The UC Davis Olive Oil Report
In a UC Davis Olive Oil Report done by the Olive Center in 2010, it was discovered that many olive oils found in our supermarkets labeled “Extra Virgin” were not what they claimed. In fact, some of the big brand names we are all familiar with were on the list that didn’t meet the standards set by the International Olive Council and the USDA.
There are many benefits of a true extra virgin olive oil. Not only can you taste the difference of a pure, high quality olive oil from a lower grade, but the antioxidants are also at their peak when the olive oil is fresh. This report has found that 69% of imported olive oils and 10% of the California olive oils sampled were actually inferior grades and/or adulterated with less expensive oils that had been refined.
As consumers, there is only so much we can do to ensure we are getting a true extra virgin olive oil without taking it to a laboratory for testing. A couple of things you can look for when making your next purchase of extra virgin olive oil would be a certification label from either the California Olive Oil Council (COOC) or Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) for imports and a harvest date to ensure freshness. It is best to purchase olive oil as close to the harvest date as possible for maximum freshness. Unlike a fine wine, olive oil does not get better with age. After about two years, the oil can become old, losing flavor and antioxidants that give us the health benefits that extra virgin olive oil is known for. Of course, the final test would be your own sensory taste test. If it smells rancid, and tastes rancid, it probably is rancid!
Check out the chart below from the UC Davis Olive Oil Report to see if your olive oil made the grade.
Click Here to read the full UC Davis Olive Oil Report.