Beware - not all oils are the same!

By Paul Scicluna

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You would think that when buying a product, you are getting what you paid for and most importantly that it would be fresh and in good condition wouldn’t you? Well sometimes this is not the case when it comes to Olive Oils or what seems to be a lack of it.

It was uncovered that we can’t always trust what a label states… (Well there’s a revelation hey). Tests commissioned by the Australian Olive Association showed that a number of imported oils labeled as extra virgin olive oil do not meet internationally recognised standards and are adulterated – meaning the food is considered to be putrid or decomposed.

These tests conducted on a range of imported brands of extra virgin olive oil showed that not one imported oil on supermarket shelves met the recognised standards… which is shocking. The findings showed, it’s basically just refined oil that is actually being sold as extra virgin olive oil and it was even found that some olive oils weren’t even olive oil at all.

One particular oil that was analysed was found to contain canola oil, refined oil and what is known as pumace oil, which is the waste product. This is solvent extracted from the olives after the oil has been taken out.

This product was reported to authorities. A lot of the imported oils failed age tests as well – meaning that they were too old by the time they get to us.

This has not been confined to Australia either as it’s been found that these problems were reported in Canada and the USA as well as Europe. Basically it comes down to the market for extra virgin olive oil expanding and the agribusiness industry can’t keep up with demand so some manufactures are substituting with lower grade things to meet demand.

Again it comes down to educating yourself as I’m sure you don’t want to be consuming rancid extra virgin olive oils let alone, refined oils or blends when you’ve supposedly purchased extra virgin olive oils. If you want to enjoy the health benefits associated with using the best quality olive oil available – look for "certified" clean, fresh, extra virgin olive oil.



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