Extra virgin olive oil is in high demand for both culinary and medicinal purposes. However, it has been estimated that more than 70% of the supposed extra virgin olive oil in major supermarkets in the United States of America are actually fake.
What is alarming is that not less than seven major producers of olive oil in the US are known to dilute their olive oil with other oil like canola and sunflower oil, which are relatively cheap oil. This practice is corrupt and an abuse of consumer rights, as the labels of the olive oil brands produced by these companies do not indicate the presence of these other oils, but instead claim that their olive oil on offer is extra virgin olive oil, all in an attempt to boost their profit margins.
The unscrupulous practice in the U.S is reminiscent of the 2008 operation Golden Oil debacle in Italy that involved the closing down and seizure of not less than 85 supposed olive oil farms. It was discovered that these farms mixed a percentage of olive oil with sunflower, chlorophyll and canola oil. In 2012, it was found that no single extra virgin olive oil brand attained a certificate of approval.
The extra virgin olive oil scandal led to scientists from California University to carry out extensive tests on a total of 124 “extra virgin olive oil” brands imported from major producers. It was discovered that more than 70% of the “olive oil” tested came out as fake.
Here are the brands that failed the extra virgin olive oil test
- Antica Badia
- Felippo Berio
- Whole Foods
It was also discovered that these other brands below passed the test with flying colors.
- Bariani Olive oil
- California Olive Branch
- Cobram Estate
- Corto olive
- Kirkland Organic
- McEvoy Ranch Organic
- Olea Estates
A Simple Olive Oil Home Test
You can test the olive oil brand you have purchased in the comfort of your home today. All you need to do is refrigerate the bottle of your purchased olive oil brand if after half an hour the content of the bottle solidifies, then it means that the oil has monounsaturated fats and is, therefore, authentic and pure extra virgin olive oil. However, if after refrigerating the oil for 30 minutes and it remains in its liquid state, then the oil is fake.
You can also check out the label of the olive oil brand to confirm if it has an approval rating, for example, the California Olive Oil Council Certified Extra Virgin.