Protected Geographical Indication
Oil of Ibiza

Aceite de Ibiza is an extra virgin olive oil obtained exclusively from the mechanical processing of the fruits from the olive tree (Olea Europea, L.). These are fruity green oils of medium or high intensity and a light to medium level of bitterness and zest on the palate.

VARIETIES

The Protected Geographical Indication ‘Aceite de Ibiza’ is reserved exclusively for extra virgin olive oils manufactured using the arbequina, picual and koroneiki varieties, by themselves or in combination, together representing at least 90%. The remaining 10% may come from other varieties recorded in the register of commercial varieties.

CHARACTERISTICS

Aceite de Ibiza is distinguishable thanks to its characteristics:

Physical-chemical characteristics:

- Acidity (shown in oleic acid) < 0,5 %

- Peroxide index: <12 meq O2/Kg

- K 232 < 2,00

- K 270 < 0,16

- Polyphenols > 200 mg/kg of olive oil

 

Organoleptic properties:

 

Median class interval

Minimum

Maximum

Fruity green

≥3

≤7

Bitterness

≥1.5

≤4

Zest

≥2

≤5

Balance

The averages of the bitterness and zest attributes are, as a maximum, two points higher than the average of the fruity attribute.

 

LINK TO THE GEOGRAPHICAL AREA

The link with the environment is based on the history, the differentiating characteristics that environment and reputation bring.

The cultivation of an olive grove and the production of oil are closely linked to the history and culture of Eivissa (Catalan for Ibiza). Historical references and excavations have confirmed oleic activity in the year 450 B.C. According to the archaeologist Glenda Graziani (2018), in the third Century B.C. there were 23 agricultural operations in Eivissa that produced between 30,000 and 60,000 litres of oil. There is proof of the oil’s importance in the Ebusitan economy from the first Century A.D., in the treaty of ‘Punic Amphoras of Ibiza’, in which the text cites ‘it must be indicated that there are many pressings detected in these types of sites…’.

Throughout the history of Eivissa, there are numerous references in relation to the production and importance of Aceite de Ibiza. In the Llibre del mostassaf d’Eivissa book (1398), the average units of olive oil are described, as documental evidence of its commercialisation. The Royal Decrees of the University of Ibiza (Reials Ordinacions de la Universitat d´Eivissa, 1663) make reference to the lack of oil in Eivissa due to exportations. In 1686, Gaietà Soler prohibited the private trade of olive oil, since it had been exported massively and the island was left without oil.

In the 17th Century, the Economical Society of the Friends of the Country of Eivissaimported new varieties and brought in grafting experts with the aim of training farmers. The Agricultural, Industrial and Policing Instruction Plan of the islands of Eivissa and Formentera (1786-87) amounted to the harvesting of 4,720 measures and 25 pounds (78,269.11 litres). The archduke Luís Salvador de Austria (1869), in his book Las antiguas Pitiusas (The Old Pityuses) also pointed out the importance of the production of oil and in the text cites that ‘Ibizan oil is still obtained through the old Arabic process…’. The Bulletin from the Royal Historical Society (1907) points out the abundance of oil in Eivissa and in number 5, volume 111 of the National Geographic Magazine (1957), Jean Shor, associate editor, provides written and graphic proof of the storage of olive oil during the agricultural operations in Eivissa. The references mentioned confirm that the ‘Aceite’ – ‘Ibiza/Eivissa’ binominal is historical.

One other piece of evidence of the oleic importance of the island of Eivissa is the number of antique olive presses. In 2003, an inventory was performed in which 211 antique olive presses were catalogued, the inscriptions of which have allowed us to confirm their antiquity, including one of the oldest presses from the year 1607.

The connection between Eivissa and oil is even reflected in its own and a different lexicon, as catalogued by Garrido (2005) in L’oli a les pitiuses, una tradició mil·lenaria, which is still kept today, where it mentions: el trull (olive press), els cofins (esportines), la jàsena (a wooden beam), etc.

