Honey tasting course

How well do you know your honeys?

Honey sensory analysis courses in English are going to be held in Bologna. Every year we will schedule educational classes in honey sensory analysis.

Next dates are:

INTRODUCTION TO HONEY SENSORY ANALYSIS

  • June 9-12, 2020

ADVANCED CLASS

  • October 21 – 23, 2019 - sold out

Pre-registration will be opened 6 months before the beginning of each course. People that fill out the following form (up-to-date form) will be alerted.

Would you like to be kept up-to-date on pre-registration opening, future courses and events? Click here.

All the activities are officially validated by the Italian “National Register of Experts in the Sensory Analysis of Honey”.

Click on the line for more information:

About the courses

The goal of the courses is to increase awareness and expertise in honey and to provide participants with a methodology that enables them to assess the quality and the variety of honeys. For beekeepers and packagers, it is useful for correct labelling according to EU regulations, better product presentation and for honey lovers in general, for better selection and appreciation of honey The courses are intended preferably for beekeepers and technicians, but also for other professionals who are in contact with honey (such as herbalists, nutritionists, dieticians, chefs or “foodies”), and all those who are eager to expand their knowledge of honey and learn how to use sensory analysis as a tool for quality assessment.

What you will learn

  • to become more aware of your senses learning how to identify 7 basic aromas and flavour families in honey.
  • to write detailed tasting notes using the honey aroma and flavour wheel, brush up on the composition and physical properties of honey.
  • to enrich your vocabulary for describing honey through descriptors.
  • the difference between taste and flavour through sensory exercises.
  • to recognize the flavours of honey and train your honey palette.
  • to taste and learn about 15 important honeys and their floral sources.
  • to understand the how’s and why’s of crystallization, and how to evaluate its qualities.
  • about the causes of defects in honey and how to avoid them.
  • how to use a chart for honey assessment.
  • how to handle, treat and store honey for a better presentation.
  • the rules for honey labelling and marketing.
  • how to use your knowledge to confidently pair honey with cheeses, wines and all ingredients to compliment sweet and savory dishes.

What you will get

  • A tasting of at least 18 varieties of honey selected from beekeepers and honey competitions all over Italy
  • A tasting of some honey varieties from other countries
  • Notes on the flavors of honey
  • Teaching material: pen, exercise book, booklet with printed slides
  • PDFs of the slides presented in the class
  • A certificate of participation

You can read more info regarding the honey sensory analysis and the course at:

https://www.facebook.com/financialtimes/videos/10155789884540750/

https://www.paulacarnell.com/bees/honey-sensory-analysis-course-part-1/

https://www.paulacarnell.com/bees/honey-sensory-analysis-course-part-2/

https://www.sbs.com.au/food/article/2018/03/01/italy-giving-world-honey-sommeliers

Mieladictos blog talks about our honey sensory class (spanish language)

"Peter Lewis' article 'The Different Taste of Honeys' published on Bee-Craft magazine"

https://www.killerbeeshoney.com/blogs/musings/attending-the-honey-sensory-class-in-bologna-italy

Video: Honey: flavour from the land

Introduction course to honey sensory analysis

In this course:

You will learn how honey is produced by bees and by beekeepers and all the hidden dangers honey production encounters.

You will test how sensitive your senses are and will improve your sensory discrimination capability.

You will taste more than 15 varieties of selected high quality Italian honey, and be trained to recognize defects in honey.

You will learn to detect the flavor profiles of honeys.

You will experience being a judge in a mock honey competition.

Honeys tasted will include (but are not limited to):

  • Citrus (Citrus spp.)
  • Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)
  • False acacia (Robinia pseudoacacia)
  • French honeysuckle (Hedysarum coronarium)
  • Gum tree (Eucalyptus spp.)
  • Honeydew honeys
  • Lime (Tilia spp.)
  • Rape (Brassica napus)
  • Rhododendron (Rhododendron spp.)
  • Strawberry tree (Arbutus unedo)
  • Sunflower (Helianthus annus)
  • Sweet chestnut (Castanea sativa)
  • Thistle (Galactites tomentosa)
  • Thyme (Thymus capitatus)

Participants are invited to bring their own honey to taste altogether.

For detailed program see here.

Anybody can attend the course. The course is 24 hours in length.

