Olive oils in the test: does good oil always have to be expensive?

Olive oils from the supermarket and from the discounter: Not every expensive product is convincing

Olive oils are among the most popular edible oils by Germans. However, the selection is often not easy: There are countless varieties of it in supermarkets and discounters. The prices also vary enormously. So is it worth spending more money on good quality? A current investigation by the Stiftung Warentest can help here. The experts found that not every expensive product is convincing.

One of the best edible oils

Olive oil is one of the best cooking oils for the kitchen. It is particularly popular with people who are inclined to the Mediterranean diet. There are numerous varieties on the market. When it comes to olive oil, consumers expect quality and proven origin. Unfortunately, this oil ranks high among the top 10 food frauds. A current study by the Stiftung Warentest can help distinguish good goods from bad ones.

27 olive oils tested

Almost all olive oils in the German trade are called "extra virgin" - or "extra virgin", as the Italians say. They promise the highest quality - regardless of whether they cost five or 36 euros per liter. Is it worth spending more money?

The Stiftung Warentest examined 27 extra virgin olive oils, including brands such as Bertolli, Sasso or Gaea and private labels from Aldi, Lidl, Edeka, dm, Rossmann and Rewe. Organic olive oil was among the products tested.

The testers found that very good sensor oils have their price. But not every expensive oil was convincing. And: two oils should not have been sold as "extra virgin" and are therefore deficient.

Two oils are not top class

Although the legal rules for olive oil have been continuously expanded and harmonized at EU level for some years, these products still often have a big swindle on the label.

"In the EU regulation 61/2011 the quality classes for olive oil were regulated: For the consumer the" extra virgin olive oil "and the" extra virgin olive oil "are probably the most important ones", explains the TÜV Süd on its website.

“Extra virgin olive oil - also called extra virgin oil - must be obtained directly from the olives using only mechanical processes. The effect of heat above 40 degrees Celsius is not allowed, ”said the experts.

And: “This quality class may only have a very low acidity (less than 0.8%) and no sensory errors. It is also known as category 1 olive oil. Virgin olive oil, on the other hand, can contain a little more acid (up to 2%). ”

Two Greek oils in the current test do not meet this requirement, and sensory errors were found in them. According to the testers, one tastes old and pungent, the other rancid and of olives that have suffered frost damage.

The judgment is therefore poor. They should only be sold as "native", not as "native extra".

Three tasty highlights

The variety of tastes of olive oils is great. Expressive products smell and taste intensely fruity, but also bitter and pungent. They are particularly balanced - a taste experience.

They are characterized by intense and varied notes of blossoms, freshly cut grass, fruits or almonds.

Three oils in the test are taste highlights and perform very well in the sensory test. They come from Spain or Italy, cost 24 to 36 euros per liter and are therefore one of the most expensive products in the test.

Because of bad labeling, however, they collect minus points. The cheapest of the four good ones is no longer available: Aldi Süd had offered it in the summer as a promotional item for ten euros per liter.

Mixtures are also sufficient for roasting and baking

The current test confirms what the testers of the Stiftung Warentest found out last year:

Inexpensive olive oils for less than ten euros per liter are often mixtures of olive oils of different origins - average mass-produced goods, which in the test are at best satisfactory.

However, they are perfectly sufficient for roasting meat or vegetables and for baking pizza. After all, the volatile aroma components in the oil are lost when heated.

Less polluted

According to the testers, it is pleasing that the olive oils in the current test are partially better in terms of their senses and also less contaminated than in the tests of the past two years. Not a single olive oil was good in 2017, only one in 2016.

In both previous tests, there were a number of poor judgments. This time, none of the products performed poorly due to pollutants. No plasticizers were found.

No olive oil was significantly contaminated with pesticides, solvents or polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).

Mineral oils remain a problem

The only problem remains mineral oils. All products in the current test contain saturated mineral oil hydrocarbons, MOSH.

According to experts, these can accumulate in the lymph nodes, liver, spleen and adipose tissue and damage organs - in animal experiments, scientists have demonstrated damage to the liver and lymph nodes.

Six olive oils are significantly contaminated with it and therefore only cut off pollutants sufficiently in the test point. More than every third product contains the more questionable aromatic mineral oil hydrocarbons, called MOAH - but not in high concentrations.

MOAH are considered to be particularly dangerous: this group contains substances that can cause cancer in the smallest amounts.

According to the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) "there should be no detectable transition from MOAH to food."

However, there are no limit values ​​for these contaminants at either European or national level.

Nine of the 27 products in the test nevertheless achieved good pollutant ratings, and one is even almost pollutant-free. The exact results can be downloaded for a fee from the Stiftung Warentest website. (ad)

Author and source information

Video: The Science of Olive Oil: The Best Shopping Tips and How to Use it in Sweets. Whats Eating Dan? (August 2020).