Extra virgin olive oil is the healthiest source of fat that you can get. It is a cornerstone of the traditional Mediterranean diet, which is the healthiest diet in terms of heart and cardiovascular health. Extra virgin olive oil is healthier than the regular olive oil because it has been extracted with using only natural methods, compared to regular olive oil which is being extracted through the use of chemicals.
According to a recent analysis on the most popular brands of extra virgin olive oil, most of the ones that are being sold in the United States are supplemented with cheaper oils that can’t provide these health benefits.
University of California Extra Virgin Olive Oil Analysis
Researchers from the University of California recently have conducted a study. They were examining the quality of different types of olive oils, with brands ranging from obscure to very popular. The olive oils were evaluated based on standards and methods of testing which were established by the International Olive Council (IOC).
According to this research almost three-quarters of the major olive oil brands labelled “extra virgin” that are sold in the United States did not meet the International Olive Council’s standards. There are a few factors for this: the companies use olives of poor quality, use olives that have gone bad, and the most surprising reason, they substitute the real olive oil with some cheap refined oils.
“Of the five top-selling imported ‘extra virgin’ olive oil brands in the United States, 73 percent of the samples failed the IOC sensory standards for extra virgin olive oils analyzed by two IOC-accredited sensory panels. The failure rate ranged from a high of 94 percent to a low of 56 percent depending on the brand and the panel… Sensory defects are indicators that these samples are oxidized, of poor quality, and/or adulterated with cheaper refined oils,” reads an excerpt from the study.
Many of the cheaper, refined oils that the companies are using to substitute the real olive oils are heavily refined vegetable oils. These are the oils that are linked to an increased risk of conditions such as heart disease, and they will provide you with zero nutrients.
How To Recognize The Real Olive Oil From Fake Olive Oil
The real olive oils are expensive, especially the extra virgins. Many bottles of olive oil have displayed the Italian flag on their labels as a sign of authenticity. But the olive oil needs to be packaged in Italy to get this symbol, making it pretty much null in terms of authentic status.
The best way to recognize if the olive oil is real is with reading the fine print on the label to find out exactly where and how it was made. Also its physical characteristics can tell if olive oil is real is through. The olive oil that is diluted with other oils is generally lighter in color, allowing more light to pass through it, and does not taste as rich as real, pure olive oil.
During the University of California study, researchers have found out three major brands that passed the International Olive Council’s standards, and those were California Olive Ranch, Cobram Estate and Lucini. The next time when you’re going out to by olive oil try looking for these brands.