The chance of purchasing low-quality olive oil from the market today is relatively high. Actually, it is said that almost 80% of the olive oil products today are not qualitative. No wonder people are getting frustrated with their choice many times when they make a purchase.
So yes, it is more than wise to check and know what the best oil brand to avoid is, so your cooking process and final taste will be top of the top.
As the New York Times concluded, many of the so-claimed Italian natural olive oils are neither extra virgin nor Italian. Does it sound familiar to you?
The market is full of low-quality fake oils. In other words, there are lots of chances of buying fake olive brands, as mentioned before. However, people can still find and purchase authentic olive oil. All you need to do is check out certified distributors. Fortunately for those who are reading this, I have prepared a list of brands selling counterfeit oils.
At the same time, it is essential to learn about the 2023 brands of olive oils to avoid. And I will help you.
Furthermore, the article provides tips and tricks to tell if olive oil is counterfeit. But first of all, I will offer a complete list of fake olive oil brands that should not exist on your shopping list.
Top Olive Oil Brands To Avoid From Now On
I want to start with the brands that you should never even consider buying.
There might be a surprise to find Carapelli on top of this list for some of the readers. This surprise will mainly happen because this brand is trendy and appreciated by customers.
However, in 2010 and 2015, the brand did not pass the usual Extra Virgin Olive oils tests. Both the Italian Authority and the University of California have proved that the Carapelli olive oil brands are inferior in terms of quality.
Mazola Olive Oils
This is also a famous brand when it comes to top olive oils. However, reviews have proved the opposite, and Mazola olive oils are not the best aroma and flavor.
Unfortunately for this brand, studies from different stores and platforms have shown that Mazola Olive Oil is a fake product, one of the poorest ones on the market. Moreover, the taste is also weak and quite nasty.
Primadonna Olive Oil
Primadonna Olive oil is not even available on the vast market of Amazon, and no wonder, as this brand has fallen under market requirements.
According to EVOO, this brand denied the charges; however, customers should avoid them safer, according to specialists.
Pompeian Olive Oils
Maybe Pompeian is the most popular counterfeit olive brand on the market, with a full range of olive oil products. Although this brand is rich in products, there have been many complaints and disappointments regarding the taste and quality of olive oil.
Most people claim that olive oil is poor, that they got a small amount of product, and the taste was far from the extra virgin oil flavor.
Colavita used to be a good and trusted brand, but if you do not buy the virgin olive oil from a certified distributor, you may not get the same quality.
As some people claimed, customers couldn’t find the original taste of extra virgin olive oil when they bought Colavita.
No wonder loyal customers have expressed their frustration and disappointment when purchasing this brand. Moreover, they felt like Colavita changed the recipe for their products.
Sasso is an olive oil brand that has been delivering products since 1860. This name is quite popular among home cooking lovers. However, many customers have complained about the odd fragrance and the purity of this olive oil.
Sadly, Italian media and authorities found the alleged fraud among some influential olive oil brands a few years back. And unfortunately for them, Sasso was one of these names.
The allegations were talking about lesser quality olive oil, which was later confirmed in the laboratories.
Since that moment, the brand has improved the quality of its olive oil. Slowly, it regained a bit of its popularity. However, the bad has already happened, and now Sasso is a mediocre brand.
Badia Olive Oil
Like the Sasso brand and other brands we have already mentioned, Badia is told to deliver low-quality olive oil. Italian media and the famous Telegraph newspaper have disclosed the reality among the quality of these olive oils.
The Main Reasons To Avoid These Brands
Here are the common reasons why the previous brands we mentioned are not the sharpest tools in the shed when it comes to olive oil quality:
- These brands use to dilute the EVOO (this process is made when olives are crushed into the pulp using only some pressing force, rather than chemicals and heat in the process of obtaining pure olive oil); when diluting this EVOO, the result will be a cheap oil or a mixed one with lower-grade olive oil that was first refined using a chemical;
- Some of the poor-quality olive oil brands use stinky, old, and inferior olive types; as a result, the final taste of the olive oil will be bitter, not enjoyable, and fatty;
- These oils are colored, perfumed, and extra flavored before they are sold with that different virgin oil etiquette;
- Another reason why you should avoid these oil brands is that you don’t know their natural source. The producer does not mention the actual source or country their olives are coming from. As such, it is essential to know where the oils are coming from; otherwise, you risk using fake brands;
- To be honest, it is crucial to avoid bargain prices and keep yourself away from too low prices.
