Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Olive oil: three brands are good

An article is circulating on the Internet titled something like Studies Uncover 14 Fake And 11 Real Olive Oil Brands (With 4-Step DIY Authenticity Test) or its variant. There are a few problems with this article.

  • The word "fake" is misused. Those olive oils not meeting the test requirements are not really fake, but mostly just do not have sufficient olive oil component in the blend.
  • The DIY authenticity test such as storing olive oil in the fridge to see if the oil solidifies is not reliable.
  • The biggest problem may be the brands not matching those in the ultimately quoted research article.

I'd like to focus on the last point. The above mentioned article lists these brands in the section "Who Were Keeping It Real?", i.e. not "fake" in the author's language

    Kirkland Organic
    Corto Olive
    California Olive Ranch
    Bariani Olive Oil
    Cobram Estate
    McEvoy Ranch Organic
    Olea Estates
and, at the bottom of the Web page, reveals the source, http://www.healthyfoodhouse.com/14-fake-olive-oil-companies-revealed-stop-buying-brands-now/, which in turn claims to be based on http://livetheorganicdream.com/fake-olive-oil-companies-revealed-stop-buying-these-brands-now/, which finally indicates the trustworthy research done at olivecenter.ucdavis.edu. That 2011 University of California at Davis article, titled Report: Evaluation of Extra-Virgin Olive Oil Sold in California, does not list all the above 11 good brands. I checked each of them against the Report. Only three out of the 11 are truly listed as good brands. They are
    California Olive Ranch
    Cobram Estate
This is not too bad in the sense that we as non-specialists only need to memorize three names when we shop for olive oil at a grocery store.