4

votes

Is olive oil fake?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created June 19, 2012 at 1:53 AM

http://www.cracked.com/article_19896_the-6-creepiest-lies-food-industry-feeding-you_p2.html

i was reading this today "Today, the stuff that is pawned off to us as quality olive oil is often just a tiny amount of the real thing, mixed with up to 80 percent of ordinary, less than healthy, cheap as muck sunflower oil. That is, if you're getting any olive oil at all. In fact, we're so used to shitty olive oil that apparently food connoisseurs reject the real stuff because it tastes fake to them."

I eat a lot of olive oil and if its fake that means id be ingesting all this omega 6 oils every day. I live in New Zealand, so i wonder if its legal to sell fake olive oil here.

0faecc3397025eab246241f4dcd81f5e

(2361)

on June 20, 2012
at 11:39 PM

It is still cold pressed rather than chemical extraction and still retains some anti-oxidants. I'd use it rather than cheap oils high in omega 6. Macadamia oil is good for cooking as well, higher heat point, less omega 6

E12d01c41ed41315112c753c752bd7e2

(50)

on June 19, 2012
at 06:48 PM

That probably just means that it's unfiltered. It can be tastier and have more intense flavors. The downside is that it might decrease the shelf life.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on June 19, 2012
at 03:57 PM

I do appreciate Amanda posting that. It lead me to flesh my answer out with a discussion of melting/freezing points. It makes some logical sense that melting points of oils could be used to determine their composition to some degree.

4781cf8ae1bfcb558dfb056af17bea94

(4359)

on June 19, 2012
at 03:11 PM

@AmandaP, your link does not show why Matt's test is pointless at all. I think you are the one who is missing the point. If it solidifies in the fridge, it cannot be linoleic acid. That's the point of the test, not to show anything about freshness.

345c1755efe005edd162b770dc6fb821

(8767)

on June 19, 2012
at 02:25 PM

valid/invalid, don't really care much, if you've smelled freshly pressed evoo you'd know it has a stronger smell ....thats all

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on June 19, 2012
at 02:01 PM

FWIW, smell is not a valid test for pure olive oil, nor is viscosity or any of the other sensory clues we are able to do ourselves. Vegetable or nut oils with olive oil flavanoids smell just like any variety of real olive oil may smell like.

7660f5a0ec906d3922d79b20f3434ecc

(788)

on June 19, 2012
at 12:44 PM

Yes. Technically its illegal but only if they get caught.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on June 19, 2012
at 11:37 AM

Bill, my score simply means I've been participating here for a quite while, certainly does not mean I've achieved guru or paleo celebrity status. If you don't like my answer, just downvote it and comment on why.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on June 19, 2012
at 11:25 AM

@stars, strict paleo at home, anything goes when eating out (which I do often enough).

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on June 19, 2012
at 11:24 AM

Well, it's been propagated many times here without anybody calling it out as BS, repeated it noting my skepticism.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on June 19, 2012
at 04:56 AM

And its got a low smoke point (oxidises from heat quicker and burns)

1c67bc28f4e44bbb8770b86df0463df3

(6719)

on June 19, 2012
at 04:04 AM

You would think that someone with 17.8K 'score' would be adept at using tools like google instead of posting about a useless technique. Then of course you would think that some troll wouldn't come along and well, troll about how great his meaningless posts are.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on June 19, 2012
at 03:40 AM

Coconut oil is easy to get in NZ, or so ive found. Its solid at room temp, not liquid.Comes in a jar. Have no idea on the olive oil thing, but if its oxidised, that is defo bad for you...(cancer). Olive oil is lower in omega 6's (inflammatory) than regular oil, which is different issue from oxidation, but id still recommend coconut oil or butter for cooking unless I was making the odd salad with olive oil or vinegar, because olive oil still has some omega 6s...

C836b2644e7319bb957fbb794a97708e

on June 19, 2012
at 03:33 AM

Matt, I have been following your responses on my feedly for awhile now. I find your views to be very reasonable and they seem to really cut through the mess. I would like to know what your diet looks like. I have seen your rather moderate views on wheat etc and I am curious. How does your reasonable approach translate into day

C836b2644e7319bb957fbb794a97708e

on June 19, 2012
at 03:33 AM

Matt, I have been following your responses on my feedly for awhile now. I find your views to be very responsible and they seem to really cut through the mess. I would like to know what your diet looks like. I have seen your rather moderate views on wheat etc and I am curious. How does your reasonable approach translate into day to day? Thank you=)

4b5be253ac1981c690689cab7e4bf06d

(3043)

on June 19, 2012
at 03:15 AM

To clarify: http://www.oliveoilsource.com/page/freezing-olive-oil

4b5be253ac1981c690689cab7e4bf06d

(3043)

on June 19, 2012
at 03:07 AM

Most likely, there is at least some real olive oil in the oil, but many have been adulterated. Many have also been adulterated before the final producer bottles it, so they may not even know if it is real. Buying from a reputable source is the only way to know if it is real.

