How to Distinguish High-Quality Olive Oil from a Fake?

The question of how to differentiate authentic olive oil from counterfeit products is of interest to many. Recently, stores have seen an uptick in the presence of imitations, which not only fail to enhance health but also contain low-quality additives that can harm our bodies. Purchasing an expensive bottle may result in acquiring cheap vegetable oil devoid of any nutritional or health benefits. Therefore, it's advisable to familiarize oneself with the primary methods of identifying counterfeit products before making a purchase and, if necessary, apply these methods in practice.

How to Identify Genuine Olive Oil in Stores

Natural olive oil enjoys widespread popularity among consumers for its content of monounsaturated fatty acids, and vitamins K and E. It has been proven that its regular consumption normalizes blood pressure, reduces obesity risks, improves skin condition, and slows down aging processes. Knowing how to distinguish real olive oil can lead to acquiring a genuinely beneficial product that eliminates free radicals from the body and reduces the likelihood of developing cancer.

However, it is well-known that its counterfeiting is one of the most profitable "businesses" in Italy. According to statistics, up to 70% of the product made in this country is counterfeit. Identifying fraud in stores can be quite challenging. In many cases, the appearance of the bottles on sale does not raise doubts, but the content has a dubious consistency, which only by taste and smell resembles olives.

More often than not, instead of the natural product, containers are filled with linseed oil mixed with a small amount of olive oil. Sometimes, fraudsters blend sunflower and soy oils, then add chlorophyll or beta-carotene to mimic the taste of olives. But how can one distinguish olive oil and avoid buying a substitute? To prevent purchasing a counterfeit, several different criteria are recommended when shopping:

  • Price. Authentic oil is considered a valuable product and is often produced mechanically, making its cost on average 5-6 times higher than that of sunflower oil.
  • Producer. The original product is manufactured and bottled in the same country, with packaging done by the producing company itself. If the label of the product only mentions the place of bottling or manufacturing, this should raise suspicions.
  • Country of Origin. It is highly inadvisable to buy products made in countries where olives are not cultivated.
  • Packaging. The bottle and label should not appear carelessly made.

Also, pay attention to the appearance of the liquid in the bottle. Many people do not know how to distinguish between refined and unrefined olive oil, but the shade of the content can provide insight into this matter. The best quality is considered to be unrefined, cold-pressed Extra Virgin oil, which has a soft yellow-green color. Refined oil is yellow, without green hues, and has a longer shelf life.

There are several ways to distinguish genuine olive oil from a low-quality imitation after you've made your purchase. First, uncork the bottle and taste the oil. It should not taste rancid or have any foreign odors (such as straw, rotten fruit, etc.). Refined products almost have no smell, while unrefined oil retains aromatic herbal, woody, or fruity notes.

If the oil smells even slightly of vinegar or wine, it indicates poor quality. Such an odor suggests that the olives were stored longer than necessary and underwent fermentation. Genuine olive oil possesses a slight bitterness, astringency, and spiciness, which come from polyphenols found in fresh olives.

However, relying solely on smell and taste is insufficient. Additionally, two simple tests can help verify authenticity:

  • Genuine products contain monounsaturated fats, which solidify when cooled. Place the bottle in the refrigerator for a few hours. If the liquid in the container thickens, becomes cloudy, or even solidifies entirely, it is likely authentic.
  • Another method to distinguish real olive oil involves its flammability. Prepare a wick and dip it into the oil from the bottle. If it burns with a clean flame, the product is likely genuine. If the wick does not burn or simply smokes, you have a counterfeit.

We hope these tips will help you differentiate between a substitute and the genuine article, enabling you to purchase truly high-quality oil that will add an unforgettable flavor to your dishes.

Arsenio Shop Olive Oil
Via Bolognese Nuova, 15
+39 351 508 8973
Arsenio Shop Olive Oil