In the olive oil industry, many unscrupulous producers say that if the oil has a good taste and a pleasant aroma, it is good. Well, not really. Health conscious consumers are getting cheated. The reality is that some labeled extra virgin olive oil is not.
Big olive oil producing companies in Europe have been caught mixing other oils with extra virgin olive oil. It is not a requirement to display other oils on the label of olive oil and often about 20% of vegetable or nut oils, processed with heat or chemicals to prevent from going rancid, are added. This process extends life. When the high antioxidant content doesn’t get altered, the shelf life of olive oil is more than two years. That is without hydrogenation.
Added hydrogenated oils cause health problems like obesity, heart disease, diabetes and often cancer. When these oils are mixed with olive oil, the health benefits of the olive oil are minimized and the high toxicity invades our bodies.
Stay away from big plastic bottles in supermarkets that are labeled extra virgin olive oil. The best quality of olive oil comes from hand picked olives and not machine picked. It is cold press within hours of picking and without chemicals or heat. Stone pressing is also better then machine pressing, because water is not required, which is washing away the poly-phenols.
The extra virgin olive oil should be stored in glass bottles, preferably dark ones or stainless steel containers.
Try to buy your extra virgin olive oil from small producers, who usually provide unfiltered oil that is a little cloudy and has some deposits. It is made the old way like the Greeks and Romans made theirs, some time ago.
Olive oil is the most unique oil in the market with plenty of vitamins, nutrients, essential fatty acids, antioxidants and poly-phenols. Real extra virgin olive oil protects us from free radical oxidation.
Lower quality oils get refined so the high acidity is brought down and are labeled extra virgin. Buying extra virgin olive oil doesn’t guarantee the quality.
In the United States the term extra virgin olive oil doesn’t really mean much. The United States doesn’t belong to the International olive oil council and the olive oil that is sold here, can be labeled extra virgin without meeting the international standards.
An olive oil scandal has been published in Merum, a Swiss- German magazine and in Agra Trade an Italian Journal and the Gazzetta del Mezzogiorno an Italian newspaper. The information has been suppressed. Investigators say that, this is the biggest scandal in the history of olive oil. In Italy the biggest olive oil brands have been diluting their extra virgin olive oil with refined, cheap hazelnut oil, imported from Turkey. 20% of hazelnut oil can be added to olive oil and still can be unnoticeable.
Often olive oil labeled “Italian” comes from other countries like Greece, Spain, Morocco, etc. If something like this can happen in Europe where there are many regulations, can you imagine what can happen in California where regulations don’t exist?
The importance of olive oil to our health is extreme and we should select a cold pressed extra virgin olive oil, unfiltered, in a dark glass bottle from small producers like the ones featured on this blog. Both companies provide you with high quality extra virgin olive oils.