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Best Practical Tips for Choosing Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Pure Olive Oil

Sometimes, BEST PRACTICAL TIPS come from the DON’Ts than DOs.

DO pay a little bit more attention to the label on the bottle when we do our usual round of grocery shopping for a bottle of extra virgin olive oil.

Surprises! Surprises! We may see these. Think twice!

DON’T #1 – LABEL WITHOUT “PRINTED” BEST BEFORE DATE.

IMAGE #1 shows a transparent sticker label pasted on the bottle, apparently by the importer. The label states the Best Before Date and the name of the importer and its address.

False-Label-1
IMAGE #1

Compare this with another bottle of extra virgin olive oil (IMAGE #2) of the same brand from the same importer. Spot the difference?

False-Label-1-1
IMAGE #2

Answer: The Best Before Date of IMAGE #2 is “printed” by the producer – with a printing machine during bottling process.

We may be wondering, why?

DON’T #2 – LABEL WITHOUT LOT/BATCH NUMBER.

The label of IMAGE #2 in above is good because it comes from the source, the producer. Why? Because to the right of the “printed” Best Before Date, it includes the lot number – there is a traceability, from the storage tank where the olive oil is drawn to the source, olive trees.

False-Label-2
IMAGE #3

DON’T #3 – BARCODE TELLS STORY.

IMAGE #3 indicates that the extra virgin olive oil is packed in Italy, but the barcode shows that the product is from USA, and the olive oil is imported by an American company.

Two questions:

  • Packed in Italy: Is it the same as bottled in Italy?
  • USA barcode: Is the olive oil shipped in tank container from the source and bottled locally?

Mmm. Why play the game? … Read this: Popular olive oil brands accused of “fraud”.

BTW, the first three images are from the same brand of olive oil, same producer, and same importer.

DON’T #4 – OLIVE OILS FROM VARIOUS COUNTRIES.

In IMAGE #3, the label says that the olive oils are from various countries.

The problem is: It is difficult to control the quality, needless to say traceability. Best extra virgin olive oil comes from only one farm, one mill, and bottling facility – We know what we are eating.

Good-Label-1
IMAGE #4

NOW, LET’S PUT THINGS IN PROPER PERSPECTIVE. When Best Before Date and Lot/Batch Number come hand-in-hand as in IMAGE #4 and #5, these labels are considered good.

Good-Label-2
IMAGE #5

Mind you, not all producers are rich – there still are small farms/producers who have limited funds to finance their automation process.

IF YOU ARE INTERESTED OF THE DOs, here they are:

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