Oct 012012

Finally…… dishonest olive oil producers are being found out.

A report has just been published by the University of California Olive Centre on the tests done on 21 olive oil samples sold to restaurants in USA.  60% of the so called extra virgin olive oils tested failed the sensory standard tests. The defects found by the expert panel were described as rancid, fusty, and smelling like babies nappies, sweaty gym clothes, mouldy or earthy. Some of the oils purporting to be extra virgin were classified as “lampante”, a lamp oil which is not fit for human consumption.

The remaining seven samples were classified as olive oil, ie refined olive oil blended with a little extra virgin olive oil. In order to be classified as olive oil rather than extra virgin olive oil, the oil does not have to undergo “taste tests” as it’s not considered something that anyone would want to eat.

The names of all the oils tested are published in the report.  Recommendations are made to the US Dept of Agriculture to improve testing so that oils that are not fit for human consumption are openly branded as such.

In South Africa it is very easy to spot the honest producers of extra virgin olive oil. Every year, producers volunteer to have their oils tested both chemically by independent laboratories and by the SA OLIVE taste panel.

Oils that pass the tests for extra virgin olive oil are awarded the “Commitment to Comply” sticker which can be displayed on the oil packaging. The sticker bears the SA OLIVE logo and the year of production.

It couldn’t be easier to make sure that you are buying health giving, first quality extra virgin olive oil, could it?

Buy South African.

Buy oil that bears the SA OLIVE sticker so that you can be sure that you are getting, in your bottle, what the label says you are.

For the full damning report you can view the Restaurants-and-Foodservice PDF or visit http://olivecenter.ucdavis.edu/.

Wang S., Frankel E. and Flynn D. 2012. Evaluation of Olive Oil Sold to Restaurants and Foodservice , U C Davis Olive Centre.


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