Creating Waves of Awareness
IOOC Combats Olive Oil Fraud With New Tools
A shocking report brought to all natural health lovers the fact that they've been duped. All the time that we thought we were doing our body good by purchasing wholeness 100% pure virgin first pressed olive oils, we were not! Somehow, our favorite brands of olive oil were blends of adulterated oils, not in our favor.
How did we not know? How did we not tell the difference in taste, color and texture? Now, consumers beware of just about everything. Ask your grocer, check with your friends, has anyone heard the latest news?
More independent testing evaluated the content of methyl and ethyl esters in olive oil by means of gas chromatography (splitting the gasses with a capillary column to determine the oil’s chemical makeup). The International Olive Oil Council (IOOC) expects to improve the ability to detect fraudulent methods of production, specifically those that mask the smell of inferior oils by various processes of deodorization.
The approval of the new rule will directly affect the olive oil sectors of IOC member countries given that it was this very Council that modified the European Economic Commission’s Rule 2568 in 1992 which previously set industry standards in European olive oil sector.
Source | The Olive Oil Times
Most countries have membership in the International Olive Council (IOC, Madrid) where ever olives are grown and olive oil is produced. The production and the quality of olive oil is under the legislation of EU regulation No 1019/ 2002 (U.K. Government), the implementation and control of it is organized of Ministries of Agriculture through a network of inspection authorities who subcontract the analytical part of the inspection (verification of the olive oil quality and compliance of the contents with the label) to IOC approved laboratories. One of the preconditions to arrive at an IOC certification for a sensory testing laboratory is to have a qualified team of IOC certified panel members (IOC Review Panel). This is the legislation behind a very complex issue of the production of a quality extra virgin olive oil.
Buying tip | Don't buy olive oil in a clear bottle because it more easily oxidizes and becomes rancid.
Criminal activity in the food department
Last month, the Olive Oil Times reported that two Spanish businessmen had been sentenced to two years in prison in Cordoba for selling hundreds of thousands of litres of supposedly extra virgin olive oil that was, in fact, a mixture of 70-80% sunflower oil and 20-30% olive.
Color Blind Deception
In 2008, Italian police arrested over 60 people and closed more than 90 farms and processing plants across the south after uncovering substandard, non-Italian olive oil being passed off as Italian extra virgin, and chlorophyll and beta-carotene being added to sunflower and soybean oil with the same aim.
Pass The Blame
Most commonly, it seems, extra virgin oil is mixed with a lower grade olive oil, often not from the same country with seed oils, nut oils, colza or canola. Even your favorite brand, Bertolli can be chemically colored, flavor enhanced, and deodorized, and yet sold to the producer at the top of the line extra-virgin. Even California brands can be mislabeled. The Olive Oil Undercover sting found that more than 2/3 of the common brands in California groceries were not what they claimed. In fact, the United States is the third largest olive oil consumer in the world market, most likely because we've been told to eat up these omega-3 rich oils as part of the Mediterranean diet for good health. I have always purchased the cold-processed label because that method prevents degradation of aromatic compounds, higher levels of healthful fats and antioxidants and low acidity levels — 0.8 grams per 100 grams or less — if you want an alkaline diet.
Follow The Money
A $700 million dollar annual industry provides a premium market. Just go to your local grocery store and check the prices.
Unfortunately, this report came on the heels of the real honey scandal. The Guardian disclosed the adulteration of another natural food product that consumers thought was safe.
More Tips On How To Select Olive Oil