The distinguishable characteristics of Aceite de Ibiza are attributed to the geographical production method (the distinguishable geoclimatic conditions) and human elements.

The limestone land and the high number of hours of sunshine favour a high content of aromatic components. The low altitude of the plantations, some at sea level, strengthen the polyphenol content.

The Mediterranean climate of the island of Eivissa, with its long hours of sunshine, foster the ideal conditions for the cultivation of oil, especially photosynthesis and the accumulation of biomass in the plant’s organs. The gentle temperatures of spring and the long hours of sunshine boost flowering and pollination. The high temperatures of summer and the hours of sunshine boost a quick maturity that determines the start of the harvest in the month of September, allowing Eivissa to stand out as one of the first areas in Europe to begin their olive harvest. On the other hand, the lack of ice helps with the extraction of stable oils, without defects and with a higher polyphenol content.

The hot and sunny summer, with scarce rainfall, establishes hydric stress on the olive that boosts the high polyphenol content and an increase in the bitterness and zesty qualities.

The green harvest, of olives that are hardly pigmented, establishes distinguishable characteristics in the Aceite de Ibiza which affects the fruity green aroma and the polyphenol content. The green harvest has an effect on poor performance during the conversion of the olive into oil, but fosters unique characteristics.

The scarce distance between the olive grove and the olive presses, and the quick grinding of the green olive, at a low temperature, creates oils with low acidity and a low hydroperoxide content which establishes low values of the peroxide index and K232.

The Oil of Ibiza - Balearic Islands - Agrifoodstuffs, designations of origin and Balearic gastronomy ideal storage conditions include avoiding contact with air and light, and packaging the product in the olive grind itself yields stable oils with low peroxide contents and di- and tri- conjugates.

The historical link and the distinguishable characteristics have established Aceite de Ibiza’s high reputation, which has been confirmed in writing for over 200 years. For example, in his work Descripciones de las Islas Pithiusas and Baleares, José Vargas (1787) mentions: ‘The current harvest of Iviza is (…) due to its quality the oil is precious among the good things of Spain: and due to its abundance, it should be a branch of trade for the Island.’ In the Reales Ordinacions de la isla y real fuerza de Iviza (1751), the Aceite de Ibiza is described as very precious and when compared to the best: ‘…the oil of Spain is the best, and only Ibiza can match it.’ In the Political and Economic Plan for the Islands of Ibiza and Formentera from the year 1789, Miguel Cayetano praises the Aceite de Ibiza: ‘it’s so clear, and of such exquisite taste that it is preferred to the best of Mallorca.’ The Reials Ordinacions de la Universitat d´Eivissa (1663) highlights the importance of mass exportation of Aceite de Ibiza. The Geographical-Statistical-Historical Dictionary of Spain (1847) affirms that in the year 1848, 450 arrobas (5,653 litres) of Aceite de Ibiza was exported to America.

This historical reputation has remained unchanged over centuries and currently, more than ever, Aceite de Ibiza is an oil which is highly valued by consumers, experts, chefs and restauranteurs.

PRODUCTION, MANUFACTURING AND PACKAGING CONDITIONS

The olive grove plantations are primarily located on the plains, at 300m below sea level, protected from the winds by the mountainous areas in the northeast of the Island. The land is alkaline with natural limestone, with a high calcium content.

Maintaining the land is carried out using mechanical methods and the use of herbicides is prohibited.

The density of the plantation does not exceed 500 olive trees per hectare and the vines are free-standing. Every year, one or two works are carried out on land cultivation, which consists of clearing the natural vegetation or cultivating the land.

Deep fertilisation is carried out with organic material every four years, with a dose no larger than 20tm/ha and each year there is a covering mineral fertilisation that cannot exceed 125 kg N/ha.

Only localised watering is allowed, through drip irrigation. It is a traditional practice of Eivissa to submit plantations to hydric stress during the maturation period of the olive, with the aim of increasing the polyphenol content and bitterness of the olive; for this reason, watering is prohibited from the first day of July. In case of a drought, as predicted by the opportune studies, the competent authorities will be able to authorise an emergency watering by indicating the methods and conditions of procedure.

