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Old 01-04-2012, 10:47 AM   #1
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Not the Olive Oil - Say It Ain't So

That's disthpicable!


“I was sitting in a dark bar with an undercover cop in Italy, and he was telling me about deals being cut with high-level politicians and millions of dollars in EU subsidies being misappropriated,” Mueller told the New York Post. “He was speaking in this hushed tone, and I had to laugh, because this was not black-market plutonium or drugs, this was olive oil.”
Mueller contends that because true olive oil is so pricey to produce, some companies have taken to doctoring bottles with chemicals and disguising cheaper oils with added flavoring.

The Hottest New Grocery Scam Could Be Lurking in Your Pantry Right Now - Yahoo! Finance

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Old 01-04-2012, 10:53 AM   #2
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I guess we shouldn't be surprised.
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Old 01-04-2012, 12:39 PM   #3
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Much of the supposed Italian olive oil is produced in Spain. It is brought to Italy and bottled in the country. No big surprise.

I had a couple of bottles of true single source olive oil the past year. The difference is night and day. The original Tuscan was fruity and fresh. Not flat and tasteless.
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Old 01-04-2012, 01:35 PM   #4
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Olive oil is one of those things I am very picky about. Especially if it will be an ingredient in something where the flavor is right up front, for example salad dressing or pesto.

I have two places where I buy it that I generally trust. One is a local retailer specializing in oils and vinegar. They allow me to taste before buying, and guarantee the authenticity of everything they sell. The other is an online source, Olio2Go.com. I've been buying from them for over 10 years, and their oils are always top notch.

While on this subject, has anyone noticed that quite often the olive oil they serve in restaurants - even some of the better ones - has a rancid or off flavor? I've noticed this more and more lately. It makes me wonder if they are buying lesser grade oil to save money in a tight economy. Rancid oil is one of those flavors that really stands out to me.
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Old 01-04-2012, 01:40 PM   #5
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Tricky buisness. I've read that blending is also common practice. Bulking up better quality oils with cheaper ones....I have also noticed that you can buy the same brand twice and get different quality both times. I have had really good and really bad oil from the same company. I usually stick to the same producer for my all purpose EVOO. While splurging on smaller bottles for lighter things like dipping and dressings...And I use regular olive oil for other applications as well...
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Old 01-04-2012, 02:43 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Kroll View Post
While on this subject, has anyone noticed that quite often the olive oil they serve in restaurants - even some of the better ones - has a rancid or off flavor? I've noticed this more and more lately. It makes me wonder if they are buying lesser grade oil to save money in a tight economy. Rancid oil is one of those flavors that really stands out to me.
Or they're buying it by the drum. But you're likely right. Old news by now, but...

U.C. Davis Olive Center
Report:Evaluation of Extra-Virgin Olive Oil Sold in California

http://olivecenter.ucdavis.edu/files...%20reduced.pdf
  • Of the five top-selling imported “extra virgin” olive oil brands in the United States, 73 percent of the samples failed the IOC sensory standards for extra virgin olive oils analyzed by two IOC-accredited sensory panels. The failure rate ranged from a high of 94 percent to a low of 56 percent depending on the brand and the panel.
  • None of the Australian and California samples failed both sensory panels, while 11 percent of the top-selling premium Italian brand samples failed the two panels. Sensory defects are indicators that these samples are oxidized, of poor quality, and/or adulterated with cheaper refined oils.
  • All of the oil samples passed the IOC chemistry standards for free fatty acids (FFA), fatty acid profile (FAP) and peroxide value (PV), but several of the imported samples failed the IOC’s ultraviolet absorption (UV) tests.
  • 70 percent of the samples from the five top-selling imported brands failed the German/Australian 1,2-diacylglycerol content (DAGs) test and 50 percent failed the German/Australian pyropheophytin (PPP) test. All of the 18 samples of the California brand passed the DAGs test and 89 percent of the samples passed the PPP test. The Italian premium brand failed the DAGs and PPP tests in about one-third of the samples. The Australian brand passed the DAGs test in all cases and failed the PPP test in all cases.
  • The strongest relationship between chemical analysis and negative sensory results was found in the DAGs test (65 percent), followed by the PPP test (49 percent), UV K268 for conjugated trienes (34 percent), UV K232 for conjugated dienes (12 percent) and UV ∆K (6 percent). The FFA, FAP and PV tests did not confirm negative sensory results. The IOC standards would be more effective in assessing and enforcing olive oil quality by including the DAGs and PPP standards.

I've come to trust California Olive Ranch, because they've actively promoted information about this problem in restaurants and food service. Of course, the UC David Report names names, and COR had the smallest failure overall failure rate. The popular brands had rather poor sensory scores. I wonder how much of that is simply dealing in huge quantities and too much storage time, transport, and handling.
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Old 01-04-2012, 02:51 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigjim68 View Post
Much of the supposed Italian olive oil is produced in Spain. It is brought to Italy and bottled in the country. No big surprise.

I had a couple of bottles of true single source olive oil the past year. The difference is night and day. The original Tuscan was fruity and fresh. Not flat and tasteless.
Good Spanish olive oil is also fruity and fresh (if it IS fresh!) "Good" being the operative word here.

There was an article a year or so ago about olive oil not always being from the country the label claimed it was. Most of those folks got their acts together. However, I hesitate to purchase the mass-marketed stuff.
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Old 01-05-2012, 01:38 AM   #8
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Good Spanish olive oil is also fruity and fresh (if it IS fresh!) "Good" being the operative word here.

There was an article a year or so ago about olive oil not always being from the country the label claimed it was. Most of those folks got their acts together. However, I hesitate to purchase the mass-marketed stuff.
The oil I obtained had been cold pressed from a single farm, and was a couple of weeks old. I think I posted a thread of harvest and processing. I was amazed at the quality and taste differences, and the difference that a few weeks of age made.
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