The Importance of Choosing High-Quality Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
Extra-virgin olive oil, often referred to as the “green gold” of Italy, is one of the most popular products consumed by Italians. When browsing the supermarket aisles, it can be challenging to select the best extra-virgin oil among the numerous brands available. To shed light on this matter, Il Salvagente, a well-known magazine, recently conducted a test on 15 extra-virgin olive oil brands sold in supermarkets. The results revealed that almost half of the tested oils were not truly extra-virgin. In this article, we will explore the details of this test, including the criteria used and the brands that performed well.
The Test Process and Criteria
The test conducted by Il Salvagente involved examining 15 different extra-virgin olive oil products. These oils were subjected to rigorous laboratory tests to evaluate their chemical characteristics. Additionally, a taste panel consisting of accredited professionals from the Chemical Laboratory of the Customs and Monopolies Agency in Rome conducted sensory analysis to determine if the oils were genuinely extra-virgin.To be labeled as “extra-virgin,” olive oil must meet specific chemical parameters and pass the taste panel test. These requirements have been mandatory since 1991. If an oil is found to have sensory defects during the taste evaluation, it can be downgraded to the lower category of “virgin” oil. Il Salvagente acknowledges that some people question the validity of the taste panel test, dismissing it as a subjective evaluation. However, it emphasizes that the test is codified, repeatable, and conducted by experienced evaluators who have been approving or denying the sale of extra-virgin oils for the past three decades.The laboratory tests examined the oils for the presence of pesticides, acidity, peroxides, ethyl esters, and phthalate concentration. These parameters are crucial in determining the quality and authenticity of extra-virgin olive oil.
The Shocking Results
Il Salvagente's test uncovered a surprising fact: out of the 15 oils tested, seven were not truly extra-virgin as claimed on their packaging. These oils failed the sensory analysis due to specific defects, leading to their reclassification as virgin olive oil rather than extra-virgin. While consuming virgin olive oil is not harmful, the issue lies in the fact that consumers pay a premium for supposedly high-quality extra-virgin oil that does not meet the required standards.Some producers defended their products, suggesting that their oil was indeed extra-virgin when delivered to retail points, and the defects may have occurred during product storage. However, this defense raises questions about the quality control and storage practices of these brands. The ultimate loser in this situation is the consumer, who unknowingly purchases a product that does not meet its advertised quality.It is worth noting that a similar test was conducted by Il Salvagente in 2015, yielding comparable results. Although a full-blown judicial investigation was initiated at that time, it was eventually dismissed. Unfortunately, it appears that not much has changed since then in terms of the authenticity of extra-virgin olive oils.Regarding the issue of pesticide residues found in some of the tested oils, Il Salvagente clarifies that the levels were well below the legal limits. This provides some reassurance for consumers concerned about potential health risks.
The Top-Ranked Extra-Virgin Olive Oils
Despite the disappointing number of oils that failed the test, there were a few brands that performed exceptionally well. Monini (Classico) and Bertolli (Fragrante) emerged as the top-ranking extra-virgin olive oil brands in Il Salvagente's evaluation. These brands successfully passed both the laboratory tests and the sensory analysis, confirming their authenticity as genuine extra-virgin olive oils.Here is the ranking of the best extra-virgin olive oils, according to Il Salvagente:1. Monini Classico: With a score of 9.5, Monini Classico priced at 5.49 euros claimed the top spot.2. Bertolli Fragrante: Scoring 9, Bertolli Fragrante priced at 5.99 euros secured the second position.3. Esselunga Classico: At the affordable price of 3.99 euros, Esselunga Classico scored 8.8, making it the best buy option.4. Coop: Priced at 4.90 euros, Coop obtained a score of 7.9.5. Conad Classico: Similar to Coop, Conad Classico priced at 4.80 euros also scored 7.9.6. Farchioni: With a score of 7.5, Farchioni priced at 5.60 euros ranked sixth.7. Primadonna Lidl: Priced at 3.79 euros, Primadonna Lidl achieved a score of 6.5.8. Carrefour Cucina Delicata: Also scoring 6.5, Carrefour Cucina Delicata priced at 4.59 euros completed the list of top-ranked extra-virgin olive oils.On the other hand, the brands that fared poorly in the taste evaluation received a total score of 3. These brands include:1. Carapelli Frantolio: Priced at 6.38 euros2. Colavita Mediterraneo Tradizionale: Priced at 5.79 euros3. Cirio Classico: Priced at 5.25 euros4. Coricelli: Priced at 5.79 euros5. De Cecco Classico: Priced at 4.99 euros6. La Badia Eurospin: Priced at 3.79 euros7. Il Saggio Olivo Todis: Priced at 2.99 euros
The recent test conducted by Il Salvagente sheds light on the authenticity of extra-virgin olive oils available in supermarkets. Unfortunately, almost half of the tested brands failed to meet the required standards and were reclassified as virgin oils. This raises concerns about the quality control practices of these brands and leaves consumers paying extra for a product that does not live up to its claims.In order to ensure that you are purchasing a high-quality extra-virgin olive oil, it is advisable to choose reputable brands such as Monini and Bertolli, which performed well in the test. By being informed and selective, consumers can make more conscious choices and enjoy the true flavors and benefits of authentic extra-virgin olive oil.
Hi, my name is Emma and I am a passionate writer and editor at spartanewspapers.com. With a keen interest in health and wellness, I strive to provide our readers with informative and engaging articles on topics such as dieting, nutrition, and natural remedies. One of my most memorable moments at spartanewspapers.com was when I interviewed a renowned nutritionist and gained valuable insights that I could share with our audience.