Luigi Centauri tells about the CAPOL

We asked Luigi Centauri, president of the Latina Olive Production Taster Center, to tell us how the association he heads was born and what activities it carries out.

“The Capol was founded in 2005 as a committee within the ASPOL (Provincial Olive Producers Association of Latina), on the initiative of some tasters registered in the national list articulated on a regional basis, but also of technical experts in virgin olive oils, officials regional, ASPOL technicians and expert agronomists in the olive sector; operators of different origins and interests but all admirers of good extra virgin olive oil.

In May 2006, considering the keen interest of producers, oil millers and consumers, the Capol was established as an association “Latina olive production tasters center”.

It is an Association that today has 380 ordinary members and supporters, whose main activity is the complete evaluation of the quality of the oil through the integration of analytical technical methods with the sensory ones, the training and improvement of the competence of virgin oil tasters. olive oil and the promotion of extra virgin olive oil in the province of Latina. In 15 years of activity, 600 tasters have been trained, most of them olive growers and then technicians in the agricultural sector, catering staff, sommeliers, consumers.

Olive oil is the first food product for which the sensory analysis based on the “Panel Test” system constitutes a product discriminant, which is why one of the objectives achieved by Capol was the establishment of a panel of tasters from and in province, for the purpose of evaluating and controlling the organoleptic characteristics of extra virgin olive oils as per art. 4 of Reg. (EEC) n. 2568/91.

An analytical tool is not enough to evaluate – and certify – the characteristics of an oil. Men and women with sensitive and trained smell and taste are indispensable. Technology has made many strides but has not yet succeeded in replacing the nose and mouth in this delicate task. If an oil is DOP, extra virgin, virgin, clear, in addition to laboratory determinations, it is the tasting experts who establish it. They are called panels, they are registered in the national list of technicians and experts in virgin and extra virgin olive oils and become tasting professionals after a training course. Currently around sixty panels operate in the province of Latina which, under the banner of Capol, the professional tasting committee recognized by MIPAF pursuant to Reg. (EEC) 2568/91, operates at the panel room of the Latina Chamber of Commerce with the management by the panel leader Luigi Centauri. The same association regularly organizes tasting courses, guided tastings, meetings and conferences on the subject of sensory analysis of olive oil.

The tasting method (panel test) is strictly coded to minimize subjective variables. Every aspect is standardized by the International Olive Council (COI): the glass to be used, the panel room, the procedure to follow, the positive and negative notes that can be found, the evaluation forms. The tasting session is led by a panel leader who coordinates the work of 8-12 tasters. The technique involves a first olfactory examination and a subsequent gustatory examination.
In the last year of 2020 alone, over 500 oil samples from our province have been evaluated; of these, about 70% of the sensory analysis was found to be “extra virgin” and meeting the requirements of the DOP extra virgin olive oil specification (protected designation of origin) “Colline Pontine” recognized by the European Union.

The participation of Capol in the local extra virgin olive oil competitions promoted by the proloco, associations and municipalities of the Pontine Hills is very important because with the selection of the oils and the tasting moments that are repeated and renewed at each event, that bond is consolidated. between territory and product which is the element that increases the quality of production and consumption.
The clearest confirmation of this link are the numbers, which we have lined up in these 16 editions of the provincial competition “Oil from the Hills, Landscapes of extra virgin olive oil and good agricultural practice of the Lepini, Ausoni and Aurunci mountains”.

In these 16 years the oils subjected to the panel test for the provincial competitions have been 2,000 and about n. 900 for municipal competitions. The improvement path of Olio delle Colline has reached important numbers, over 5,000 oils.
Last but not least to mention the 135 companies that we have traveled together in these 16 years in the section of the Competition “Landscapes of extra virgin olive oil and good agricultural practice of the Lepini, Ausoni and Aurunci”, to enter a landscape that exists and resists despite everything, companies seen closely that demonstrate what wealth the pontine hills’ olive-growing heritage represents, which goes beyond the simple economic value, is a value that is part of our history and our future.

The following are the other activities carried out by the association:

  • Tastings and guided tastings within the initiatives for the promotion of extra virgin olive oil organized by the Pro Loco, cultural associations, the Professional Institute for Agriculture and the Environment San Benedetto di Latina and Priverno. The initiatives are aimed at spreading the culture of extra virgin olive oil and canteen olives of excellence by involving local restaurants. The products of the olive growers are the subject of some exhibitions as part of events, setting up tasting counters with combinations of typical local products. In particular, training courses with producers, oil millers, traders in the oil sector, restaurateurs, agronomists, technicians, consumers and educational courses with schools on the knowledge of PDO “Colline Pontine” extra virgin olive oil and “Gaeta” canteen olive DOP ”and“ Itrana Bianca ”.
  • The Capol collaborates with the Italian League for the Fight against Cancer (LILT) – Sec. provincial of Latina – as part of the initiatives aimed at providing the multiple beneficial properties for the human body of extra virgin olive oil.
  • With the Department of Medical-Surgical Sciences and Biotechnologies of Latina of the La Sapienza University, on the other hand, he is conducting research to evaluate the effect on cancer cells of the polyphenol extract of the same cultivar. In particular, the antineoplastic activity of the monovarietal oils of Itrana was examined. The first results have shown that the polyphenolic extract obtained from these products is able to counteract the growth of some types of cancer. In this regard, an information brochure has been created on the organoleptic and health qualities of oil from itrana.
  • With the CNR Institute of Biometeorology, he collaborates in the quality and territory olive growing project, funded under the “Integrated Knowledge Program for the Sustainability and Innovation of Made in Italy Agri-food (CISIA)”, which has the general objective of promoting diffusion of quality olive growing in the Colline Pontine DOP area.
  • With the Department of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Sciences of the University of Perugia, a project was developed to study the variables that influence the final concentration of antioxidants in the oil extracted from the “itrana” cultivar.
  • With the Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies – Central Inspectorate for the Protection of Quality and Fraud Repression of Agri-food Products (ICQRF) for more widespread information and prevention on the territory, connected to compliance with the rules relating to the mandatory indications to be included in the labeling of packaging of olive oils. “

Luigi Centauri – Presidente Capol

Evo, il piacere di Conoscerlo. Intervento di Luigi Centauri: Riconoscere un olio di qualità – Analisi sensoriale e classificazione Oli

Evo, il piacere di Conoscerlo: Consegna della Donazione al Presidente Capol “Affinché la Sala Panel diventi realtà”.


Il Capol (Latina Olive Production Taster Center), non-profit association

it is based in Latina in via Carrara n. 12 / a

Tel. 3291099593 – e-mail:

at the Service Center of the Rome-Latina Industrial Development Consortium

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