Fake Olive Oil Is Everywhere! Here Are 7 Popular Brands You Should Stop Buying Now

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We all know how healthy olive oil is; it’s rich in monounsaturated fatty acids, which increases life expectancy by lowering the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke. It’s also known to fight osteoporosis, prevent skin cancer and help with depression. Its many benefits do not mean that olive oil is always of the best value; in fact, the majority of olive oils on the market are not good quality. Keep reading to ensure you get the best for your next bottle.

How Olive Oil is Made

Olives are picked, pressed and separated in a meticulous process. It is important that when the olives are picked off of the trees, they are stored in shallow containers so as not to crush each other. Crushing can lead to oxidation and fermentation, which produce a bitter taste.

In the process of pressing, large stainless tell rollers grind the olives into a paste, which is then stirred with water in a process called malaxation, which allows the oil molecules to concentrate.

A process of stirring occurs for up to 40 minutes, and then the paste is placed in a centrifuge. Inside the centrifuge, the pulp is spun at high speeds to separate the oil and water from the solid material.

The oil is then stored in a stainless steel container at 65 degrees Fahrenheit before it is bottled and shipped off.

Good Qualities

Here are some signs you’ve selected a high-quality bottle of olive oil.


This is a kick you should feel for a brief moment on your throat, which is another sign of freshness and also an indication that there are antioxidants present in the oil. However, this small sting on your throat should not linger.


Since olives are a fruit, after all, your olive oil should have a degree of fruity flavor, whether the olives are ripe or unripe. The overpowering taste should be fresh instead of heavy.


Believe it or not, bitterness is a good thing in olive oil, because it means the fruit is crisp and fresh. Many find this to be off-putting, but a less bitter taste could be a sign of age.

Bad Qualities

If you taste any of these flavors in your olive oil, it could be a sign you’ve bought a poor quality brand.


The presence of this taste could mean the oil had prolonged contact with metal containers or tools.


This musty flavor could mean the oil was stored at incorrect temperature for an extended period, a place where fungi and bacteria could have grown.


This will show the olives have fermented. The oil should not smell or taste like wine would, oxidation is a process that allows for fermentation.


Olive oil, like any fatty compound, has a shelf life. The smell of rotting meat and the taste of old nuts are redolent of what bad olive oil could taste like.

Other tests

Check the label to ensure it is certified 100% extra virgin olive oil, and a quick search on Google when dealing with big corporate brands will usually lead you a quick answer.

Extra-virgin olive oil is comprised of mostly monounsaturated fats which solidify when cold. So, if you put real extra-virgin olive oil in the fridge, it will become thick and cloudy, and high-wax varieties of olive oil will even solidify completely. Artisan and locally-produced olive oils have always passed every scientific test of authenticity. We recommend you buy your olive oil locally.

Brands to Look Out for

We Recommend:

These five olive oils were voted the best of 2016 in the United States

  1. Enzo Organic Delicate

  2. Chacewater Mission

  3. California Blend

  4. Frantoio Grove

  5. Pacific Sun


In a UC Davis study, these brands failed to meet extra-virgin olive oil standards

  1. Bertolli

  2. Pompeian

  3. Colavita

  4. Filippo Berio

  5. Newman’s Own



Olive oil is a must for cooking and contains essential nutrients for maintaining long-term health. Choosing the right kind of olive oil is the only way you’ll reap its many health benefits. You can read more about choosing the right kind of olive oil in this article and this one, too!


  1. New York International Olive Oil Competition. (n.d.). World’s Best Olive Oils 2017. Retrieved from https://www.bestoliveoils.com/2016-results/
  2. Alleman, G. A. (2006, December). Ultimate Guide to Olive Oil. Retrieved from http://recipes.howstuffworks.com/how-olive-oil-works1.htm
  3. Frankel, E. N., Mailer, R. J., Wang, S. C., Shoemaker, C. F., Guinard, J., Flynn, D., & Sturzenberger, N. (2011). Evaluation of Extra-Virgin Olive Oil Sold in California. UC Davis Olive Center. Retrieved from http://olivecenter.ucdavis.edu/research/files/report041211finalreduced.pdf

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Some of the links I post on this site are affiliate links. If you go through them to make a purchase, I will earn a small commission (at no additional cost to you). However, note that I’m recommending these products because of their quality and that I have good experience using them, not because of the commission to be made.

About Sara Ding

Sara Ding is the founder of Juicing-for-Health.com. She is a certified Wellness Health Coach, Nutritional Consultant and a Detox Specialist. She helps busy men and women identify their health issues at the root cause, in order to eliminate the problems for optimum physical/mental health and wellbeing.


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