What is TasteBook®?
TasteBook® is a sensory training initiative in appreciating, describing and understanding how to improve the quality of EVOO and table olives. It includes tasting of olive oils and table olives, assessing their characteristics, and providing feedback on the style, quality and uses of the sample products that aims to expose industry participants to regular sensory experiences and palate calibration for olive products, and to assist in gaining an understanding of how to achieve product excellence. TasteBook® was developed and is owned by the AOA.
TasteBook® aims to encourage a conversation on judging methodology and enables benchmarking of participant performance against senior judges. Participants are also encouraged to benchmark their own products against the samples provided.
TasteBook® is a component of a broader professional development platform for competition judges that proposes to include Masterclasses for EVOO and table olive judging as well as annual refresher courses, and an expansion of the National Young Judges Program. TasteBook® aims to:
- Provide regular tasting experiences and training to upskill an expanded pool of Australian EVOO and table olive judges within the AOA judges training and accreditation framework.
- Integrate training with the e-learning modules which are linked to Units of Competency from the National Training Framework (NTF). These competencies can be bundled with other units to achieve a formal qualification such as FDF30111 Certificate III in Food Processing, or AHC40310 Certificate IV in Production Horticulture.
- Improved industry awareness, knowledge, skills and capacity in sensory assessment of EVOO, table olives and other olive products.
- Enhance a culture of continuous improvement and excellence in the Australian olive industry.
- Increase exposure of the Australian olive industry to International events and expertise.
TasteBook® is open to any interested person to register. In particular, all national, state and regional competition judges and associate judges, trainee judges including young judges and AOA Code of Practice Signatories (now rebranded as OliveCare®) are encouraged to participate.
Outputs from The TasteBook® program can be downloaded from this page and will serve as a future training guide for competition judges.
TasteBook® Rounds are conducted online. Upon registration, participants (includes family, friends and staff, if desired) are sent samples and detailed instructions and training materials are emailed. Participants use an online survey as part of their sensory assessment. A report on the survey results is then compiled and made available to participants. This report highlights any differences between the participants responses and the trainer’s assessment of the oils, which provides feedback to participants on the quality of their own assessments.
TasteBook® Live is the workshop version of TasteBook®Rounds. Here, participants have the opportunity to test samples in a live, workshop environment, where discussion is encouraged among the trainers and other participants, the key benefit being that feedback on sensory analysis is immediate.
2019/2020 Sensory Training Workshops and TasteBook® Rounds
In 2019 and 2020, sensory scientist Soumi Paul Mukhopadhyay of DPI Wagga Wagga, led a series of sensory training workshops using the TasteBook® platform, across Australia.
Download workshop presentations:
- Australian Olive Industry Sensory Training Program
- A Descriptive Language for Table Olive Flavours
- Varietal Descriptors
- Fruit Descriptors – Table Olives
- Olive Descriptors for Judging
TasteBook® Round training materials and results
TasteBook® Round 7 (March 2020)
Tasting Table Olives – https://vimeo.com/400476547/9e21c67cd5
TasteBook® Round 6 (March 2020)
Tasting Flavoured Olive Oils https://vimeo.com/400471960/3de3b5de55
Round 6 – Appreciating flavoured olive oil