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How To Spot Inferior Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Olive oil is one of the most popular oils you will find among kitchen staples. Its popularity is due to the myriad health benefits it offers. Olive oil, especially extra virgin olive oil, has plenty of polyphenols that act as antioxidants, vitamins E and K, and various other micronutrients. In fact, adopting a diet rich in olive oils, such as a Mediterranean one, can do wonders for your body. But, do you know how to spot inferior Extra Virgin Olive Oil?
The only way you can benefit from olive oil is if you use high-quality, pure olive oil. Low-quality olive oil won’t offer you any health benefits and may be bad for your health. It also gives a substandard taste that no one can appreciate.
So, how do you know if olive oil is bad?
10 Tips on How To Spot Inferior Extra Virgin Olive Oil
There are plenty of ways you can identify low-quality olive oil. Here are some things to look out for:
1.) Don’t Trust Labels or Packaging
The very first thing you want to avoid is buying olive oil simply because it has a nice label. Olive oils may be labeled “pure” or “extra virgin,” but you can’t prove they are actually worth buying. The same applies to its packaging. Going for an olive oil simply because it is packaged nicely can be foolish.
2.) Look for the Harvest Date
The next step is to look for critical specifics on the packaging. The more specifics an olive oil company has added to the bottle, the better. Typically you want to look for a harvest date mentioned. This date indicates when the olives were first crushed to make the oil. Usually, olive oils preserve their nutrients and antioxidants for around 18-24 months. An olive oil whose harvest date is over 24 months will never have the same nutritional quality.
3.) Look for the FFA Quantity
One other significant specification to look out for is the FFA quantity. This is the Free Fatty Acid quantity, an important indicator of olive oil quality. A high quality olive oil has a lower FFA, which means the olives were processed for oils faster. Low-quality olive oils have a higher FFA, indicating the olives were overripe when they were processed. According to the International Olive Oil Council, the maximum FFA for EVOO should not exceed 0.8g per 100g of oil.
4.) Avoid Clear Plastic or Glass Packaging
Another indicator that you may be buying low-quality olive oil is its packaging. Even good olive oil may become bitter and rancid if it is subjected to poor packaging, as is evident in glass or plastic bottles.
If your olive oil is packaged in clear glass bottled, it will be easily subjected to UV light rays which can damage the phytonutrients in your oil. This will give it a bitter taste over time. The same applies to plastic containers. Since plastic is a porous material, it may allow light or air molecules. Oxygen from the air can mix in your oil, producing oxidized fat, a rancid and harmful element you want to avoid. In fact, studies have proven that the best packaging material for your olive oils is tin containers or dark glass bottles.
5.) Extra Virgin Olive Oil Should Not Have A Swampy Smell
The best way to test the quality of your olive oil is to test it through your senses of taste and smell. When you smell your olive oil, make sure it doesn’t have a fusty or swampy smell.
The oil may also give a smell consistent with that of sweaty socks or rotting vegetation. This usually happens if olives gathered are not processed immediately and instead start fermenting in their gathered piles. Such olive oil is considered a low-quality olive oil and should be avoided.
6.) Extra Virgin Olive Oil Should Not Have A Moldy Flavor
The next thing to do is to taste your olive oil. When tasting, look out for any moldy flavors. This type of flavor only develops in your olive oil if the olives used for their manufacturing were left in a humid environment for several days and developed fungi or yeast. Using such a poor selection of olives will give your oil a moldy flavor.
If the flavor is too strong, it can become overpowering and give an unpleasant flavor.
7.) Extra Virgin Olive Oil Should Not Taste or Smell Like Wine
Another thing to notice during your test is the potential taste or smell of wine. Your olive oil should never have a wine-like taste or smell. This type of taste or smell can only develop if the olives used in the oil production were already fermenting.
8.) Extra Virgin Olive Oil Should Not Have A Metallic Taste
Continuing with the taste test, ensure your olive oil does not have a metallic taste. Olive oils with a flavor reminiscent of metals are usually substandard. This type of flavor only develops if the oil has prolonged contact with metallic surfaces during its production, i.e., crushing, mixing, or pressing. It may also be due to the storage of olive oil in a metal recipient.
9.) Extra Virgin Olive Oil Should Not Have A Rancid Taste
Poor-quality olive oils will have a rancid taste to them. This is one of the most common defects you will find in poor-quality olive oils. A good quality olive oil has a fruity, fresh flavor, never too oily or heavy.
On the other hand, bad-quality oil will have a sour taste or aroma and leave a greasy residue in your mouth after you taste it. It may be a bit similar to eating old nuts or stale crackers. This is a strong indicator that your olive oil is no longer fresh or has gone bad and won’t be suitable for use.
10.) Pricing Too Good To Be True
Finally, you want to consider the pricing of your olive oil. Olive oil that is too cheap may not be of standard quality. Of course, not all heavily priced olive oils are of good quality. But most olive oil brands that do tend to offer quality olive oils won’t do so at a cheap rate.
Olive oil has been named the best oil for health thanks to its many health benefits. However, you can only enjoy these health benefits of olive oil when you use the best quality olive oil. Now you have some tools on How To Spot Inferior Extra Virgin Olive Oil!
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