Many olive oils on the market, regardless of their price, may raise concerns about authenticity and quality. Some producers engage in blending practices that involve incorporating cheaper vegetable oils, such as soybean oil, sunflower oil, palm oil, or canola oil, into their olive oil products. This blending not only affects the overall flavor and aroma of the olive oil but also compromises its nutritional value. Consumers who seek the health benefits and distinctive taste of pure olive oil should be vigilant when choosing products, as the presence of inferior-quality vegetable oils may diminish the authenticity and quality of the olive oil they purchase. It is advisable for consumers to carefully read labels, consider the reputation of the brand, and, if possible, opt for olive oils that are certified for their purity and quality standards.
So SensitiveUnderstanding the delicate nature of olive oil is crucial as it can undergo deterioration through various commercial production processes. The susceptibility of olive oil to quality compromises emphasizes the importance of being aware and discerning when buying olive oil. Here are some things to consider:
- Olive oil becomes moldy when the olives have been crushed with dirt and mud.
- Old or rancid olive oils (often characterized by a wax crayon-like taste) are the result of inadequate storage and exposure to damaging light, heat or air.
- A grubby or dirty tasting olive oil is likely contaminated by larvae. When olive flies lay eggs in developing olives, the larvae feeds on the pulp— and end up getting processed into the oil.
Keys to Authenticity
Identifying authentic, quality olive oil involves paying attention to several key factors, from bottle types to specific terms on labels, and information about olive harvests. Here are some guidelines to help you ensure the authenticity of the olive oil you choose:
- Look for bottles made of UV-protected, opaque glass (like Brightland) or stainless steel that protect the olive oil from enemies of freshness- light and air.
- Look for extra virgin on the label, and be wary of meaningless terms like first cold-press. Light, pure, and refined refer to processing that removes flavor and nutrients.
- Additionally, olive oils labeled as "single-origin" or "estate-bottled" are more likely to be authentic, as they trace the oil back to a specific region or estate. This can provide insights into the oil's quality and production methods.
- Certifications from reputable organizations, such as the International Olive Council (IOC) or local olive oil associations, indicate that the oil has met certain quality standards and authenticity criteria.
- Some quality olive oils provide tasting notes on the label, describing the flavor profile of the oil. This can be a helpful indicator of authenticity and the unique characteristics of the oil.
- A Harvest Date on your bottle is a key indicator of transparency and quality. Knowing when the olives were harvested allows consumers to gauge the freshness of the oil. Fresher oils tend to have better flavors and higher nutritional content. Brightland Olive Oils are all currently from the November 2022 Harvest, making them fresh though October 2025.
Solution > Problems
The olive oil industry has a history of problems, including mislabeling, adulteration with inferior refined oils, and failing to meet minimum sensory standards (SOURCES}. By considering the factors above, including becoming familiar with the terminology used on olive oil labels, consumers can make more informed decisions and choose authentic, high-quality olive oils for their health + culinary needs.
And we’ve done some of the hard work for you by stocking Brightland Artisanal Extra Virgin Olive Oils. Brightland exceeds industry standards, you can 100% taste the difference. Plus the bottles are works of art— making it an excellent gift to give. We like to bring a bouquet of minis to dinner parties as a hostess gift, OR! as a house warming gift with flaky salt and a loaf of crusty bread. In summer, a pint of chocolate ice cream and and drizzle of olive oil is a unique (and delicious) idea, for yourself, your BFF, everyone!