General Question

Ltryptophan's avatar

Is there an easy way to test the quality of my olive oil at home?

Asked by Ltryptophan (10280points) September 8th, 2010

There is currently no restriction on labeling for imported olive oil. So you may well be paying for EOO and not getting it. There are reports that in California an olive boom is coming, since american labeling standards and quality are sure to rival the best imports.

Meanwhile I still want to buy premium olive oil, since less than premium oil may comprise of some poor production practices, and quality standards.

Since OO quality is based on acidity is there a standard test for this that I could perform in a home laboratory. Ideally like a pregnancy test/ketone test/litmus test.

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9 Answers

Ltryptophan's avatar

@aprilsimnel thanks…in fact thanks very much, but unlike rancidity, even the freshest imported EVOO might not be of good quality. That test deals with acidity levels.

janbb's avatar

You might check for reivews of various brands in either Consumers’ Reports or Cooks Illustrated. Both periodicals do comparison taste tests and write-ups. Once you find a reliable brand that you like, you should be golden.

Ltryptophan's avatar

@janbb an excellent suggestion! However, I am strictly interested in knowing that my olive oil is EVOO. There might be some olive oils that my limited palate would find well enough, but would in truth be labeled incorrectly. This would mean that I am both spending too much for the product, and possibly ingesting something that is inferior. Mcdonald’s french fries are just the most delicious little morsels ever, but you won’t find me eating them.

janbb's avatar

I would think that the reviews would indicate which are the real deal.

CMaz's avatar

“So you may well be paying for EOO and not getting it”

How is that? There it an apparent visual and taste difference.

Ltryptophan's avatar

@chazmaz i don’t understand what you wrote

CMaz's avatar

EOO, extra-virgin olive oil.

We can break it down

Or you can tell by its look and its taste. Just like wine. At least that is how it works for me.

Ltryptophan's avatar

@chazmaz nice thinking i will remember this way of using patents from now on… Very insightful. Thanks, truly.

Check this excerpt out from that there link:

”[0003]In the legal classification of olive oils, Italy has conformed to the Regulations of the European Community, so that the extra-virgin oil currently consumed as foodstuff recognizes as qualitative parameter a percentage content of free oleic acid not higher than 1 g per 100 g of product. Extra-virgin olive oil (EOO) is distinguished from the other vegetable oils in so far as it is produced on a non-industrial scale using exclusively mechanical systems, without further refinements, which would reduce substantially the uncommon organoleptic properties of EOO. Instead, it is known that seed oils are obtained either by applying pressure followed by extraction using hexane or via extraction using organic solvents. The crude oils thus obtained are then subjected to processes of purification from rubbers and polymers, de-acidification, whitening and deodorization.

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