Your Extra-virgin Olive Oil Might be Fake, Chemists Say

Khryss | Published 2017-07-09 17:10
If it says extra-virgin olive oil, it might be fraudulent. If it smells like crayons, you've been fooled. There's fake food everywhere. You can find plastic rice, you can get plastic eggs. Hell, there's even fake meat (you can eat it though and it's healthy--it's called meat substitute). Fraudulent foods like beef hot dogs also contain buffalo or inauthentic Parmigiano-Reggiano. And now, time to freak out health conscious people! Chemists found that extra-virgin olive oil or EVOO may not be as pure as we once thought. Virgin olive oil comes from olives being pressed, not by being processed using heat or chemicals. In order to be called "extra-virgin", the oil must contain at least 1 percent oleic acid or less. According to Forbes, 55 percent of olive oils in US store shelves are fraudulent, 45 percent in Italy and 46 percent in France. Researchers from Tunisia used standard chemistry techniques to identify what makes some EVOO not pure. They contaminate pure EVOO with various amounts of refined pomace olive oil or RPOO, which is extracted from olive pulp after the first press. They then used gas chromatography, a method to identify and quantify molecules, to see if they could differentiate between pure EVOO and EVOO mixed with RPOO. The adulterated EVOO showed elevated levels of waxes, sterols, and various types of alcohols. The molecular profiles of both pure EVOO and adulterated EVOO are statistically significant, indicating that extra-virgin isn't that pure at all. A chemist redditor also added that to spot a bad olive oil, you have to smell it. If it smells like crayons, then it's definitely rancid and you need to throw it out. If it smells like fresh cut grass or bananas, then your olive oil is good. And now that you're feeling extra careful, here are recommended brands of the olive oil association. So consumers beware, remember to always check the label regardless of the brand name or title. It really helps. See? Extra-virgin might not always be as extra as we think. http://www.acsh.org/news/2017/07/06/chemists-detect-olive-oil-fraud-11523
Hey! Where are you going?? Subscribe!

Get weekly science updates in your inbox!