Best Ways To Spot Fake Olive Oils At Home
Olive oil is one of the most common ingredients used to prepare different dishes in the house. However, some other oils on the market, like soy oil or sunflower oil, are often sold and named olive oils.
Lower-quality olive oil, widely sold in corner markets and grocery stores, is usually available as an extra virgin with fake or wrong labels.
Check the best tips and tricks to spot fake olive oil brands. These are the red flags that indicate if some olive oils are fishy:
Check The Bottle Color
There are easy ways to identify fake brands. Checking the bottle color is straightforward: if the olive oil is genuine, then the bottle should be dark or tinted. This way, the oil will be better preserved.
Never be enticed by the fanciness of a bottle and the overall appearance of it because most of the fake brands will tend to hide their low-quality product under a “sparkling” look.
Test The Purity Of The Olive Oil At Home
You don’t have to spend a lot of effort to check if olive oil is pure. Just leave the olive oil bottle in the fridge during the night.
Set the temperature at 0 degrees Celsius, then check the solidity of the oil. If the olive oil has started solidifying, this is the primary indicator that you purchased the right good-quality olive oil.
On the other hand, if the oil remains all liquid, the manufacturer has diluted it, and you have bought some cheap vegetable oil and not extra virgin olive oil.
Although this test is not a professional one, either perfect, it can be an excellent place to start if you are not sure about the oil’s quality.
Learn To Buy Genuine Olive Oil in Easy Steps
You don’t have to be a professional to determine if the olive oil you buy is genuine. The following methods will guide you in buying natural olive oil. Ready?
1. Read The Harvest Date
The purest EVOO needs to contain a harvest date. Now, the harvest date usually runs from October to December. The best time to use olive oil should usually be two years from harvest.
As such, I recommend looking at olive oils that were harvested in the last 12 months. Try not to buy olive oil that is older than one year. The harvest date on the bottle indicates the product’s freshness.
2. Check The Storage Conditions
Oxygen, just like sunlight and heat, can have harmful effects on olive oil quality. However, if the extra virgin olive oil is stored correctly, time should not be the factor affecting an unopened bottle.
Check the market shelves. Are they under fluorescent lights? Light can affect the quality of olive oil, so don’t buy those olive oils that stay under bright sunlight.
3. Olive Oils To Be Stored in Dark Bottle
Choose dark glass bottles of olive oils. The darker the bottles, the better will be the olive oil stored. Dark glass colors will protect the oil better from degrading.
Although it won’t cover the liquid from the power of light, the darker glass is “healthier” for the product’s quality.
Many companies will prefer to protect their bottles from light by the box or bag packaging, reducing the oil exposure to oxygen.
4. Choose A Trusted Source
The brand of olive oil is maybe the most crucial consideration when purchasing this ingredient. Lots of supermarkets today will sell olive oil from 5 to many more countries. As such, you are looking for the ideal retailer passionate about olive oils should be your priority.
Look for those brands that invest in the quality of their products and the whole process of obtaining virgin olive oil. When you buy from trusted sources, you will feel more confident to consume that product.
5. Check COOC Label (California Olive Oil Council)
I had to mention this non-profit organization, as their job is essential in detecting extra virgin oils. Specialists check if the products are extra virgin or not by doing a lab examination and a taste test.
Olive Oil Brands That Are Worth Buying
After I have mentioned the main red flags that people should consider when choosing olive oil brands, it’s time to move on to the best names in the industry. Here are the olive oil brands that deserve your money.
These brands promise to make authentic, pure extra virgin olive oils while also checking the quality of their products. Additionally, some of these brands offer a certification scheme that will mainly test the oil’s quality once in a while.
California Olive Ranch or the “Everyday Extra Virgin Olive Oil:
California Olive Ranch is made of the best freshly pressed California olives. The manufacturer claims they are storing the stuffed olives all bottled within hours of picking. This is why the brand has gained awards for its quality.
