60 Percent Of Extra Virgin Olive Oil Fails Taste Test
The story of the corruption of olive oil production was first written in the New Yorker in 2007 by Tom Mueller, who this year expanded that work into a book, Extra Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil. In the mean time, researchers at the University of California, Davis, Olive Center continue to put the healthful (if it’s real and fresh) oil to the test. That’s how we know that nine of 15 samples of the oil sold to restaurants as extra virgin failed the USDA sensory standards for extra virgin. Those sensory standards evaluate the flavor, aroma and texture of the oils. The USDA criteria, a U.C. Davis news release notes, are rarely used by food distributors for quality control, for reasons that are now clear. The researchers did find that all but one of the oils marketed as extra virgin passed other commonly used USDA chemistry standards for quality. Among those that failed, the most common sensory defects were flavors and aromas described as rancid, fusty or muddy, and musty. Some of the oils tested were so defective that the sensory panelists classified them as lamp oil, considered by USDA standards to be unfit for human consumption without further refining. The nine oils also failed to pass the chemical tests for the compound diacylglycerol, a standard adopted by the Australian Olive Association for extra virgin. Read more from the U.C. Davis Olive Center. Find the full report here.