Recent studies have shown that oils labeled "extra-virgin", are in fact adulterated, and have additional ingredients they shouldn't. So, how can you tell if your extra-virgin olive oils is genuine? Today, any manufacturer can use the words extra, and virgin olive oil on their labels; this doesn't mean they are telling the whole truth about what they are producing. Luckily, there are a few tests you can do, and a few ways to determine if the oil is truly extra-virgin. These are a few methods to test the oil's quality and authenticity.
This is one of the most common and most well known testing methods to determine an olive oil's purity levels. Although the test has produced mixed results, the premise behind it is that pure oleic acid will freeze at a temperature of 39 degrees F, and most refrigerators have been set at 37 degrees F. If your oil is truly "extra-virgin," more often than not it will be noticed in this testing method, as the oil will part, layer, or have differing coloring throughout.
Light will diminish the quality of an extra-virgin olive oil. Therefore, if a manufacturer has spent the time and investment, using darker bottles and canisters for their oil, this is a good sign it is a true blend. Although many manufacturers are deceiving, and will use the darker bottles, this is at least a good indicator that it is a natural or pure blend, or at least one factor to help in proving it to be true.
Sure, you can always find a great deal, and if you know where to shop, you can find great prices. But, if the bottle is less than $15 to $18 per liter, you can believe it isn't pure extra-virgin. Even if it is on sale, the extra-virgin olive oils won't be sold at prices below the $15 range, as they are extremely pricey to produce.
This is another good sign that the oil is pure. The only companies that place harvest dates on their products, are those who produce their oils by hand. Again, it isn't a clear indication, but when combined with other factors, does tend to prove it is a pure blend.
If you spot sediment in the olive oil, this is also a good sign it is extra-virgin. What this proves is that it hasn't undergone too much processing, and although it isn't a 100% indication it is a pure blend, it does point in the direction of being extra-virgin oil.
Awards for the oils are also a good sign it is a pure blend. And, the California Olive Oil Council Certification is one of the strictest certifications given out to manufacturers of olive oil blends. When all of these factors are taken in to consideration, it is far easier to spot a product that is truly natural, unadulterated, and one that is pure. Further, the more of these factors the olive oil passes, the more of an indication that it is a pure blend, and truly extra-virgin olive oil.
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