4b5be253ac1981c690689cab7e4bf06d

(3043)

on June 19, 2012
at 03:05 AM

The test is pointless.

9b3cb8582f8cf0c29d424533d0503e7c

(110)

on June 19, 2012
at 02:43 AM

If its just low quality oxidised olive oil, is it as bad as regular vegetable oil? because ive trained my mom to use only olive oil and butter for my food, not vegetable oil (im not sure where to buy coconut oil) is it that urgent not to eat it?

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8 Answers

5
0faecc3397025eab246241f4dcd81f5e

(2361)

on June 19, 2012
at 02:36 AM

Fair Go recently tested olive oils avaiable in New Zealand - there is a problem with many imported oils from Europe. http://paleozonenutrition.com/2012/05/19/extra-virgin-olive-oil-or-is-it-european-supermarket-oils-are-rancid-and-fail-the-evoo-test/

Similar tests have been done in California and Australia

Report: Most Imported Extra Virgin Olive Oils Aren???t Extra Virgin http://www.oliveoiltimes.com/olive-oil-basics/report-most-imported-extra-virgin-olive-oils-arent/4316

Choice the people???s watchdog: Extra virgin olive oil 2010 review; Is what you buy the real deal? http://www.choice.com.au/reviews-and-tests/food-and-health/food-and-drink/groceries/extra-virgin-olive-oil-2010-review.aspx

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on June 19, 2012
at 03:40 AM

Coconut oil is easy to get in NZ, or so ive found. Its solid at room temp, not liquid.Comes in a jar. Have no idea on the olive oil thing, but if its oxidised, that is defo bad for you...(cancer). Olive oil is lower in omega 6's (inflammatory) than regular oil, which is different issue from oxidation, but id still recommend coconut oil or butter for cooking unless I was making the odd salad with olive oil or vinegar, because olive oil still has some omega 6s...

9b3cb8582f8cf0c29d424533d0503e7c

(110)

on June 19, 2012
at 02:43 AM

If its just low quality oxidised olive oil, is it as bad as regular vegetable oil? because ive trained my mom to use only olive oil and butter for my food, not vegetable oil (im not sure where to buy coconut oil) is it that urgent not to eat it?

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on June 19, 2012
at 04:56 AM

And its got a low smoke point (oxidises from heat quicker and burns)

0faecc3397025eab246241f4dcd81f5e

(2361)

on June 20, 2012
at 11:39 PM

It is still cold pressed rather than chemical extraction and still retains some anti-oxidants. I'd use it rather than cheap oils high in omega 6. Macadamia oil is good for cooking as well, higher heat point, less omega 6

4
3eca93d2e56dfcd768197dc5a50944f2

(11697)

on June 19, 2012
at 02:07 AM

I'm Greek, and my mom buys olive oil directly from the place where they make olive oil in her village. Her olive oil is deep in color, and somewhat rich and thick. The ones I can find in the US are less so (even the extra virgin, cold pressed ones). So I don't know what's going on. It might just be a different kind of olive fruits, or pressing technique. Or it could be what Cracked.com claims about fake olive oil... At least for some brands.

E12d01c41ed41315112c753c752bd7e2

(50)

on June 19, 2012
at 06:48 PM

That probably just means that it's unfiltered. It can be tastier and have more intense flavors. The downside is that it might decrease the shelf life.

4b5be253ac1981c690689cab7e4bf06d

(3043)

on June 19, 2012
at 03:07 AM

Most likely, there is at least some real olive oil in the oil, but many have been adulterated. Many have also been adulterated before the final producer bottles it, so they may not even know if it is real. Buying from a reputable source is the only way to know if it is real.

1
345c1755efe005edd162b770dc6fb821

(8767)

on June 19, 2012
at 12:01 PM

We use to get fresh pressed olive oil straight from the "farm" when we lived in Spain, so I now smell all the EVOO I get, it is not the same and you can find variations of the EVOO, I guess you really do have to look for it, but its weak by comparison.

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on June 19, 2012
at 02:01 PM

FWIW, smell is not a valid test for pure olive oil, nor is viscosity or any of the other sensory clues we are able to do ourselves. Vegetable or nut oils with olive oil flavanoids smell just like any variety of real olive oil may smell like.

345c1755efe005edd162b770dc6fb821

(8767)

on June 19, 2012
at 02:25 PM

valid/invalid, don't really care much, if you've smelled freshly pressed evoo you'd know it has a stronger smell ....thats all

1
Cbda678b2a6bf0537d8c4ea0ce8aa9ad

(4319)

on June 19, 2012
at 06:10 AM

Olive Oil is not fake. It is a real oil. The question has been poorly formed :).

