` Indian Pomace Oil Brand Responds to Complaint on Health Claims


Indian Pomace Oil Brand Responds to Complaint on Health Claims

Sep. 21, 2012
By Vikas Vij

Recent News

Leonardo Olive Pomace Oil, one of the lead­ing olive oil brands in India, was served a notice by the Adver­tis­ing Stan­dards Coun­cil of India (ASCI) to with­draw its print adver­tise­ment claim­ing health ben­e­fits of the prod­uct. The adver­tise­ment had claimed that Leonardo Olive Pomace Oil helps fight cho­les­terol and heart dis­ease,” low­ers blood pres­sure,” con­trols and pre­vents dia­betes” and fights can­cer.“

In its deci­sion, the ASCI said Pomace Olive Oil is pro­duced by sol­vent extrac­tion and has poly­cyclic aro­matic hydro­car­bons (PAHs) which are both muta­genic and car­cino­genic. This is con­tra­dic­tory to the claim made for Olive Pomace oil in fight­ing can­cer. Addi­tion­ally, the health ben­e­fits of olive oil are from Extra vir­gin olive oil due to its antiox­i­dant con­tent, which is not present in Pomace Olive oil. Hence mis­lead­ing claims are por­trayed about the ben­e­fits of con­sum­ing Pomace Olive oil.”

Himani Dalmia, assis­tant gen­eral man­ager of Dalmia Con­ti­nen­tal, the com­pany that owns the Leonardo olive oil brand, said in response to a query from Olive Oil Times that the adver­tise­ments were with­drawn before the ASCI made its rec­om­men­da­tions and the com­pany responded to the com­plaint in detail, explain­ing that olive pomace oil is a grade rec­og­nized by the Inter­na­tional Olive Coun­cil and cit­ing the ben­e­fits shown by var­i­ous stud­ies based on its high monoun­sat­u­rated fat con­tent.

Ms. Dalmia called pro­mot­ing olive oil in India not an easy task.” Olive oil mar­keters in India face obsta­cles in addi­tion to the obvi­ous ones of low aware­ness and high prices. One of the dif­fi­cul­ties Ms. Dalmia said, was a tribe of food purists who do not under­stand the con­cept of olive oil for Indian cook­ing. In their zeal to pro­mote only extra vir­gin olive oil, they fail to under­stand Indian real­i­ties. Con­sumer com­plaints against olive pomace oil are mostly a result of this prej­u­dice.”

Fol­low­ing an Olive Oil Times inter­view with Dalmia Con­ti­nen­tal Chair­man VN Dalmia, India Today pub­lished an arti­cle last Decem­ber titled Pomace is not olive oil and offers no health gains” which stirred debate over Dalmia Glob­al’s pro­mo­tion of olive oil’s low­est grade.

Another hur­dle is a law in India called the Drugs and Magic Reme­dies Act of 1954. It aims to pro­tect the con­sumer from mis­lead­ing claims by pro­hibit­ing most health infor­ma­tion in adver­tise­ments. The rules drafted by the Food Safety and Stan­dards Author­ity of India (FSSAI) also dis­cour­age edu­cat­ing con­sumers about the legit­i­mate health ben­e­fits of any food prod­uct since every­thing is left open to the inter­pre­ta­tion of food inspec­tors.


The ad cam­paign for Leonardo olive oil has now evolved to a more the­matic series that aims to define Leonardo as a brand. The com­pany con­tin­ues to reach con­sumers about health ben­e­fits through its on-ground activ­i­ties and online pro­mo­tions.


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