Olive oil is one of the most popular oils in Germany. The label “extra virgin” or “native extra” promises the quality of the first class. But can the oils keep their promises? The NDR program “Markt” took a close look at olive oils from various manufacturers – and almost all of them failed. Is yours included?
In the test
Only olive oils labeled “extra virgin” or “extra virgin”, i.e. first-class oil were tested. They are priced between five and 36 euros. The areas “Origin”, “Durability” and “Quality” were tested.
Extra virgin olive oil
Olive oil is referred to as “extra virgin olive oil” if it was only produced using proven mechanical processes, i.e. it is really natural. The “extra” designates the highest quality class, as it meets the highest requirements in terms of taste and composition, such as acidity, which must not exceed 0.8 grams per 100 grams.
Native olive oil
With “virgin olive oil” the acidity must not exceed two percent, i.e. two grams per 100 grams. The taste is very good here.
“Lampante oil” is the lowest category of virgin olive oils and is not suitable for direct consumption as it is made from olives that have already been fermented. The acidity here is over two grams per 100 grams.
Test area: Origin
Most oils declare an Italian origin, as this is popularly considered to be of particularly high quality. However, since the EU does not require proof of origin, it is possible to cheat here. This EU olive oil regulation dates from 1991 and is therefore outdated. There is a need for action here to adapt them to the times and modern technology.
Four of the oils that declare 100% Italian origin failed. Instead, these oils largely originated in Greece or Spain. This is primarily due to the fact that the harvests in Italy were not so plentiful. However, this must of course be declared correctly!
The only oil that passed the test is Rewe’s “Feine Wahl Italiens Trilogie” Italian olive oil, which is actually 100 percent Italian.
Test area: durability
When it comes to olive oil, the general rule is: that the fresher it is, the better. The rule of thumb is that olive oil has a maximum shelf life of 18 months. However, Bosso’s oil declared shelf life of over 30 months. According to a food technologist, Dr. Christian Gertz was spoiled after 24 months at the latest.
Test area: quality
The olive oils have also been tested by the German Olive Oil Panel. With a frightening result: six out of eight were underground, and two of them were even particularly bad.
The Aldi oil “Casa Morando” has a pungent taste, which is an indication that the olives have been stored for too long and have already started to ferment. The Greek olive oil from Livio also tastes rancid and can therefore no longer be described as “extra virgin”, since this is only permitted in the EU if the oil is free of defects. Both manufacturers claimed not to be able to determine these defects.
In the panel, too, Rewe’s “Feine Wahl Italiens Trilogie” was the only oil that passed the sensory test.