Olive oil, along with honey, is among the most falsified foods. If genuine olive oil is particularly healthy, being rich in essential fatty acids omega 3 and vitamin E, the counterfeit version may be dangerous to health.
How can olive oil be falsified?
Olive oil is basically juice extracted by mechanical methods from freshly picked olives, without additives, chemicals or other processes. To be considered as an extra virgin olive oil, of the highest quality, an olive oil must pass the analyzes and tests performed at the International Council of Olive Producers, based in Madrid, Spain. Extra virgin oil is the first press oil obtained by squeezing the olives in the cold.
But the production and distribution chain is a very long one and it allows falsification of olive oil because often oil is extracted in one country, exported to another, mixed with olive oil from other sources and only then packaged and distributed.
Olive oil is usually diluted with cheaper oils, such as soybeans, sunflower oil, or poor quality olive oil that has been refined by chemical methods. The danger lies in the use of oils from various sources, which may contain allergens.
How should you choose olive oil?
The chances of choosing good quality olive oil increase if you buy it from specialized stores or reputable supermarkets who carefully choose the source of the products sold. In specialized stores, you can taste the oil before buying. Here are some other rules to follow:
Never buy olive oil that does not have “Extra Virgin” on the label
Even if these words do not guarantee quality, their absence indicates a poor quality oil.
Avoid products labeled as virgin oil, pure, natural oil, etc.
Look for the date of collection on the label and the manufacturer’s name
The more detailed and detailed these data, the better. Typically, high quality oils have specified the date when they were pressed or the harvest date. Also, high quality oil, from verified sources, has the level of fatty acids contained on the label. The ideal concentration is 0.2 percent or less, according to experts quoted by epicurious.com.
Seeks certification seals
In the European Union, this is the Protected Designation of Origin (PDO), which certifies that olive oil comes from a region recognized for the production of quality olive oil.
Do not be fooled by sophisticated packaging and high prices
An inexpensive olive oil raises questions, but a very expensive oil does not necessarily mean it is of high quality. Packaged packaging and exaggerated prices do not give you the certainty that you have bought an excellent olive oil.
Trust your senses
Fake olive oil has a greasy taste, rancid, flavorless or simply unpleasant. Genuine olive oil should smell and taste fresh, aromatic, slightly bitter.