Photo: roboppy, Flickr
That premium extra-virgin olive oil you shelled out a little extra for may not be quite as premium as you'd hoped, according to a second study released yesterday by the UC Davis Olive Center and the Australian Oils Research Laboratory.
According to the report, researchers found that five of the top-selling imported "extra virgin" olive oil brands in the U.S. were inconsistent, and that 73 percent of the samples tested failed sensory standards, which indicated they were of poor quality or had been adulterated with cheaper refined oils like canola, seed or nut oils.
The Los Angeles Times reports that the brands tested included Filippo Berio, Bertolli, Pompeian, Colavita and Star.
It's the second study released by the groups in the last year. The first was published last summer, but drew heavy criticism for small sample sizing, unknown storage conditions and testing methods. And already, the current report is coming under attack by the North American Olive Oil Association, which represents marketers, packagers and importers of olive oil.
"Consumers can continue to trust the quality of the imported olive oils they buy in supermarkets throughout the United States, contrary to what the authors of a report funded by a small contingent of domestic oil producers would like them to believe," the release says.