly withdrawals following ‘random’ testing of olive oils on retail shelves, suppliers can be expected to deliver more robust oils. More delicate oils will be sold locally to minimise the risk of oils being exposed to oxidising environments during the long export process.
One possible impact of this will be to deter new and established users of extra virgin olive oil in importing countries who prefer the more delicate oils. This would reduce the per capita consumption of olive oil as consumers switch to the vegetable oils with less taste.