The two Elaia Zait´s founders showing up with the new compostable lids

Elaia Zait launches these new utensils that aim to become essential elements in unofficial olive oil tastings.

For a time we had been thinking about the search for some utensils that could be used to replace watch glasses in unofficial tastings and oil tastings.

The International Olive Council (IOC) standard, COI / T.20 / Doc. No 15 / Rev. 10, describes “The tasters shall pick up the glass, keeping it covered with the watch-glass, and shall bend it gently; they shall then rotate the glass fully in this position so as to wet the inside as much as possible. Once this stage is completed, they shall remove the watch-glass and smell the sample”. Te official utensils is clearly the watch-glass. The purpose is not to replace it, but to be a sustainable alternative to it, when the tasters do not want to use it. The problem of this object lies in its fragility. It is really easy to break. Of this reason the sector has sought alternative elements that meet its functionality, mainly made by plastic and never desinged for the olive oil tasting glass. These plastics lids have been created for other products and the olive oil sector adapts it to the olive oil tasting glass.

A challenge to innovate

On one hand, we had the watch-glass which is the official one but not always used in the olive oild tasting due its fragililty. And, on the other hand, several products used instead of this watch-glass which don´t fit properly to the olive oil tasting glass and aren´t ecofriendly.

So, there was a demand and a necessity. This is the reason we startet to develop these two new lids which fit completely to the olive oil tasting glass and it is compostable.

And we got it!

Two different types of compostable lids that serve the same function

At the moment we started to design these lids we knew that they would be conditioned by the glasses. We finally developed the following two models:

Compostable lid for the olive oil tasting glass.

The mouth concave shape of the official tasting glass, which is perfect to get the concentrations of odors, was a challenge for the lid´s design. After several prototipes, we got the final one that has, in the final design,  two flaps that use this glass concavity for fastening it.

Compostable lid for compostable olive oil tasting shot glass

We could not go along with having a compostable glass made of corn for the olive oil tasting and continue to use a plastic lid to cover it. For this reason, we developed this lid that adapts perfectly to the glass and that has a flap that facilitates putting it and remove it.

What is the point of these lids?

Some may reproach us that these lids do not make sense and that, if we compare them with,  the watch glasses, probably, thes watch-glasses are much more sustainable. And we response them, “yes, likely, you are right”.

But, the purpose of these lids is clear. These lids want to become a watch glass on very specific occasions where it is not used. We are not going to argue why this watch glass is not used, maybe economical reasons, maybe practicals, it doesn´t matter.

Undoubtedly, in official tastings, in specific courses or sometimes, that demand it, watch glasses will continue to be used, in the rest, we will always have these new lids as an economic option, designed for the tasting glass and sustainable . And, for us, that is the point. It will play a secondary sutaintable roll when the watch glass doesn´t play.

The challenge of tasting in front of COVID-19

We have been asked why we have launched them at this time and the answer is clear. A market like that of olive oil whose product is a natural product could not continue to use plastic elements that harm the environment. But, on the other hand, the pandemic that plagues us has forced us not to share anything, of course, as much as possible. This has caused an explosion of consumption of single-use items, with the consequent environmental damage. For this reason, we thought that, having an option to do a tasting with specific utensils designed for it, that after using it will be thrown away without an environmental contamination and, above all, was hygienic and safe for those who used it. So it was worth the effort to finish and launch it on the market.

A commitment to the EVOO PLASTIC FREE initiative

Our company has very solid business values ​​that are based on the innovation and development of products and solutions for olive oil, and also on our commitment to sustainability.

Therefore, we are founders of the EVOO PLASTIC FREE initiative, which is led by the University of Jaén and which includes Castillo de Canena or Piaralisi Spain, among other founding partners. This movement, which has the support of the IOC, aims to find elements and materials that are replacing polluting plastics sourced from fossil fuels. It is a commitment to sustainability and to the environment that obliges ourselves to gradually replace all the pollutant plastics that we use and dispose of, and replace them with environmentally responsible elements.