Olive oil not so « virgin » and not so « extra »? Experts warn!

Verified on 05/31/2023 by Alexane Flament, Editor
De l'huile d'olive pas si "vierge" et pas si "extra" ? Les experts alertent !

France is one of the world’s biggest consumers of olive oil! A craze that can be explained by its image as a health food linked to the Mediterranean diet!

However, the products we consume are not always as healthy as we think. Let’s find out!

Olive oil, a food with many benefits!

Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids, which help reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol levels in the blood, lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease.

It also contains antioxidants such as vitamin E. In addition, olive oil is anti-inflammatory and promotes healthy digestion. It also has beneficial effects on blood sugar levels.

60 millions de consommateurs magazine has taken a close look at the composition of olive oils, analyzing 24 references in detail, and one thing’s for sure: the results may surprise you!

More than half of all products do not deserve the « extra virgin » label.

What is « extra virgin » olive oil?

According to Patricia Chairopoulos, food consumption journalist, an extra virgin olive oil  » is an oil from a first cold pressing, and it really shouldn’t have any physico-chemical defects, such as oxidation. « 

Indeed, these are the first criteria analyzed by the study.

Not so « extra » defects!

According to the expert, « In terms of the extra virgin appellation, the ‘top’ of olive oil, it’s a big disappointment ».

Half of the panel analyzed was downgraded to virgin only. In fact, the study detected a number of defects, such as mould and humidity, in certain references, whether organic or not!

Could this be due to insufficient washing of the olives or poor storage conditions?

However, according to the expert, price is no guarantee of quality! In fact,  » the oil at the top of the ranking costs less than 7 euros/liter « , and that’s Lidl’s Primadonna oil!