The investigation, the latest scandal to hit Italy’s lucrative food and drink sector, involves seven well-known producers accused of passing off virgin olive oil as extra-virgin
Italian authorities announced that of 20 brands of extra-virgin olive oil tested, nine were found to contain lower quality oil. Companies such as Bertolli, Santa Sabina, Primadonna, Antica Badia, Carapelli, Coricelli and Sasso were implicated in the investigation. Many of these producers sell what they claim to be extra virgin olive oil in the United States
Extra-virgin oil, which is typically green-gold in colour, is made by crushing the olives soon after they are picked in a process that involves no chemicals, heat or industrial refining. Virgin olive oil is cheaper and generally more acidic
In 2011 it was found that four out of five bottles of ‘Italian’ olive oil contained low-quality oil from other Mediterranean countries. An investigation by customs officers revealed that unscrupulous producers were mixing in cheaper oil from Greece, Spain, Morocco and Tunisia and passing it off as top-end extra virgin oil.
Have you purchased one of these products? Suspicious of whether you paid for real extra virgin olive oil? We want to hear from you.