Be careful! Fake Olive Oil is Literally Everywhere! How To Distinguish Original Olive Oil from the fake one?
What are the health benefits of olive oil?
Olive oil is trusted a lot for its health benefits. It is a part of the Mediterranean diet, and used a thousand years ago by Hippocrates, the father of medicine. When consumed on regular basis, mono saturated fatty acids as its most important ingredients, provide incomparable benefits to the heart and to other parts of the body.
It was scientifically proved that the regular consumption of Mediterranean diet rich in olive oil reduces the risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared with having other low fat diets. Olive oil is also believed to be good for brain health, bone health and weight loss. It also reduces oxidative stress and relieves constipation.
What makes its composition so valuable?
Olive oil is rich in mono saturated fatty acids which give less fat load to the body. It is also rich in phenolics, the acidic constituent which gives the oil its acidic and bitter taste. The phenolic acids are very good for the heart too.
It also has vitamin E and vitamin K which are good for the skin. It has zero protein and zero carbohydrate with only traces of saturated fat in it.
What is extra virgin olive oil? What does it mean?
The difference is in the process of manufacturing of the oil. The term ‘virgin olive oil’ doesn’t describe its quality, and extra virgin olive oil doesn’t mean it is extra pure. There are 4 grades of virgin olive oil. The lowest grade of virgin olive oil is used in soap making, and is not fit for consumption. The extra virgin olive oil is the highest grade of olive oil which is cold pressed, and is superior in taste and aroma. This is not heated beyond 86 degree Fahrenheit.
Especially when it comes to extra virgin olive oil, a lot of fake oil is being circulated. The University of California conducted tests among many brands in the US that have a tag of extra virgin olive oil to them. Unfortunately, the study came up with this devastating fact: High 69% of extra virgin olive oil sold in the US stores is fake.
So, you should be extra cautious next time you see the tag ‘extra virgin olive oil’.
But, how can we actually know which one is fake olive oil and which one is original olive oil when buying? We need to find another way to differentiate between the fake and original olive oil, since the tastes of the fake and original oils are similar.
What is fake olive oil and how common is it on the market?
Be cautious when you see the tags of extra virgin and extra pure. Fake olive oil is everywhere around us. It can be a substandard, a mixture of various olive oils from different countries. It can be non- Italian oil, simply a mixture of sunflower oil and soybean oil with the additives of beta carotene, and chlorophyll, labelled finally as extra virgin olive oil. Fake olive oil can be simply a mixture of two oils, a maximal portion of sunflower oil added to a portion of pure olive oil, and can be tagged as extra virgin olive oil. The circulation of fake olive oil is so common that you find many famous brands advertizing themselves to supply the best and healthiest olive oil, , but actually offer the customer a fake one.
A study reported that many famous brands including: Bertolli, Filippo Berio, Whole Foods, Newman’s Own, Carapelli, Mazzola, Colavita, Safeway, Star, Pompeia, Mezzetta are selling fake olive oil.
The real deal: Cobram Estate, Lucini, California Olive Ranch. Kirkland Organic, Lucero (Ascolano), McEvoy Ranch Organic are also noted by Eat Grown Local.
How to differentiate them? How to distinguish the fake olive oil from original olive oil?
Well, after all this discussion, this seems to be the most important question: How to tell if it is fake olive oil? Moreover, is it worth taking it if it isn’t?
We can offer you some tips as an answer to the first question. As for the second, make up your mind yourself!
Extra virgin olive oil is supposed to keep the oil lamp flammable. Still, it is not a very precise test. If the oil doesn’t light the oil lamp for a long time, it definitely is not extra virgin olive oil.
Another simple test that can be done at home is to refrigerate the extra virgin olive oil. If it does not solidify, then it means it is not extra virgin olive oil at all! On the other hand, if it gets solidified, it means it has more mono saturated fats in it, but this still doesn’t rule out the presence of other oils like safflower oil or canola oil or any other adulterations in it.
However, refrigerator test or lamp test are not very reliable ways to find out the truth about your olive oil.
You should know that the olive oil from Italy is considered standard compared with the olive oil from other countries. The best alternative is to buy olive oil from local farmers.
Look for Certification
Finally, our most important message we give you is to be extra cautious next time you buy olive oil, especially the extra virgin one!
According to experts, your best guarantee that you are actually getting a high quality olive oil is to look for third party certification. The Australian Olive Association and the California Olive Oil Council both have stringent certification programs that make their seals trustworthy.
Look for PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) or PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) seals when buying olive oil produced or packaged in Italy.