skip to Main Content
+39 351 5359662


The President Paola Fioravanti graduated in Chemistry at the “La Sapienza” University in Roma. She has been teaching Chemistry, Agro-food Industries and Nutrition Scienze since 1973 in the high school. She has been the President of DOC and DOCG Wines Evaluation Committee since 1985 and she has also obtained a role in the National DOP Wines Review Committee. She is the President of UMAO (Mediterranean Oil Tasters Union) and a member of the EVO SABINA DOP Oil Evaluation Committee at CCIAA in Roma.

She has lots of international experience in training extra virgin olive oil panel members and she is often asked to blended taste extra virgin olive oils. She is also a speaker in numerous both national and international conferences about chemical and organoleptic characteristics of olive oil. 

U.M.A.O. (Mediterranean Union of Oil Tasters) knows all this very well and works to bring this fabulous product to even those who do not directly carry out an activity related to olive or oil. The association has been active for 25 years now, and to achieve its objectives it uses both preparatory, beginner, and professional, more articulated tasting courses, guided visits to some of the most efficient oil mills, consultancy to companies and many other initiatives. The lively interest aroused over the years for this world rich in history and gastronomic culture has pushed and pushes the UMAO to continue on this path, sometimes not without skepticism and indifference, but always stimulating and engaging, with enthusiasm and with new ideas, starting with the realization from 2014 of MONNA OLIVA” First National Competition on Table Olives.


  • Expertise and training of oil and agri-food product tasters;
  • Establishment of a panel for sensory analysis;
  • Promotion and organization of Exhibitions, Competitions and Conferences for the dissemination of knowledge and gastronomic culture;
  • Collaboration with public and private entities;
  • International openings;
  • Exchanges between Producing and Consumer Countries.

The olive tree is undoubtedly the highest expression of Mediterranean civilization. Since ancient times, this noble millenary plant with a hollowed out and twisted trunk with silver-green foliage has been a symbol of peace prosperity and hope. For the goodness of its fruit, the olive, and the oil that derives from it, it is considered, with good reason, the main food of our table: the protagonist of that “Mediterranean diet” intangible heritage of humanity, hoped for by dieticians and nutritionists, ideal for preventing some diseases related to an often too hasty and inattentive diet.


First School in the World for the dissemination of olive oil tasting, in line with the principles and programs of the founding fathers.

Over 15,000 people participated in the organized activities.

The members, heart and engine of ONAOO, scattered throughout the planet, constitute a constant exchange of creative energies that have allowed continuous growth over the years. The numerous courses are interspersed with moments of cultural exchange, such as trips to Spain, Greece, Morocco, Tunisia, Portugal and California.

Since its foundation in 1983, ONAOO has always chosen to inform its teaching by drawing on the most up-to-date scientific knowledge. This attitude has been extended to all the training areas that the ONAOO Tasting School offers its student

Mykonos Olive Oil Tasting
Anita Zachou - Agricultural engineer

Anita Zachou from Greece is an agricultural engineer, expert olive oil taster, olive oil quality assurance consultant, educator to culinary professionals, holistic wellness coach, writer, trainer, and host to the first olive oil podcast in Greece.

She took her first certification in olive oil tasting in 2012. Later on, she was granted a scholarship by the International Olive Council to attend the olive oil tasting course at the University of Jaen in Andalucia – Spain, from which she holds the title of Expert in Virgin Olive Oil Tasting. She had worked for twenty years in multinational companies as director of education before deciding to follow her calling. To move permanently to Mykonos, to teach, offer guidance and inspire people to live a healthier, happier and longer life by adopting the Mediterranean lifestyle and the consumption of high-quality extra virgin olive oil.

She is the founder of Mykonos Olive Oil Tasting, an educational & consulting company based in Mykonos island in Greece, delivering seminars & workshops on Olive Oil Tasting & Gastronomy, Mediterranean Diet, Holistic Health & Wellness to visitors but also consumers, kids and culinary professionals. She offers seminars and consults producers and olive oil mills in Greece and abroad on how to produce high-end EVOO’s and she develops olive oil brands from scratch.

She is a pioneer of alternative olive oil tourism in Greece and her mission is to share her knowledge and experience on the value, quality, the right choice and the multiple health benefits of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and the Mediterranean Diet by creating their ambassadors in different parts of the world.

She is a judge in various international olive oil competitions.

Mariem Gharsallaoui
engineer in the olive oil process

Mariem Gharsallaoui is an engineer in the olive oil process; she obtained her doctorate in olive oil chemistry.

She has been a permanent researcher at the Institute of the olive tree since 2001 where she is responsible for two research projects “Extraction systems and exploiting by-products” and “olive oil Quality and voice recovery».

She is also the Responsible in a national innovation research project “New ecological process of olive oil extraction: Qualitative, economic, and environmental impact” and member of the regional committee” sensitization oil mills operators” and also in the National chemistry committee for the revision of the commercial standard for olive oil and pomace olive oil.

She has taught several university courses such as refining processes of vegetable oils; olive oil extraction process; sensorial analysis; quality tools, and she was a supervision of several ends of study projects, masters and doctoral theses. She is also Author and coauthor of scientific indexed and impacted papers in international journals.

She has her master degree from the University of Jaén as an international expert in virgin olive oil tasting under the guidance of Olive Oil Council and she is Jury Member in the panel of several International Competitions: in Japan, Italy, Germany, Tunisia, Canada, Dubai, Australia. She is a tasting panel leader and the creator of an innovative panel made up solely of young blind people.

She is also organizing and training workshops and courses for professionals in the field of olive oil.
She is Consultant for the accreditation of chemical and sensory analysis laboratories.

She is a co-founder of the international mountain olive tree festival.

She is preparing and activating a class in a television program to raise awareness and educate about fatty substances.

The Olive Oil Workshop
Alexis Kerner - Expert olive oil taster

Alexis Kerner, born in Philadelphia (USA), is an expert olive oil taster who has resided in Seville, Spain for more than 20 years. She received her undergrad in Environmental Science from Connecticut College and her title as Expert Olive Oil Taster from the International Olive Council and the University of Jaen in Spain. Alexis serves on many international olive oil competition juries and has been recognized as a member of the Associate Savante Registry that demonstrates tasting skill. In 2014, she founded The Olive Oil Workshop, a company that strives to educate buyers at all levels as well as producers of virgin olive oils in order to empower consumers, promote good olive oil, and support companies in a difficult market.

Back To Top