June 12, 2013
Olive oil is repeatedly in the news these days, but the stories often raise as many questions as they answer:
- It’s touted as the “healthy oil.” Does that hold true for cooking and eating raw?
- It adds a range of flavors to food. Just what is EVOO and should you pay more for it?
- You can choose “grassy” or “peppery” olive oil. But what does that mean?
- How can you tell if olive oils are adulterated with lesser-grade oils, or oils from entirely different plants?
A new survey, spearheaded by Dr. Selina Wang at the Olive Center at UC Davis, shows that consumers need more information about olive oil in order to make informed decisions. Consumers were asked a number of questions about olive oil. Surprisingly — or maybe not — consumers thought they know more about olive oil than they actually do. Many consumers aren’t savvy about cooking with olive oil or assessing its tastes and qualities.
Results of the survey indicate that “there are opportunities for producers to modify marketing practices to assist consumers in making better informed olive oil purchasing decisions.”
Reading the survey results will provide consumers with a lot of information about olive oil’s attributes and will help consumers make better purchasing choices.
More information about the survey:
Other recent olive oil news stories:
- Olive oil ‘fridge test’ doesn’t reliably detect fraud, March 2013
- New olive oil testing program aims to boost quality and reliability, January 2013
[This blog is reposted from a version I wrote for the UC ANR Food Blog, June 2013]