The health benefits

Is Your Olive Oil Really Extra Virgin?

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The Truth About Extra Virgin Olive Oil in the US

The first study I read on the subject was conducted in 2010 and was published by The University of California, Davis. All of the olive oil tested were in bottles purchased from the grocery store and were labeled Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

The study found the following:

  • - 86% of olive oils tested did not meet the IOC or USDA standards
    • 1. Oxidation by exposure to elevated temperatures, light, and/or aging (2010 USDA SET STANDARDS – VOLUNTARY)
    • 2. Adulteration with cheaper refined olive oil.
    • 3. Poor quality oil made from damaged and overripe olives, processing flaws, and/or improper oil storage.
  • - 69% of imported olive oil samples and 10% CA labeled as Extra Virgin failed to meet IOC or USDA sensory standards – rancid, fusty, or musty – NOT Extra Virgin
  • - 31% of the samples that failed the sensory standards also failed the IOC/USDA standards for UV absorbance and/or oxidation – oxidized and/or were of poor quality
  • - 83% of the samples failed the IOC/USDA sensory standards also failed the German/Austrian DAGs standard
  • - 52% of the imported samples that failed the IOC/USDA sensory standards also failed the German/Austrian PPP standard

The IOC/USDA chemistry standards confirmed negative sensory results in 31%, while the German/Austrian DAGs and PPP standards confirmed negative sensory results in 86% of cases.

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Our oil meets the standards of the IOC and USDA, as well as the german/austrian DAGs & PPP standard

The Oils that failed

  • These are the olive oils that failed the tests:
  • - Filippo Berio
  • - Bertolli
  • - Pompeian
  • - Colavita
  • - Star
  • - Carapelli
  • - Newman’s Own Organic
  • - Mezzetta
  • - Mazola
  • - Rachael Ray
  • - Kirkland Organic
  • - Great Value 100%
  • - Safeway Select
  • - 365 100% Italian
  • - Bariani
  • - Lucero

The final testing indicated that the samples of these oils failed extra virgin olive oil standards for reasons that include one or more of the following: (a) oxidation by exposure to elevated temperatures, light, and/or aging; (b) adulteration with cheaper refined olive oil; and (c) poor quality oil made from damaged and overripe olives, processing flaws, and/or improper oil storage.

Randall’s Comments

Since the USA is not a member of the IOC, today we still have a very large percentage of the olive oil labeled Extra Virgin and sold as such in our grocery stores that doesn’t meet IOC standards. Therefore, a lot of what is sold has very little, if any, health benefits. And that is the main reason I am an importer: so that people in the USA – and elsewhere - can purchase and consume REAL EVOO.