Olive oil do’s and dont’s

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Buy only extra-virgin olive oil! Olive oil is best when it’s fresh, so use it as soon as possible.

– It’s typical for olive oils to be made of a “field blend” of different varieties of olives grown in a region. But stay away from industrial blends, which combine oils from all over the Mediterranean. Such producers may, for example, boost the flavor of a cheap Tunisian olive oil with oils from Italy or southern Spain. You’ll have no idea the origin, handling or flavor of the olives.

– Look for a harvest date on the label. If there’s no harvest date, look for the “use by” date. The “use by” date is tricky because it’s 18 months from the time the oil was put in the bottle – and olive oil is not bottled instantly. The oil could already be 18 months old when it’s put in the bottle, and then add another 18 months to that “and you’re getting some pretty old oil,” Jenkins said.

olive oil testing

– “Cold extracted” is a meaningless term on a label because all extra-virgin olive oil is cold extracted.

– Look for the “protected denomination of origin” designation, which will appear on the label as DOP for Italian oils, DO for Spain, PDO for Greece and AOC for France, and which offer extra assurance of good quality.

– Store olive oil in a cool, dark place and it will last for two years. After that, if it’s been properly handled, it will still be fine for certain uses, such as cooking.

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