How to be an informed consumer

How to be an informed consumer

Be informed about the olive variety from which your oil has been extracted. Each variety has its own aroma, taste and texture characteristics, and you are likely to find some are more satisfying than others.

If you select to buy Light, Extra Light, or Pure Olive Oil, make sure you understand what you are buying. You are not buying a product with the qualities that olive oil is famous for. Instead, you are buying highly processed oil with few if any of the nutrients, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties of extra virgin olive oil, as well as few of its taste and aroma characteristics.

If you see a label on a bottle that says “First cold pressed”, do not get taken by the idea that this statement is a reflection of quality. Any oil that is genuinely and authentically “extra virgin” or “virgin” according to international standards, must necessarily also be first cold pressed.

Always check the “use by” date on the bottle. Unlike wine, olive oil does not improve with age, in fact it only gets degraded, especially after the bottle has been opened and the oil is subjected to oxygen and light. You may consider buying it in quantities that you can consume within a couple of months after opening.

Always store your olive oil in a cool, dark place and avoid subjecting it to light and heat. These, together with time, are extra virgin olive oil’s greatest enemies as they cause it to lose its taste, aroma and healthful properties.