6 Out Of 11 Extra Virgin Olive Oils Tested Don’t Meet Standard

Image courtesy of (Caroline Angelo)

There’s at least some good news out of the National Consumer League’s recent tests of olive oil that they purchased in retail stores in the Washington, DC area: out of all the samples they tested, none of them contained oil that wasn’t olives. That’s an improvement over other recent olive oil testing, including an investigation that the New York Times published last year. Unfortunately, all of that olive oil wasn’t exactly as advertised.

Consumers pay higher prices to dip their breads and douse their salads in extra virgin olive oil. However, out of the eleven brands tested, six didn’t pass the lab’s stringent tests to meet the “extra virgin” standard. The lab in Australia performed chemical tests on the oil as well as sensory testing by trained humans to determine the flavor profile.

While they didn’t name which oils failed the tests, here’s a list of brands that they say passed:

  • California Olive Ranch “Extra Virgin Olive Oil”
  • Colavita “Extra Virgin Olive Oil”
  • Trader Joe’s “ Extra Virgin California Estate Olive Oil”
  • Trader Joe’s “100% Italian Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil”
  • Lucini “Premium Select Extra Virgin Olive Oil”

“The results of our olive oil testing reveal that, while consumers are buying and paying extra for olive oil labeled EVOO, too much of the olive oil bought off the shelf isn’t the real deal,” Sally Greenberg, executive director of the NCL, said in a statement. When more than half of the bottles are degraded, that’s pretty bad, especially when the group says that they took care to choose bottles that were stored away from the light and less likely to be degraded.

Olive oil mislabeling: Are consumers catching on? [National Consumers League]

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