 

TIME: 9:00 am - 6:00 pm

LOCATION: CNR via Gobetti, 101 Bologna, Italy (click for information)

COST: €420 per person (10€ extra for non SEPA payment)

INSTRUCTORS: Raffaele Dall’Olio, Gian Luigi Marcazzan, Lucia Piana, Andrea Tibaldi

NOTE: In order to obtain the certificate of attendance accredited by the Italian “National Register of Experts in the Sensory Analysis of Honey” you need to follow the entire course. People who attend only part of the course will receive a certificate of presence.

REGISTRATION FOR JUNE CLASS

  • June 9-12 2020

Pre-registration form available from December 2019.

Advanced class

Every second year we'll schedule an “Advanced” class (in Italy called “Improvement course in sensory analysis of honey – 1st level”), only for those people who already attended the introduction class and obtained the certificate accredited by the Italian “National Register of Experts in the Sensory Analysis of Honey”.

In order to be accredited by the Italian register it must have the minimum length of 21 hours (usually organized over three days). During the “advanced class” the main sensory characteristics of the unifloral honeys are revised on different batches of honeys; many practical exercises will be provided to participants, with the goal to furtherly improve the ability to describe and characterize honeys; specific activities will be performed with the use of the forms used in judging the products.

Participants are invited to bring their own honey.

For detailed program see here.

TIME: 9:30 am - 5:30 pm

LOCATION: CNR via Gobetti, 101 Bologna, Italy (click for information)

COST: €370 per person (10€ extra for non SEPA payment)

INSTRUCTORS: Raffaele Dall’Olio, Gian Luigi Marcazzan.

NOTE: In order to obtain the certificate of attendance accredited by the Italian “National Register of Experts in the Sensory Analysis of Honey” you need to follow the entire course. People who attend only part of the course will receive a certificate of presence.

REGISTRATION FOR OCTOBER CLASS

  • October 21 – 23, 2019 – pre-registrations are sold out; nevertheless, few seats might become available if pre-registered students won’t confirm; if some seats will be available we’ll re-open registration from around July
  • TBD, 2021

NEW EVENTS / PARTNERSHIP

INTRODUCTION COURSE IN CONNECTICUT

  • July 11-14, 2019 – Sold out.
  • October 10-13, 2019 – For information click here.

INTRODUCTION COURSE IN LONDON

  • November 12-15, 2019 – For information click here.

Instructors

The instructors belong to the “Teaching body” validated by the Italian National Register of Experts in the Sensory Analysis of Honey.

Gian Luigi Marcazzan

Gian Luigi Marcazzan is researcher and technical manager for honey quality control by chemical and sensory analysis at the Council for Agricultural Research and Economics (CREA) in Bologna, Italy for 26 years. He is the leader of the Honey Sensory group within the International Honey Commission, the leading organization to develop methods for honey quality evaluation. He is the President of the Italian Register of Experts in the Sensory Analysis of Honey with more than 25 years of experience as a teacher and professional honey taster. From 2008, Gian Luigi works as a panel leader for the international honey competition BioMiel. Gian Luigi studies the composition of royal jelly and propolis to open up the knowledge on the composition in order to characterize and control the quality. He is also a beekeeper and breeds bees for the production of swarms and honey.

Raffaele Dall'Olio

Raffaele Dall’Olio is a beekeeper and animal biologist with a master’s degree in honeybee pathogens diagnostic, skilled in artificial insemination of honeybee queens. He has more than 10 year of experience in honeybee research and teaching focusing on genetic conservation of honeybee breeds, detection of pathogens and viruses, improving quality of beekeeping products. He's member of the international research networks COLOSS (on Colony Losses) and RNSBB (about Sustainable Bee Breeding). Raffaele has commercial experience with 150 hives in Tuscany, Italy and queen-rearing experience and manuka honey in New Zealand. As an internationally sought out speaker including Apimondia and the European Conference of Apidology, Raffaele has more than 10 years' experience as a teacher and professional honey taster and as a panel leader for the Italian National Register of Professional Honey Taster and member of official Panel Test at CRA-API lab since 2005 and in several Honey Contests. In 2015, he found “AsSenso”, sensory analyses as an R&D tool for businesses. Raffaele also has written for national beekeeping magazines in Italy such as L’apicoltore italiano, Lapis and APOidea..

