The chance of getting counterfeit or low-quality olive oil is almost 80% unless you get it directly from the producer or from a certified distributor.
So yes, it’s okay to know which olive oil brands to avoid and which brands to trust. According to New York Times, most of the self-claimed Italian olive oils in the market are neither Italian nor extra virgin.
Sounds like something you should know? Good! Keep reading… In this article, I will talk about those low-quality or fake olive oil brands and which brand you should trust!
Avoid These Olive Oil Brands
As per Consumer Reports, 9 out of 23 olive oils from Italy, Spain, and Californian passed the EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil) test. Although all of them claimed to be EVOO on their labels!
Avoid those following brands that failed the EVOO test:
Surprised to see this brand? I admit this is a decent brand with lots of popularity.
Unfortunately, Carapelli failed to be passed as Extra Virgin Olive Oil several times in the past like in 2010 and 2015.
Both the University of California and the Italian Authority found them guilty of labeling low-quality olive oil as EVOO!
For many people, it’s a good brand and there is no scam or mislabeling accusations against the brand. However, some people described it as olive oil with horrible flavor!
If you don’t get it from a trusted supplier or distributor, you may get the counterfeit product of Mezzetta.
Another brand with no scam issues but a lot of people don’t like the brand simply because they find its taste to be bitter than it used to be in the past.
Some people even claimed to have very little taste of extra virgin olive oil from this brand.
The brand claims to deliver extra virgin olive oil with an extraordinary aroma and bold flavor. However, I found lots of negative reviews on some renowned online stores.
Most of such negative reviews were related to bad taste.
So, it has made in my list of least trusted olive brands because Italy’s Antitrust Authority (AGCM) fined the company around $679,000.
The reason was the extra virgin olive oil of Primadonna failed to meet the requirements of extra virgin qualifications. Of course, the brand contested the findings but still—I would not trust this one.
A good brand indeed but you get counterfeit olive oil if not buy from the certified distributors. You may not get the original flavor of extra virgin olive oil as some people claimed.
Loyal consumers of this brand have expressed their frustrations after buying this olive oil from the brand online. They did not feel the normal Colavita like they used to.
Since 1860, Sasso has been delivering quality olive oils for all the cooking needs. At least that’s what they claim!
But sadly, a few years back, the Italian media discovered the alleged fraud of some of the major olive oil brands. Sasso was one of them.
The allegation was delivering lesser quality olive oil which was confirmed in the laboratory back in that time.
Since then, they have improved a lot and gained huge popularity. But as per some reviews available on major online stores, the quality and taste have become mediocre at best.
- Antica Badia
Like the brand Sasso, some other brands were discovered to deliver low-quality olive oil which was featured in Italian media and the Telegraph.
Antica Badia was one of the nine brands mentioned on that media!
In 2015, Customs and Monopolies Agency in Rome found fault in the olive oils of 9 brands. They tested 20 brands in total. Coricelli was one of the 9 alleged brands
The above study was further analyzed by the Anti-adulteration and Health Unit of the Carabinieri. And they have found out that those 9 brands were mislabeling their olive oils as extra virgins.
Back then, they were only qualified as lower ‘virgin’ grades.
The brand was accused of mislabeling its olive oils as “Imported From Italy” back in 2014. There were some questions about their claims regarding extra virgin labeling too.
How To Get The Pure Extra Virgin Olive Oil?
Follow these below-mentioned tips to avoid buying counterfeit or low-quality olive oils:
- Don’t trust anything but your senses. Pure olive oil should taste green, peppery, and earthy.
- Make sure there is a label saying ‘Extra Virgin’. It’s not a guarantee but without it, you are definitely going to get low-quality olive oil. Also, just labeling ‘Virgin’ should not be trusted.
- Inspect the estate name and the harvest date on the label. Also, look for the FFA info on the label. Only the high-quality producers list this information.
- Do not give too much importance to the ‘bottled on’ and ‘best buy’ label. In the real world, that info doesn’t mean anything at all.
- IOC certification is important but you should give more importance to certification from Italy’s DOP, EU’s PDO, and California’s COOC Certified Extra Virgin seal.
- Any extra virgin olive oil from Chile and Australia should be trusted blindly because of their strict standards and highly advanced testing system.
- Do not buy cheap olive oil although the higher cost does not guarantee quality always.
Olive Oil Brands To Trust
Yes, the list of low-quality olive oil brands is long but there are some brands you can trust too. Here is a list of trusted olive oil brands:
- California Olive Ranch
- Olea Estates
- Cobram Estate
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How can you tell if olive oil is pure?
Answer: A simple exam can tell the difference. If it tastes good, it’s pure olive oil. If it tastes rancid, greasy, or just flavorless, it might be fake!
What is the difference between pure olive oil and extra virgin olive oil?
Answer: When the oil is made from cold-pressed pure olives is called extra virgin olive oil. Whereas pure olive oil is a blend of both cold-pressed olive oils and processed oils.
Is most olive oil fake?
Answer: Though contested but almost 80% of olive oil available in the market is somewhat fraudulent. Most of them mislead the consumers labeling themselves as ‘virgin’ or ‘extra virgin’.
Is Bertolli Extra Virgin Olive Oil Good?
Answer: Unfortunately, not. The chemical laboratory of the Customs and Monopolies Agency in Rome have found that Bertolli was not actually extra virgin as they claimed in May 2015.
Which olive oil brands are real?
Answer: There are a lot of trusted olive oil brands in the market you can trust like the California Olive Ranch, Lucero, Omaggio, Olea Estates, Ottavio, etc.
Don’t be surprised to see your favorite company included in the list of olive oil brands to avoid. A lot of people have been making the same mistake for many years!
Those brands were fined and warned for misleading customers. You can find a lot of them still in the market. I just warned my readers to be aware of their scams!
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