by Katerina Mountanos February 20, 2017 0 Comments

Don’t be deceived by the labels. 

Since we know olive oil fraud is widespread across the world [learn more about olive oil fraud here], you’re probably wondering how you can actually tell if the olive oil bottles on supermarket shelves are actually “extra virgin.” Many manufacturers mislabel their bottles as “extra virgin,” but in reality, the oil has either been tampered or diluted with sunflower, soybean, or other nut oils, or they’re low-grade oils that have been disguised with chemicals like chlorophyll and beta-carotene to trick consumers.

The fact is—especially for American consumers—we’re so used to fake extra virgin olive oils that we’d have a hard time tasting the difference. But if you keep buying the fake stuff, you won’t be able to reap the health benefits of extra virgin olive oil, like protecting against heart disease, inflammation and high blood pressure. You’d just be consuming fat, instead of healthy fat.

So how can you tell if the olive oil is 100 percent authentic? Take a look at these simple ways below:

1. Smell and Taste It

True olive oil should smell fresh, like grass or something fruity. Avoid something that smells musty or rancid, or even odorless. In addition to smell, when you’re tasting olive oils, you should recognize hints of grass, fruit, and almond. Plus, it’s a good sign if the oil tastes a bit bitter (but not too much) and also has a peppery taste as well (you might be able to feel it in the back of your throat). Don’t worry so much about color—it can be everything from a greenish or straw hue.

2. Look at the Batch Date

This is not the same as an expiration date. Look at the bottle’s label for a “batch date,” "bottled date" or or “harvested date” that’s within 18 months. If it only has an expiration date and nothing else, you might want to consider not purchasing it because you could be purchasing olive oil that has been produced or bottled years before.

3. Pay Attention to How It’s Bottled

Olive oil should be stored in a dark, cool place, so if the bottle is clear, you’ll want to stay away from that brand. A darker bottle will help preserve the olive oil. Additionally, the olive oil should be packaged in a glass bottle—a plastic bottle is too porous to protect if from heat, light, or moisture. Since you want to consume the olive oil pretty quickly after opening the bottle, don’t feel pressured to buy a big bottle in order to save money.  

4. Read Labels Carefully

Just because the olive oil says it was “packed” or “bottled” in a certain location, doesn’t mean the olives were grown there, or even that the oil was produced there. Olive oil could be made in a different country and then sent to Italy or Greece for bottling. Look at the label to find out exactly where the olive oil was produced. In addition, the label should say “extra virgin,” and avoid any terms like “pure,” “light,” or “olive pomace oil”—that means it’s been chemically refined.

5. Price

“Early harvest” olive oil (which has the highest level of healthy polyphenols) is oil squeezed from the olive before the olive is ripe. An unripe olive yields much less olive oil but much higher quality oil. Since the manufacturer yields much less oil it  makes the “juice” more expensive. If you’re buying at the grocery store, pay attention to the label and avoid bargain prices. Unfortunately, if it’s cheap, it might not be genuine olive oil—so think of it as an investment in your health!

With Kosterina olive oils, you’ll always know you’re getting true, 100% organic, early harvest, high polyphenol content, extra virgin olive oil. Our olive oil is made in Greece. The olive trees and seeds used for production originate in Koroni, Greece, and the olives are grown in Crete. The oil is made from a single blend of Greek olives in small batches. When you purchase a bottle of our olive oil, you know you’re getting high-quality olive oil with amazing taste so you can happily recommend it to family and friends.

Katerina Mountanos
Katerina Mountanos

Olive Oil Sommelier Katerina Mountanos, is the Founder & CEO of Kosterina Olive Oil, which produces 100% organic, extra virgin olive oil from Greece sold directly to consumers online. Katerina is an ecommerce expert and has built beauty, home and wellness businesses for Amazon, Jet, and Walmart. She founded beauty services company, Manicube, which was sold to The Red Door by Elizabeth Arden in 2015. Katerina is very passionate about olive oil, the Mediterranean diet and eating for health and longevity.



Also in Once Upon An Olive Tree

The Power of Polyphenols
The Power of Polyphenols

by Katerina Mountanos January 17, 2021 0 Comments

This time of year, there's always a lot of pressure to implement quick-fixes around our health to reach certain goals. But, my purpose in starting Kosterina was always to help more people create accessible, healthy habits for themselves and their families over the long-term.
Read More
Greek Well Wishes, Minute by Minute
Greek Well Wishes, Minute by Minute

by Katerina Mountanos January 08, 2021 0 Comments

Happy New Year! Or "Kali Chronia" as we say in Greek, which literally translates to "good year". We all need some good wishes to enter 2021 on a new foot.
Read More
Top 3 Pandemic Cooking Trends
Top 3 Pandemic Cooking Trends

by Katerina Mountanos December 12, 2020 0 Comments

We've been spending more time at home than ever this year because of the pandemic, and because of that many of us have been engaging in old pastimes like playing board games or even making crafts. But, none of those activities beat how much we've been experimenting with cooking at home over the past 8 months.
Read More

Pre-Orders cannot be combined with regular orders