Nineteen centuries ago, it was the Greek historian Pausanias who probably mentioned Istrian olive oil for the first time. Later on, olive trees of this area were described by Carlo Hugues in his work Elaiografia Istriana, and olives became the focal point of research for the two beginners of the modern day oliveculture, professor France Adamič, Ph.D., and Stanko Kovačič, Ph.D. The development of an olive oil brand was the first research project of the Scientific and Research Centre. Ever since, this work has continued in the form of research tasks, fundamental, applied and numerous other European projects in the field of morphology, genetics, olive protection and chemical characterization of olive oil. The Institute for Oliveculture will therefore try to preserve the tradition and position of the olive tree in this area and upgrade them with research in the field of agronomy, chemistry and food technology.
Who we are
Institute for Oliveculture at the ZRS Koper was established as a result of numerous aspirations for teamwork and representation of research and professional work in the field of olive-growing with the aim of transferring knowledge from the research sphere to the users. From 1995 to 2016, research and development work of the Institute for Oliveculture was based primarily on project work. The foundations for the sustainable development of olive industry, and thus the establishment of the Institute for Oliveculture, was enabled in 2016 by the Government of the Republic of Slovenia when a decision was adopted to establish a public research institute, the Science and Research Centre Koper, as the newly established institute was entrusted with the tasks of public services in the field of Mediterranean agriculture with an emphasis on olive growing, all within its registered activities.
The Laboratory of the Institute carries out the tasks of national metrology system and is appointed as the holder of the national standard in the scope of the SI unit mol / organic compounds, in particular fatty acids, sterols, biophenols, tocopherols, waxes, triacylglycerols, stigmastadienes in biological materials and in food.
Mission and vision
The Institute connects scientific, higher education, research and professional colleagues in the field of olive-growing and olive culture, as well as olive trees growers, oil producers and table olives producers in their implementation of educational, developmental and research work. The Institute provides support for the operation of the public system for the quality control of production and processing and for the labelling of agricultural products and foodstuffs. It carries out research and development work with the priorities on the needs on the field and it introduces new international trends in the field of agro-technical measures, environmental requirements, technological improvements, ensuring safe food and successful marketing in accordance with the strategies of Slovenian food technology and agriculture. The Institute contributes to the social and economic development of olive culture in Slovenia.
The vision of the Institute is to lay the foundations for the sustainable development of olive culture and to provide transfer of knowledge to growers, food industry, small and medium-sized enterprises, students, local communities and general public while at the same time to strengthen scientific excellence in the field of food quality, food safety and agro technology connected with national and international organizations and public agencies and bodies involved in olive-growing, metrology, health protection, food quality and agriculture. Attention will also be paid to strengthening the Slovenian metrology system by placing the Institute’s Laboratory in European Infrastructure of Metrofood and EURAMET.
The vision is also to promote the participation of the academic sector with international organizations dealing with metrology and reference materials, and with public agencies and bodies concerned with the health and safety of foodstuffs, and to promote an integrated approach in the field of olive growing from the provision of new agronomic technologies to ensuring traceability, finding adulterations and assuring top quality olive oil.
Head: Maja Podgornik, PhD, Research Fellow
Phone: +386 5 663 77 74
The Laboratory of the Institute of Oliveculture is a highly specialized infrastructure unit, which has been well known in the international arena for years. The excellence and high specialty of the laboratory are reconfirmed every year after successful completion of laboratory testing in two international inter-laboratory comparisons (IOC and BIPEA). Based on the results of comparisons, showing its proficiency, the laboratory has been included every year on the list of chemical testing and sensory testing laboratories recognized by the International Olive Council (IOC) since its establishment. The laboratory personnel implement new testing methods, monitors the innovations in the field of quality assessment and fraud detection of olive oil, participates in expert committees of international organizations, and transfers knowledge from the international to the Slovenian research area.
The importance of the laboratory is defined in the agriculture strategy by 2020. The Laboratory successfully combines the usefulness of research equipment and personnel for state tasks in the field of official control/conformity assessment of olive oil. Laboratory activity is also included in the Slovenian metrology strategy until 2025 (in Slovene) to ensure traceability in the Republic of Slovenia, both in priority and in niche areas. The laboratory performs the tasks of the holder of the national standard for the amount of substance (mol)/organic compounds in biological matrices/food and performs the tasks of the holder in the framework of the Metrology Act. It is active in the international arena as it participates in the international metrology infrastructure. The laboratory provides research support to national and international projects. It promotes scientific cooperation and cooperation between different stakeholders, maintains a database of Slovenian olive oils since 1994, permanently educates its personnel and upgrades analytical equipment.
ZRS Koper, IZO, Laboratory of the Institute of Oliveculture has been accredited by the Slovenian Accreditation (SA) as a testing laboratory since 16 April 2004 and meets the requirements of SIST EN ISO / IEC 17025: 2005 standard. By decision of MKGP no. 324-115 / 2004/2 of 16.6.2004 is designated as a test laboratory for the assessment of the conformity of olive oil and with the decision no. 324-97 / 2004/2 of 18.5.2004 is designated as an organization for the sensory evaluation of virgin olive oil. It is on the list of recognized test laboratories for chemical analysis and sensory evaluation of the olive oil of the International Olive Council (IOC) for the period from 1 December 2017 to 30 November 2018.
Temporary location of the Laboratory:
Zelena ulica 8c
SI – 6310 IZOLA, Slovenia
Head: Milena Bučar Miklavčič
Phone: +386 5 611 79 31