Olive oil is an expensive, edible, well known oil, produced in the Mediterranean region, rich in antioxidants and high nutritional value. It can be consumed without purification. Extra virgin olive oil is the most healthful fat. Sometimes though unscrupulous producers add other refined vegetable oils, most commonly hazelnut oils, for financial gains.
One of the most serious problems of olive oil, is, its adulteration with other vegetable oils, such as hazelnut oil. It has become a problem for regulatory agencies, consumers and olive oil importers.
Scientists and regulatory agencies are facing challenges from olive oil mixed with hazelnut oil. Fatty acid and triglyceride composition in olive oil and hazelnut oil, is very similar, which makes the detection of adulteration difficult. In the last 20 years, scientists have been able through chemical methods to detect hazelnut oil/olive oil blends.
Hazelnuts are high in mono-unsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) and low in poly-unsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), supporting heart health. They are also high in oleic acid and phyto-sterols, which support the immune system and also have anti-cancer properties. However, hazelnut oil may cause health risks to allergic consumers.
The fatty acids and sterol contents, are being analyzed to determine the authenticity of vegetable oils. The origin and variety of the cultivar are very important factors, that influence olive oil and hazelnut oil authenticity. Usually most of the analytical methods, utilize the natural and unnatural contents of the oil. The triacylglycerols, fatty acids and sterols are the DNA of olive oil and are used as markers of adulteration.
The olive oil is slightly different from hazelnut oil, because the second and third main fatty acids are the palmitic and the linoleic acids, with saturated fats lower in hazelnut oil. All other vegetable oils have distinct differences.
Adulterated olive oil means more oxidized fats and less good fatty acids, a kind of fat you want to avoid. Consuming oxidized fats result in plaque build up in the arteries, leading in atherosclerosis. Adulterated olive oils, sold as extra virgin olive oil, have no health benefits and at times may add health risks.
Extra virgin olive oil has high content of antioxidants, which provide the greatest health benefits. Low content of antioxidants indicate the presence of oxidized free radicals, that make olive oil unhealthy. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals and fight inflammation in the body.
“True EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL for disease prevention and human well being promotion.”