Is it true that there is a lot of fraud in the olive oil market and how do you spot fraudulent extra virgin olive oil?

Yes, there is a lot of fraud in the olive oil market (like a lot of the food sector). Many oils that read “extra virgin” on the label have been diluted with other refined oils and do not meet the necessary requirements (such as polyphenol content or acidity levels). Therefore, you should always examine labels carefully, reading ingredients lists and checking for quality certification. Here are additional tips for spotting high quality EVOO while shopping:

  • Look for a harvest date on the bottle. You want to make sure you’re consuming fresh IEVOO from the most recent harvest, which in Italy happens in between October and November. Olives that are harvested early have the richest flavor and the highest polyphenol content.
  • Read carefully the indications on the label, looking especially for the text that says: “Superior category extra virgin olive oil obtained directly from olives and solely by mechanical means. Cold pressed.”
  • The best way to test EVOO’s polyphenol (antioxidant) content is to taste it. We highlight how to test EVOO like an expert in this blog post.