Extra Virgin Olive Oil has always been fraught with misrepresentation and fraud. How do you know the premium price you pay is getting you a premium product? First, avoid supermarkets. A good portion of olive oil in mass markets may not be extra virgin even though it may be labeled and sold as EVOO. A University of Davis study found a high percentage of olive oil from supermarkets did not meet the requirements. Qualities that provide the health benefits from extra virgin were greatly reduced or non-existent! Most mass market extra virgin olive oil is sold in clear, plastic bottles. Light will degrade the oil over time and there is no way of knowing how long the supermarket oil has been on the shelf.
To qualify as extra virgin, the olive oil has to meet stringent requirements - no blemished olives, a specific temperature range for processing, short transit time from grove to processor (ideally 24 hours), and measurements collected and kept during the process. You don't have to know all requirements, instead follow these few simple guidelines:
-Patronize a store that has a knowledgeable staff to answer your questions.
-Tasting should be allowed so you can compare different oils.
-The crush date should be prominent, preferably within the last 6-8 months.
-The country of origin should be displayed.
-PV, FFA, Polyphenol count, and DAGs, values should be displayed.
Don't worry about knowing them, the store staff should be able to explain them to you. If not find another store.
Follow these suggestions and you are much more likely to get E V in your O O and all the health benefits that go with it.
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