I have worked in the industry for a couple of years and I became very found of the two products we sell: olive oil and olives.
I will give you my opinion upon the things that will be the easiest to remember for the next time you buy extra virgin olive oil.
But always buy extra virgin olive oil. If you don’t afford it, buy a different type of oil, but this is the only one that you can verify from the olive oil variety products (sansa, pomace, virgin oil, etc).
1. The color should be dark green and maybe if it’s fresh production unclear. That is not a bad thing. Avoid pet bottles if they are not packed or stored correctly. Olive oil changes properties if not stored in a cool dry dark place, this is why the bottles are dark or metal cans are used as well.
2. Check for the acidity. It should always appear on the label and it should be smaller than 0.4%. If the acidity indicator is nowhere to be found, I would stay away.
3. Check the label or the can for the unique registration code of the product. It will include the initials of the country and a 5 figures number for Greece’s case. Example: EL 40 278.
4. Read the label entirely and make sure that no message similar to “mixed olive oils from European countries” message is to be found. Extra virgin olive oil is not to be obtained from mixed oils. That means trouble.
5. Extra virgin olive oil has to contain 2 tables: one for the ‘nutrition facts’ and the second with ‘quality characteristics – ultraviolet absorption’. If to oil you are about to buy does not contain this, it might be years old or mixture of production process oils (those should not be eaten).
Extra virgin olive oil is a friend for our health and it is indicated to be used on a daily basis. It is good fat for us, but it is still fat. Don’t forget to use a spoon when you add it, and not pour from the bottle. Too big consumption might mess with your kilos.