University Study Finds Fake Extra-Virgin Olive Oils Are Flooding Grocery Store Shelves
When You Thought You Were Eating Healthy Using Extra-Virgin Olive Oil, You Probably Weren’t!
I suspected something was fishy about extra-virgin olive oil for two reasons:
Real quality stuff don’t come cheap as price tags on extra virgin oil bottles suggest.
The extra virgin olive oil that I bought one time tasted rancid.
All those times when you spent those extra few bucks to make the healthier choice, so you thought, to buy the extra-virgin olive oil over the regular olive oil or over canola oil, you wasted your money.
Come to find out that most extra-virgin olive oils bought at your local grocery stores and even your health food stores are FAKE!
According to research conducted by the University of California Davis, they uncovered fraud being perpetrated by many company brands of extra virgin olive claiming that their product was the real deal but it was not.
The bottles labeled extra-virgin olive oil turned out to be adulterated. They may have been substituted by or cut with soy bean oil, vegetable oil, or some other cheap oil in which case beta carotene was added to disguise the flavor and chlorophyll was added to disguise the color.
Some real mobster stuff…right?
It is a serious calculated, mob-like operation that was uncovered.
The hard data gathered by University of California Davis gives a clear picture of how far this fraud reaches.
UC-Davis (University of California Davis) and Adulterated Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
Back in 2010 UC-Davis published a detailed report entitled: Tests indicate that imported ‘extra virgin’ olive oil often fails international and USDA standards. Researchers found that fake extra-virgin olive oils are flooding supermarket shelves in California. In two studies the UC Davis researchers tested a total of 186 extra- virgin olive oil samples both imported and domestic using standards established by the International Olive Council (IOC), as well as olive oil analysis used in Germany and Australia. The study concluded that 69 percent of imported and ten percent of California-based olive oil labeled extra–virgin did not pass International Olive Council (IOC) and US Department of Agriculture sensory standards for extra virgin olive oil.
Put another way, approximately 69% of all store-bought extra-virgin olive oils in the US are likely fake. Interestingly, while 11% of the imported, Italian samples failed both sensory olive oil testing panels the Australian and California samples only failed one panel.
Why Would the Mob deal in Fake Extra -Virgin Olive Oil?
1) One olive oil fraud investigator told Muller: “Profits were comparable to cocaine trafficking, with none of the risks.”
2) Olive oil is very a big international business. Americans alone spend approximately $700 million on olive oil annually.
3) Olive oil consumption is on the upswing — it’s up 37 percent in Southern Europe and more than 100 percent in North America.
4) Counter intuitively, although Olive oil is far more expensive than other oils and has very unique characteristics, it’s very easy to fake.
Here’s the UC Davis findings based on specific brands that were tested.
The following brands which were labeled extra-virgin failed to meet extra-virgin olive oil standards:
• Filippo Berio
• Newman’s Own
• Rachel Ray
• Whole Foods
These brands did meet extra-virgin olive oil standards:
• Corto Olive
• California Olive Ranch
• Kirkland Organic
• Lucero (Ascolano)
• McEvoy Ranch Organic