With high competition pressure and a saturated market, food quality has become an increasingly important means of competition on the market. Quality concept focuses on customer needs and expectations. A powerful and indispensable tool to understand the intrinsic quality of foods and to translate customer needs into product is sensory analysis. In this study we have chosen to focus the analysis on olive oil, given its importance in the present competitive scenario and also for the renewed and growing interest that this product has in nutrition. The aims of this work were twofold: firstly, to see whether the consumers have an adequate knowledge of the specific qualities of olive oil and also the perceived quality in regard to origin; and secondly, to analyze consumer preferences in order to identify sensory characteristics most important to the acceptability of five olive oil products.
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