Is Your Extra Virgin Olive Oil Fake? :: The EVOO Show

The Olive Oil business is a scandalous one, full of thieves, oil adulterators and corporate scoundrels. OK, this might be a bit dramatic but there’s a serious problem with fake olive oil in the United States. The UC Davis Olive Center and the Australian Oils Research Laboratory did a study of California olive oils on supermarket shelves to see how many of them would pass the extra virgin test.

The UC Davis research team collected fourteen imported brands and five California brands of extra virgin olive oils from three different regions of California. They went back to the lab and ran a multiple tests to see if what was on the label was actually true.

Shockingly a total of 69% of the imported and 10% of the California olive oil samples labeled extra virgin failed to meet the IOC/USDA standards for extra virgin olive oil.

Many sensory defects were found. These defects are indicators that the samples were oxidized, of poor quality, and/or adulterated with cheaper refined oils.You read correctly, olive oils are being adulterated with cheaper refined oils. Since olive oil is extremely low on the USDA’s list of foods to monitor many suppliers will add cheaper refined oils to a little extra virgin olive oil to make more profit while making the consumer think they are purchasing high quality, healthy olive oil. Some suppliers with add canola, avocado, macadamia nut oil or chemically refined olive oil to the mix.

Now not all olive oil suppliers are Al Pacino in Scarface, cutting and diluting their product for profit. Many olive oils start off as extra virgin when bottled but lose their quality due to age, improperly being stored or bottled in clear glass or plastic bottles. Olive Oil that’s stored in a clear glass or plastic bottles has a better chance of going rancid faster. You should always purchase olive oil in a dark glass bottle and stay away from any extra virgin olive oil bottled in a clear glass or plastic. Chances are it’s no longer extra virgin when you buy it. When you store olive oil in clear glass you allow the light to attack the oil. Light is one of the four enemies of olive oil. The other enemies are heat, air and time.



Bio: Alex Ferrari is a writer, director and gourmet food entrepreneur. He co-own Olimila Gourmet Emporium with his wife Maricruz.  Alex writes, produces and hosts a weekly gourmet food show called “The EVOO Show” which you can see here:

Alex and Maricruz found their culinary passion, on their babymoon, amid Napa Valley’s rolling hills. Though their trip to Northern California set the couple squarely in the heart of picturesque vineyard country, it wasn’t wine that piqued their taste buds, but freshly pressed extra virgin olive oil. Won over by its flavor, they were inspired to start the Olimila Gourmet Emporium to share it with the public. With no retail experience, these crazy entrepreneurs opened up shop and the rest as they say is history.


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