When it comes to making healthy choices, olive oil has been a holy grail for most of us. From accentuating the taste of our salads to adding that perfect Italian touch to our cheesy pasta and exotic delicacies, olive oil has been a quintessential part of our day-to-day cooking, but what if we tell you that 80% of the Italian olive oil market is fraudulent. In fact, according to the New York Times, most of the olive oils on the supermarket shelves are neither Italian nor extra virgin.
Yes, this may sound strange but one of the expensive oils that fitness enthusiasts swear by is often mixed with cheaper oil variants or prepared with low-quality yield, which makes it difficult to identify the purity of olive oil. No wonder, identifying the purity of olive oil at home can be a bit tricky, but we have found some simple hacks by which you can check the quality of olive oil at home and ensure you give your family the best!
How to ensure the purity of oil? Olive oil is extracted from fresh olives, which undergoes a process of refining, and due to its high antioxidant composition, it is deemed as one of the healthiest premium oils. Olive oil can help in lowering the blood pressure level as well as LDL levels, it reduces the risk of cardiac diseases and fights against inflammation. However, there has been an influx of fake and cheap quality olive oil in the market, wherein the olive oil is mixed with cheap soya bean oil to reduce the cost of production. In some cases old stocked olive oils are packaged in new bottles and sold at premium prices. Here are easy hacks to ensure the quality of olive oil at home.
Go through the labels It isn’t necessary that olive oil, which has a label of extra virgin, is the purest form of olive oil. But while buying olive oil always look for the certification and ensure that the ingredients do not indicate amalgamation of other oils or additives.
The cold test Take a clean glass container and pour in a few tablespoons of olive oil and cover the lid and refrigerate for at least a day or overnight. If the oil solidifies it shows that the oil has monounsaturated pure olive oil whereas adulterated or fake olive oil will not change its texture on freezing.
The lamp test To test the purity of olive oil at home, just drench a wick in olive oil and place it in a diya or a glass container, light the wick if it stays for some time, then it is real olive oil. What's more, lighting up the wick should not produce any fumes if it is real olive oil.
Check the dates Another essential thing to keep in mind while checking the quality of olive oil is to ensure that the bottle has harvest or oil production dates mentioned, this can give you a fair idea of whether the bottle of olive oil you picked is fresh or stale.
Check for FFA Premium quality olive oil contains free fatty acids(FFA). So, always look for the percentage of FFA while buying olive oil, 0.2 percent or lower than that indicates the oil is of excellent quality.