Lucia Piana

Lucia Piana is a biologist and she spent her entire professional life on honey related topics. For the first 12 years, she worked as quality manager in a honey company, doing honey analysis (physico-chemical, melissopalinological and sensory). Since 1991 she has worked as consultant for different companies, research institutions and beekeeping organizations, in Italy as in other countries, mainly in the field of honey quality and teaching sensory analysis of honey. In 2006 she founded her own company, now Piana Ricerca e Consulenza srl, a laboratory and consultancy company offering a full range of services, mainly melissopalinoligical analysis and honey tasting courses. Since 1981, she has been technical coordinator of the leadingn Italian honey contest, organized by Osservatorio Nazionale Miele. She is one of the the founders of the Italian National Register of Honey Sensory Experts and she continues teaching in training courses for the Register. To date, she has conducted more than 450 sensory training courses and seminars, spoke in more than 350 lectures and conferences and wrote more than 150 technical articles.

Andrea Tibaldi

After graduating in Mechanical Engineering (2002) and later (2006) in nutrition biology, Andrea Tibaldi has dedicated his professional life to food and health disclosure. In 2003 he founded www.cibo360.it, a website with more than 8000 pages on healthy living, food, sport, gastronomy, traditional and healthy cooking. In 2007 he started a cooking school, that now runs 25 courses a year, in most of them he is also the main teacher. He has been a member of the Italian Register of Experts in the Sensory Analysis of Honey since 2009 and a teacher on the Register since 2013. He is also a wine, cheese and olive oil taster.

Contact

If you have any further questions, ask us in an email:

HoneySC@mail.com

Gian Luigi Marcazzan & Raffaele Dall’Olio

Would you like to be kept up-to-date on pre-registration opening, future courses and events? Click here!

The Italian National Register of Experts in the Honey Sensory Analysis

In Italy there is a long tradition of honey sensory analysis. The first honey sensory analysis course was held in 1979. In 1988 an Italian National Register of Experts in the Sensory Analysis of Honey was founded and it was officially recognized by the Italian Ministry of Agriculture in 1999.

The Italian National Register of Experts in the Sensory Analysis of Honey is the body that ensures the validity of qualitative assessment and opinion on the botanical origin of honey provided through sensory analysis. The Register guarantees an adequate and uniform professional base for the members and their qualification to be part of official tasting groups.

In order to be recognized (certified) by the National Register the honey sensory courses must match specific requisites that are established by and reported in the Register’s regulation. Teachers should belong to the “teacher body” of the register.

The international classes we provide in English are officially validated by the Register. In these classes we also taste honeys from all over the world that are brought by the attendees. You can read about the program on the website. You can read more infos about the Italian National Register here but, alas, everything it’s in Italian language only.

Certification

To enroll as honey sensory expert for the Italian National Register you need to complete the three stages and pass the final exam (the exam is part of the third and last course). You will receive a certificate for each Stage that you complete, to advance to the next Stage. You can choose to repeat any stage how many times you want, until you feel confident enough to advance to the next Stage; each level teaches different skills.

Stage 1

The first course, called “Introductory course to the sensory analysis of honey” (Stage 1) lasts four days and contains 28 hours of lessons. It is a very intensive course and theory lessons are alternated with practical lessons in which the future assessor is taught to improve their focus when using the senses and learn to describe and memorize their sensory perceptions of the most common unifloral Italian honeys. The course teaches a method through which honey is assessed and judged objectively.

Stage 2

The second course is called “Improvement course in sensory analysis of honey – 1st level” (Stage 2). You can attend it 4 or more months after you have completed the introductory course. This course lasts three days with seven hours of lessons per day. At this level the main sensory characteristics of the unifloral honeys are revised, numerous practical exercises are done, particularly in the use of the forms used in judging the products. The course is focused on honey evaluation and it completes the knowledge and skills of the assessors giving them a complete vision on what honey sensory analysis is about. Furthermore it prepares attendees to face the third and final Stage in which their capabilities will be tested through a challenging three-day-exam.

Stage 3

The “Improvement course in sensory analysis of honey – 2nd level” (Stage 3) is basically an exam. You can attend it 3 or more months after you have completed the improvement course (Stage 2). After a revision of the most significant sensory characteristics of the unifloral honeys, the practical and written exams begin and are held over three days. All tests are then evaluated. Everyone who reaches satisfactory results (the scoring system is explained during Stage2) can ask to be registered on the Italian National Register.