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How to Recognize a True Quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil

How to Recognize a True Quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Recently, two news stories about counterfeit extra virgin olive oil have disturbed the world of olive oil.

These news stories not only rightly raise concern among consumers.

They also highlight the challenges that we in the olive oil industry must face in terms of integrity and trust.

But let’s take a step back…

The Problem of Counterfeit Oil

The Problem of Counterfeit Oil

Lately, more and more frauds in the olive oil sector are coming to light.

Recently, it was discovered that over 50 restaurateurs in Rome were passing off a mix of seed oils, beta-carotene, and chlorophyll as extra virgin olive oil.

In Florence, a well-known company in the olive oil sector was selling to supermarkets a fake extra virgin olive oil obtained by mixing virgin oil and lamp oil, deodorized to eliminate bad odors.

These frauds not only deceive and pose health risks to consumers but also undermine trust in the entire olive oil industry.

The repercussions of such practices are vast.

On the market, the presence of counterfeit products creates unfair competition, penalizing honest producers who invest time and resources in creating quality oil.

For consumers, the risk is not only economic but also health-related.

Extra virgin olive oil is appreciated not only for its unique flavor but also for its well-known health benefits, such as the content of antioxidants (polyphenols and tocopherols) absent in seed oils.

How to Recognize an Authentic Extra Virgin Olive Oil

How to Recognize an Authentic Extra Virgin Olive Oil

One of the best ways to protect yourself from these types of scams is to increase your knowledge about the product.

Recognizing a true extra virgin olive oil is essential to ensure that you are purchasing an authentic and quality product.

For this reason, here are some aspects to consider when purchasing extra virgin olive oil:

  1. Fluidity: Extra virgin olive oil has low fluidity, meaning it is not very liquid. The more fluid it is, the more it contains polyunsaturated fats typical of seed oils.
  2. Taste: Authentic extra virgin olive oil has a rich and varied flavor with fruity notes that, depending on the cultivar, can be intense, medium, or light. Additionally, a good EVO oil must be bitter and spicy. The degree of spiciness is given by the polyphenols present in the oil. Seed and adulterated oils do not have polyphenols.
  3. Acidity: A high-quality extra virgin olive oil has an acidity lower than 0.8%. Be aware that many correlate spiciness with acidity. Know that an oil tingles in the throat when it has low acidity.
  4. Price: Extra virgin olive oil has a high production cost. The plants regularly need care and attention. Moreover, to obtain one liter of oil, an average of 10kg of olives is needed. Therefore, be wary of oils sold for €5 to €8 per liter.
  5. Awards and Certifications: If the extra virgin olive oil holds important international awards like “Terra Olivo Israel” or “New York International Olive Oil Competition,” you are likely facing a high-quality oil.
  6. Label: A quality extra virgin olive oil should clearly indicate the olive cultivars used, the harvest date, which should be the most recent one (e.g., 2023/2024).
  7. Container: Prefer oils stored in dark containers or materials that protect the oil from light, preserving its quality.

And the Color?

The color is not a reliable indicator. The color of the oil can vary from green to golden yellow. An old oil tends to lose color, becoming more transparent and less aromatic.

The important thing is that the oil is not cloudy.

Indeed, in all olive oil competitions, color is never considered as an evaluative parameter.

Our Commitment in the Production of Quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil

We are well aware that there are many frauds in this sector, and sometimes even experts find it difficult to identify them.

Therefore, our advice is to rely only on trusted producers.

At Oilalà, we respond to these industry challenges with an unconditional commitment to transparency and quality.

Our production of extra virgin olive oil follows a philosophy that has accompanied us since our inception:

“To provide the best possible products that help physical well-being in a sustainable way and in harmony with Mother Earth.”

From the harvesting of green olives at the optimal time to ensure a high content of polyphenols, to cold pressing within 4 hours from harvesting, every step is designed to preserve the flavor and beneficial properties of the oil.

This process allows us to produce oils that not only delight the palate and contribute to the well-being of our customers, but also win international awards.

TOP 10 Healthy EVOO

Last year, for example, EVOOLEUM included our Organic Coratina Extra Virgin Olive Oil in the “TOP 10 Healthy,” ranking it among the 10 healthiest oils in the world, precisely in fourth place.

This is because our oil contains more than triple the average amount of polyphenols, far exceeding the 250mg/kg indicated in the European regulation. What exactly does this mean?

According to The European Union Health Claim Labelling Regulation 432-2012, extra virgin olive oils with a polyphenol content equal to or greater than 250mg/kg can declare themselves healthy. Only these oils can have the following claim on the label:

Olive oil polyphenols contribute to the protection of blood lipids from oxidative stress. In order to bear the claim, information shall be given to the consumer that the beneficial effect is obtained with a daily intake of 20 g of olive oil.

Furthermore, last year we were also elected by WREVOO as the second best Italian extra virgin olive oil in the world, scoring 803 points, only 10 points behind the first position.

We do all this because we are convinced that a good extra virgin olive oil is synonymous with health, culture, and tradition.

Our goal is to continue producing an oil that best represents these values, offering our customers an authentic and high-quality experience.

Conclusion

In an industry where quality is often overshadowed by imitations, the vigilance of the authorities and the awareness of consumers become essential.

There is a need to enable consumers to recognize and assess the quality of extra virgin olive oil and the honesty of producers.

Unfortunately, news of counterfeit oil will become increasingly frequent because, mainly due to climate changes in the Mediterranean area, the price of oil has increased.

In this scenario, therefore, the need for honest and transparent producers is more felt than ever.

Only in this way can we safeguard the authenticity and value of a product that is an integral part of Mediterranean culture and diet.

Indeed, in all olive oil competitions, color is never considered as an evaluative parameter.

Categorized: Blog Oilalà