I think one should always take care where one buys it, like anything else. I live in Spain and I still will take care. I will usually buy it from ecological cooperatives, with their own land, trees and olive press. When I have been in the USA, the olive oil sold in supermarkets looks and smells fairly weak. I once read somewhere that all imported olive oil was, by law, pasteurized. Not sure if this is true.

I am pretty sure that there are decent places to buy olive oil from California producers. Perhaps on-line

1
32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on June 19, 2012
at 02:51 AM

Folks say to put olive oil in the fridge to see if it semi-solidifies. If it does, it's supposedly the real deal. All my olive oil samples have solidified, from store-brand all the way up to premium product. Maybe I've been lucky, or maybe the test is pointless.

EDIT: Amanda points out in the comments that it's not a good test for determining the quality of olive oil. I think that's probably true, it's the fat content that largely determines the freezing point.

Consider though if highly diluted with sunflower oil. Olive oil is mostly oleic acid (mp 13-14C in free acid form). Sunflower oil is mostly linoleic acid (mp -5C in free acid form). Triglycerides melt at lower temperatures than their component fatty acids. It seems likely that sunflower seed oil would not solidify at fridge temperatures, while olive oil may. (I haven't done the test myself, no sunflower oil on hand and not going to buy it out of curiosity.) Commercial salad dressings don't freeze at fridge temperatures, and they're vegetable oils (largely PUFAs).

If olive oil counterfeiters were smart, they'd use high oleic acid sunflower oil. Much more similar to olive oil in fatty acid composition, it might not produce a significant change in melting point profile. Not sure that's any cheaper than olive oil itself.

Then again, high oleic sunflower oil is probably nearly as healthy as olive oil.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on June 19, 2012
at 11:25 AM

@stars, strict paleo at home, anything goes when eating out (which I do often enough).

1c67bc28f4e44bbb8770b86df0463df3

(6719)

on June 19, 2012
at 04:04 AM

You would think that someone with 17.8K 'score' would be adept at using tools like google instead of posting about a useless technique. Then of course you would think that some troll wouldn't come along and well, troll about how great his meaningless posts are.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on June 19, 2012
at 11:37 AM

Bill, my score simply means I've been participating here for a quite while, certainly does not mean I've achieved guru or paleo celebrity status. If you don't like my answer, just downvote it and comment on why.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on June 19, 2012
at 03:57 PM

I do appreciate Amanda posting that. It lead me to flesh my answer out with a discussion of melting/freezing points. It makes some logical sense that melting points of oils could be used to determine their composition to some degree.

C836b2644e7319bb957fbb794a97708e

on June 19, 2012
at 03:33 AM

Matt, I have been following your responses on my feedly for awhile now. I find your views to be very responsible and they seem to really cut through the mess. I would like to know what your diet looks like. I have seen your rather moderate views on wheat etc and I am curious. How does your reasonable approach translate into day to day? Thank you=)

4781cf8ae1bfcb558dfb056af17bea94

(4359)

on June 19, 2012
at 03:11 PM

@AmandaP, your link does not show why Matt's test is pointless at all. I think you are the one who is missing the point. If it solidifies in the fridge, it cannot be linoleic acid. That's the point of the test, not to show anything about freshness.

4b5be253ac1981c690689cab7e4bf06d

(3043)

on June 19, 2012
at 03:15 AM

To clarify: http://www.oliveoilsource.com/page/freezing-olive-oil

C836b2644e7319bb957fbb794a97708e

on June 19, 2012
at 03:33 AM

Matt, I have been following your responses on my feedly for awhile now. I find your views to be very reasonable and they seem to really cut through the mess. I would like to know what your diet looks like. I have seen your rather moderate views on wheat etc and I am curious. How does your reasonable approach translate into day

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on June 19, 2012
at 11:24 AM

Well, it's been propagated many times here without anybody calling it out as BS, repeated it noting my skepticism.

4b5be253ac1981c690689cab7e4bf06d

(3043)

on June 19, 2012
at 03:05 AM

The test is pointless.

1
E12d01c41ed41315112c753c752bd7e2

(50)

on June 19, 2012
at 02:03 AM

Real olive oil exists. You should read Great Olive Oils of the World and the Buyer's Guide by the author of the book "Extra Virginity".

0
8e10b687e328468783a72c55b64710e8

on June 19, 2012
at 06:21 AM

If you live in the U.S., Louana Coconut Oil is cheaper than the cheapest olive oil. Not the best coconut oil but gets the job done when it comes to cooking.

0
16a83c62c4650896080a9d3d94159059

on June 19, 2012
at 04:26 AM

Even though I distrust most of what corporations and the government here in the U.S. Try to feed us. Am I being naive to think that if it had other oils, it would list it on the ingredients just like the olive oil-canola oil blends?

7660f5a0ec906d3922d79b20f3434ecc

(788)

on June 19, 2012
at 12:44 PM

Yes. Technically its illegal but only if they get caught.

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