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Olive Oil Fraud

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Sep 02, 2012, 07:25 PM
Olive Oil Fraud
In an attempt to eat healthier I recently purchased a bottle of EVOO. I don't like olives and did not think I would care for EVOO but decided to give it a shot. Not bad.

But I have recently read several articles about how almost 70% of imported EVOO is "cut" with less expensive oils. One such article came out of UC Davis where their food research department conducted tests.

One article suggested that to test your oil you should store it in the fridge. If it does NOT turn cloudy or solidify then it is a fake. However, if it does turn cloudy or clump, it still may be "cut" with the other oils.

I put my bottle of oil in the fridge this morning -- 12 hours later it is cold, still liquid and clear. No clouds to be seen! Bummer.

So much for improving my health, eh?
Sep 02, 2012, 08:34 PM
I've seen the same information on tv and online. EVOO is never heated unlike the cheaper stuff that they sell us here in the States. The good stuff costs a lot more than the typical EVOO that is on most store shelves here.
Sep 02, 2012, 11:44 PM
Froo Froo
Not surprised to read this. Do a google and a lot of sites will educate the consumer. Much like things in this country are labeled "natural" or even "organic" you have to take those words with a grain of salt (preferably sea salt Wink). Do your homework, read the labels carefully and don't give up on quality extra virgin olive oil as it's truly good for your health. Here's some informative links you might read...

And this...

So, if you can’t go by taste alone, how can you tell?

First, extra-virgin olive oil ought to be comprised of mostly monounsaturated fat that solidifies when cold. If you put a real extra-virgin olive oil in the refrigerator, it ought to become thick and cloudy, if not entirely solid, as it cools completely. It should be noted, however, that this is not a fail-proof test. That’s because adulterated oils may also become thick and cloudy in the refrigerator. After all, some adulterated extra-virgin olive oils are cut with low-grade, refined olive oil. Those would still clump up. Other adulterated extra-virgin olive oils are cut with just enough of the cheaper oils that they’ll still be mostly olive oil, so they’ll have some clumping, too. If, however, the oil you put in the fridge fails to thicken at all (still appearing as clear and runny as it did at room temperature), then you know something certain: that it’s fake!

Second, extra-virgin olive oil ought to be flammable enough to keep an oil lamp burning. Again, this isn’t a fail-proof test, and for the same reasons. But, it is certain that if your so-called “extra virgin olive oil” doesn’t keep a wick burning, it isn’t extra-virgin at all, but instead contains refined oils.

Since no completely fail-proof test exists, here’s what I do to know I’m getting a good oil: I know my farmer. He’s not a mobster; he’s a friend. And his farm has been growing and producing high-quality, fully authentic olive oils for more than a hundred years.

Artisan and locally-produced olive oils (the variety you can find from domestic small family farms) have always passed every single test of authenticity. So, buy locally. Buy from a farmer you can get to know and trust, and you’ll be set.

If you don’t have any local olive growers near you, then I personally vouch for the online olive oil suppliers found here. You can buy their olive oils online and trust that you’re getting an authentic extra-virgin olive oil.

The above article directed the reader to this brand of EVOO for quality olive oil:

About their product...

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Froo Froo,
Sep 02, 2012, 11:46 PM
Froo Froo
BTW, thanks for raising this important warning, MyLife. DH buys by the label and what's on sale. Frown
Sep 03, 2012, 05:23 AM
Originally posted by Froo Froo:
Do your homework, read the labels carefully and don't give up on quality extra virgin olive oil as it's truly good for your health.

It's really difficult to know what to buy when the labels are fraudulent too! The label on my bottle says:

Ingredients: Extra Virgin Olive Oil

It goes on to claim the oil is from first press, cold pressed Spanish olives.

And after 22 hours now in the fridge, it is still clear and runny -- not even a hint of cloudiness or solidification.

I will be searching for a domestic olive oil in the future.
Sep 03, 2012, 09:51 AM
I have ordered wine in the past from Italy and this company sends italian products with the order. I have olive oil that arrived with my last order and it is wonderful. I no longer order from this company because they now charge shipping and that adds $22.00 to the cost.

Sep 03, 2012, 07:11 PM
Has anybody tested the Kirkland brand that Costco sells?
Sep 03, 2012, 09:11 PM
Originally posted by Graciepj:
Has anybody tested the Kirkland brand that Costco sells?

From this article, citing the UC Davis study, Kirkland was the only imported oil tested that passed all the tested variables.

Why don't you stick yours in the fridge and see what happens?

This message has been edited. Last edited by: MyLifeVacation1,
Sep 04, 2012, 06:25 AM
Decades ago my Italian Granny-in-law said olive oil has a very short "shelf life", and once opened taste suffers unless it's chilled.

After a 3 week trip to Italy, #1DD returned home with several bottles in olive oil, and a condescending attitude about US olive oils Smile

When #2DD & spouse were in Italy, he was focused on WINE vintners, and she enjoyed a vaca sans kids. They are satisfied with Costco's Kirkland brand olive oil.

I'm lucky, a fledgling olive grower sends samples to taste.....Wink I didn't tell him I judge vinegars
Sep 04, 2012, 12:49 PM
Thanks, MyLifeVacation1. I was too lazy to look it up. I have a very small refrigerator. I don't think that huge bottle would fit. I guess I could decant some into a glass, though, to give it the refrigerator test.
Oct 23, 2013, 01:01 AM
I don't watch Dr. Oz often but I did see a show in which an expert warned the audience to read the label on olive oil. She/he said that the better oils had only one country listed as the producing country rather than several countries.
Oct 23, 2013, 11:08 AM
lady of shallot
this is another one of those concerns (like organic products) that I just can't bother to worry my little white head about!

Don't any of the rest of you have economic situations that determine just how far you can go on your grocery bills? Plus I am not too sure we aren't being sold a bill of goods on a lot of these issues.

I do buy bottles labeled evoo, and I have always known about what MLV1 says but just can't let this worry me.