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Olive Oil And Not Olive Pomace Oil

La Tienda

While extra virgin olive oil is from the first cold press, olive pomace oil, is a falsified product that is harmful to our health.

Olive pomace oil is a mechanical extraction of oil from the remains of the leftover pulp, skins, pits and leaves and steams. It is impossible to be extracted by pressing.

Although the olive pomace oil is extracted mechanically and comes from olives by using chemical solvents and processed by re-esterification, a high heat process, it should never been called olive oil.

The high heat technique is used to produce vegetable oils. Olive pomace oil contains PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) and specifically benzopyrene, that is highly carcinogenic according to research.

The incomplete combustion of the fats contained in olives, results in benzopyrenes. The exposure of fats to high heat-during the extraction process-where there is no smoke, results in the production of benzopyrenes.

The International Olive Oil Council, based in Madrid, Spain, an organization responsible of the olive oil‘s authenticity and quality, underlines that olive oil is the oil that comes from the olive fruit and excludes the oils that come from using solvents and the re-esterification process.

The extraction of olive pomace oil starts like this: In the olive pomace, a chemical solvent is added, with the ability to dissolve the fats and not the rest of the mass. This chemical solvent addition, gets all the oil out and with high heat the solvent evaporates. With this method, when the heat doesn’t exceed 190 degrees Fahrenheit, the solvent disappears completely without leaving any traces of harmful residue. Using this method the oil is not really containing PAHs and benzopyrene.

When the heat exceeds the 550 degrees Fahrenheit, that is when the oil contains PAHs.

In both ways the fat is becoming liquid and drips out of the olive pomace.

The high heat results in the partial burning of the oil with the rest of the mass. This way the benzopyrenes accumulate in the final oil. So when the heating reaches these high degrees, the oil comes with high health risks for the consumers.

In these cases, it is crucial for the authorities to enforce the classification of the treatments that have been applied for the production of olive pomace oils and protect the consumers from the unscrupulous producers with deceiving packaging and mystery labels.

The benzopyrenes are highly active fats, that can dissolve into cellular membranes and enter the cell’s interior. This results in the aging and death of the cells, or an intoxication resulting in mutagenesis of the generic material in the cell’s nucleons. Many times these damaged cells spread and result in cancerous tumors.

The International Olive Oil Council advises that olive pomace oil should contain less then 2 parts per billion of benzopyrene. We should be very careful about exposing ourselves to PAHs, especially when we ingest food. There are plenty of PAHs in the environment from exhaust emissions, industrial processes, burning trash, smoking, etc.

My opinion is staying away from olive pomace oil for cooking or eating raw. It doesn’t have the taste or the aroma. I don’t think saving a couple of pennies, is worth it. Our health is a priceless element. Let’s do everything in our power to protect it! Stick with olive oil and especially extra virgin olive oil!

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12 comments to Olive Oil And Not Olive Pomace Oil

  • Fantastic blog about Olive Oil And Not Olive Pomace Oil | The Olives Gift, it’s keeping me from working

  • gourmetgirl10

    Thank you. You are great!

  • This is fascinating, please post more frequently about Olive Oil And Not Olive Pomace Oil | The Olives Gift!

  • gourmetgirl10

    You are great.
    Thank you.

  • Concerned Nigerian

    Wow! glory to God. This write up prevented me from making a costly mistake. Thank you.

  • Todd Lewis

    Just bought big can
    of olive pomace and
    now know its real nature. Shall I toss it or what?

  • gourmetgirl10

    No, don’t do that.
    For now make fries with it. You are learning. Keep reading my blog.
    Enjoy your fries!

  • So should they only need to heat the pomace oil to 190F to get rid of the solvent?(What is the solvent by the way?). Why do they heat it to 550F? That’s a big difference. I assume it is illegal. Does that make it quicker?

    Another point: Surely it is not a good idea to use virgin or extra virgin olive oil for deep frying as they have low smoke points and could burn, causing more health problems. What do you recommend for deep frying?

  • Ash

    I question the scientific/factual accuracy of the article presented here. According to the UK Food Standards Agency, only two brands of Olive Pomace Oil were banned from being sold in the UK: The products affected are two batches of Bevelini Olive Pomace Oil produced in Greece and sold in the UK in five-litre cans and one-litre bottles. The EC also alerted the FSA to a problem with a specific Italian olive-pomace oil, Dentamano Olio Di Sansa De Oliva. They are investigating whether this product was sold in the UK.

    It is therefore inaccurate to say that all olive pomace oil is unhealthy or carcinogenic. From having bought a canister myself (without full awareness of the product), I have since been reading about it. Yes, it doesn’t compare to Olive Oil, but at first sight it seems ok for cooking or skincare applications.

    Are there any other views or users?

  • Ash

    FYI, the UK FSA website with detailed Q&A on Olive Pomace Oil:

  • gourmetgirl10

    Pomace olive oil is the oil that is extracted from the left over pulp of the olives, after the first press (including the pits), with the use of chemical solvents and high heat process. It contains hydrocarbons, like benzopyrene and mutagenic compounts, which are very carcinogenic.
    Stick with extra virgin olive oil and stay away from pomace oil.
    For better health!

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