At Old Town Olive we are proud to showcase the UP logo indicating we carry the highest quality extra virgin olive oil.
Ultra Premium (UP) is a new category of olive oil that distinguishes the highest quality olive oil in the world. The UP industry standard was created in response to the growing need to separate high quality extra virgin olive oils from what dominates the so called “gourmet” and “premium” olive oil markets, as well as the broader category sold in mass markets the world over under thousands of brands and private labels. Many of these olive oils are of inferior quality, mainly because they are stored for so long and lose their freshness.
Lack of enforcement and testing by these trade associations and governmental agencies has led to a marketplace dominated by inferior oils and rife with adulteration. These practices by some of the world’s largest olive oil producers and bottlers have led to a steep decline in prices of extra virgin olive oil and are driving quality oil producers out of business.
The UP standard has as its principal barometers Chemistry and Freshness. These two underappreciated variables can be objectively measured, quantified, and certified. Since the highest quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) comes from high quality fruit coupled with high quality production processes, the UP standard encompasses strict requirements for both the end-product and the production process.
No matter how high the quality of fruit and production methods used, the best olive oils in the world are never as good as when they are fresh. There are no standards for shelf-life of EVOO because it needs to be sold fresh. When a quality EVOO is fresh, there is significantly more positive sensory attributes detectable by the palate.
As any EVOO ages, it naturally oxidizes losing positive sensory qualities as well as inheriting defects. Newly developed tests can objectively quantify the “Freshness” of an EVOO at various stages in its lifecycle and are referred to as the “Fresh Pack” tests encompassing both the Diacylglycerol Content (DAGS) and Pyropheophytins (PPP).
The UP standard is reserved for the finest extra virgin olive oils in the world, as such, the UP grade exceeds all existing European, Italian, Spanish, Greek, North American, Californian, Chilean, Australian or any other standard for the grade known as extra virgin olive oil.
In order to qualify for the UP grade, the extra virgin olive oil must meet or exceed a comprehensive set of Production, Storage, Transportation, Testing, Chemistry, and Organoleptic requirements as set forth in the following document. Instead of placing an overemphasis on what is less important (Terroir) to the detriment of the most critical factors (Chemistry and Freshness), the UP program is intended to reward farmers for producing high quality oil.
Before you buy any olive oil, look for the UP logo indicating the highest quality and freshness. Old Town Olive is a proud supporter of the Ultra Premium standard.