Olive pruning in Eivissa is carried out every year, between the months of November and March, and consists of eliminating the interior branches that do not get a lot of sunlight to avoid as much as possible the vertical growth of the tree and to facilitate harvesting.

Harvesting is performed in the period between the first of September and the first of December. The olive is harvested when green, with scarce superficial pigmentation, and a ripeness of between 1 and 3 on the Ferreira scale (1979).

Harvesting is carried out mechanically, through the use of personal or multidirectional tree vibrators (like inverted umbrellas), in order to avoid having the olive ever touch the ground.

Maximum production is limited to 35kg per olive tree for plantations over 10 years old, 20kg per olive tree for plantations aged 6 to 10 years, 11kg per olive tree for plantations aged 3 to 6 years and 2kg per olive tree for plantations less than 3 years old.

Transporting the olives to the olive press is done every day and in the best conditions so that the fruits do not overheat, ferment or deteriorate. They are packaged in plastic boxes or loose in an agricultural trailer. The use of non-aerated receptors, such as bags, are prohibited.

The maximum timeframe between harvesting and grinding the olives is 24 hours.

In the olive mills, the selection and classification of the olives is performed, and the olives that are damaged or have deteriorated are chosen for the manufacturing of Aceite de Ibiza. Next, the olives are washed and cleaned to eliminate any foreign or unclean substances (leaves, dirt, etc.)

Grinding is carried out using mill hammers, with stone hammers prohibited.

Mixing is always carried out in stainless steel mixers at a temperature below 28°C. The use of technological contributors is prohibited.  

Extraction is carried out through a continuous system of extraction, by centrifuge, that allows for the separation between the solid and liquid phase. The procedure of pressing or second centrifugation of the paste is not allowed.

The maximum yield of the oils intended for the Protected Geographical Indication of Aceite de Ibiza does not exceed 17 litres of oil for 100kg of olives.

To avoid contact with air and light, elements which can cause the sensorial characteristics of the oil to wane, the oil is stored in vertical stainless-steel deposits that allow the oil to avoid contact with air, allowing for the use of inert gases. The constructive characteristics of the olive grinders and the storage conditions guarantee that the oil is stored in the appropriate temperature conditions, without exceeding 18°C.

Mixing oils from different crops is prohibited, in order to preserve the freshness and singularities of the crop.

Before packaging, the oil must be submitted to a process of natural decantation, filtration or other physical method that allows for the separation of possible residuals (dust, vegetable extracts, etc).

Aceite de Ibiza must be sold in bottles of dark glass, covered metal or another container that doesn’t let in any light. The capacity of the packages shall not exceed 5 litres.

LABELLING

The name of the Protected Geographical Indication of ‘Aceite de Ibiza /’Oli d’Eivissa’ appears in the main visual scope of the label, in a clear and distinguishable way to the other writing. The Aceite de Ibiza denomination also includes the mention of the Protected Geographical Indication.

The labels include the production year of the olives and a correspondingly-numbered alphanumeric code to facilitate the monitoring of the product’s traceability.

Naming the varieties used is conditioned so that 100% of the olives are of the variety or varieties mentioned.

The use of names of operations, plantations or farms is only permitted if the oil has been obtained exclusively with olives collected in their olive groves. Reference on the packaging to the olive operation is only permitted if the packaging was created within the same operation.

 

Oil of Ibiza - Balearic Islands - Agrifoodstuffs, designations of origin and Balearic gastronomy
Production data

Year 2019

Number of olive trees:  44.947

Surface Ha: 177

Production L: 25.901

Number of makers: 4

Institut de la Qualitat Agroalimentària (IQUA)
C/ Reina Constanza, 4 - 07005 Palma
Tel. 971 17 66 66
Fax: 971 176 870

iqua@caib.es
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