Is the Olive Oil in your Cabinet Real?
There was a study done at UC Davis Olive Center in 2010 that discovered that 69% of the olive oils tested were not exactly what they said they were and did not meet legal standards in the United States.
There have been several additional studies done since then, that have shown the same thing, that a good amount of the olive oils in the united states market are mislabeled and are not what they say they are.
There are oils on the market that have been blended with older, lesser grade oils or they have been blended with vegetable or seed oils and then chemically colorized, flavored and deodorized before bottling. Some oils aren’t olive at all, they are seed or soy oils that have had beta carotene and chlorophyll added to make it taste like olive oil.
Most recently, in 2016 there was a 60 Minute program aired that showed that almost all of the olive oils on the shelves are somehow mislabeled.
So how do you know whether the oil that you are buying is good? Well, there are a few ways to tell.
One way to determine a good oil, is to read the bottle and see where it comes from. Most of the time, the bottle will say that the oil is a blend from several countries, you don’t want that oil, put it back on the shelf. You don’t even want to buy the oil if the bottle just lists one country. What you are looking for on the bottle, is an oil that says it came from a family farm, in that case you can be reasonably sure that it is real.
Make sure it comes in a dark bottle, this helps to shield the oil from light that can cause it to become rancid.
Good brands will also put a harvest date on the bottle, this helps to ensure that it is fresh. Make sure that the harvest date is not any more than 15 months out, which means it is starting to get old.
Also look for a certification seal on the bottle showing that it passed sensory and chemistry testing.
The oil should be extra virgin olive oil and say it is a 1st processing or 1st press.