Like many products in the commercial food industry, Olive Oil has been manipulated/ adulturated to a point where the ultimate objective is to make a profit. In fact, it is the most adulterated food on the market today. All businesses need to make a profit, but it should not be at the expense of consumer health, safety or the integrity of the product.
The business of olive oil has been the scrutiny of corruption for 2000 years.
In ancient Rome, the Romans instituted elaborate mechanisms to prevent fraud. Over the last 20 years, Olive oil has historically been one of the most frequently adulterated products in the European Union.
And unfortunately, the North American market has been consuming adulterated olive oil for the past 20 years, therefore making it harder for the average pallet to tell the difference.
Today, consumer demand for high-quality (real) olive oil in all of its variety, both in Europe and in North America, is skyrocketing. Thus, the willingness to pay a high price for its health benefits makes it a lucrative market with little worldwide regulation.
Olive oil has many health benefits, but they only pertain to unadulterated, unrefined oils. My goal is to better inform Cochran’s customers on what to look for when purchasing good olive oil.
*Information from: Tom Mueller, the Extra Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil, http://extravirginity.com , http://www.sarafino.com
**Most commonly, it seems, extra virgin oil is mixed with a lower grade olive oil, often not from the same country. Sometimes, another vegetable oil such as colza or canola is used. The resulting blend is then chemically coloured, flavoured and deodorised, and sold as extra-virgin to a producer.