As you will notice, the label states proudly how and where the oil comes from. Moreover, the California Olive Ranch is COOC approved, an essential global requirement. Furthermore, the tag speaks about how and where the fat comes from the first cold-press to the bottling.
Cobram Estate is by far a top brand in terms of olive oil quality. Furthermore, this name is a respected producer in the extra virgin olive oils world. Notably, the brand operates out of two locations, more precisely in California and Melbourne, Australia.
Due to the dual-location, the brand is unique and can produce olive oil from two different harvests each year.
This means they can ensure the optimal freshness of their olive oil. Cobram’s olive oils are all certified by the COOC in California, which states these are authentic, and the company is truly worth your attention.
Finally, you should know that Cobram Estate has won a prestigious award in 2017. If this award does not say enough, then try this brand and taste their most refined product to convince yourself.
ZOE: “Extra Virgin Olive Oil”
Zoe is one of those worldwide famous brands when it comes to olive oils. The best part of this brand is their extra virgin olive oil that has a budget price. It is more than affordable, but at the same time extremely tasty.
The oil comes from trusted sources, while their raw materials are the cold-press “Cornicabra” olives native to Spain. ZOE Extra Virgin Olive Oil got a certification from the North American Olive Oil Association, ensuring the customers will buy olive oil that meets international standards.
Speaking of taste, the ZOE extra virgin oil has a fruity, slightly bitter flavor, which is unique. Recently, the brand got the award for “Best Choice” and “Fruitiest Oil” awards after a comprehensive New York Times taste test. Unlike other awarded olive oil brands, the ZOE products come in a tin.
Although some would prefer the bottles, well, tins are as good as dark bottles when it comes to keeping the quality of olive oil intact.
It would be unfair to finish the list of best oil brands here. Thus, I will leave only some other trustful brands in the list below:
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Isn’t the information above enough to feed your curiosity about the best olive oils? I answered some of your wonders.
Q: What are the techniques you can tell if the olive oil is pure?
A: You don’t need to be a professional to distinguish between an organic, pure olive oil and a fake one. If the taste is good, then you bought pure olive oil. However, if the fragrance is greasy and stinky, never buy that brand again.
Q: What is the particularity of pure olive oil in comparison with virgin olive oil?
A: When the oil has cold-pressed pure olives as raw material, the final product is extra virgin olive oil. On the other hand, pure olive oil is made of both processed oil and cold-pressed olive oils.
Q: How many of the olive oils on the market today are fake?
A: Unfortunately, the percentage of fake olive oils on the market is higher than the virgin ones. Almost 80% of the brands available in supermarkets are fake. Most of them are labeled “virgin” or “extra virgin,” which is misleading.
Q: Which are some of the best and trustable olive oil brands on the market?
A: Whenever you see Omaggio, Olea Estates, Ottavio, California Olive Ranch, or Lucero, you should buy their products. These are trusted names, so don’t hesitate to buy their products.
Q: What are the etiquettes of extra virgin olive oil?
A: Here are some of the main features of extra virgin olive oil:
- The extra virgin olive oil is rated as food-grade oil, meaning the ingredients are top-quality olives. You can consider the extra virgin olive oil just like fresh olive juice.
- EVOO is usually mellow tasting and light. The scent is quite fruity and sweet, much the same as the taste of green olives.
- The taste is a natural olive taste, which makes this ingredient ideal for cooking.
- The color is a greenish-yellow shade; it depends on the manufacturer’s type of olives and the growth environment.
- EVOO should smell fruity, while the natural flavor should be pleasant.
Final Thoughts On Olive Oil Brands
Some readers might have found some of their favorite olive oil brands on the list with manufacturers to avoid. Many people have been trusting some of the most notorious brands of olive oils for many years. All the brands on the “hit list” have received negative reviews from their customers and the authorities in this domain.
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3 thoughts on “7 Worst Olive Oil Brands To Avoid: How To Tell If Oil Is Good?”
I agree that Pompeian Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) tastes fake. It does not taste like EVOO when compared to the Spanish bands I have.
This was great great information. I have tried pompeian evoo, and was never quite satisfied now that I am aware I can make better purchasing decisions. Thanks, here’s to great health.