`French Consumer Magazine Compares Olive Oils, Finds Local Ones Better - Olive Oil Times

French Consumer Magazine Compares Olive Oils, Finds Local Ones Better

By Alice Alech
Jan. 26, 2020 09:13 UTC

Que Choisir, the French prod­uct test­ing mag­a­zine, pub­lished a report on com­par­a­tive tests of olive oil. Aimed at pro­tect­ing the con­sumer and based on chem­i­cal and sen­sory stan­dards set out by International Olive Council, (IOC) the jury tested and com­pared thirty extra vir­gin olive oils sold in retail out­lets in France.
The tests showed that

  • The most expen­sive olive oils were not nec­es­sar­ily the best.
  • Labeling did not always com­ply exactly with the con­tent of the bot­tle.

The jury fol­lowed pro­to­col guide­lines; 70 per­cent of the results were based on physico- chem­i­cal tests and 30 per­cent on sen­sory analy­ses.

Each of the thirty bot­tles was tested for acid­ity lev­els, all falling under 0.8 per­cent as required by IOC; the jury awarded stars — three stars for extra vir­gin oils show­ing lev­els between 0.2 per­cent and under, two stars for acid­ity lev­els of 0.5 per­cent and under.

Consumers were alerted to oils which were mediocre and of infe­rior qual­ity. Some of the oils did meet the required EVOO stan­dards; but these oils were sub­jected to a sec­ond jury before being demoted to vir­gin olive oil.

Results showed that despite car­ry­ing the EVOO labels, the prod­uct qual­ity var­ied. Olive oils car­ry­ing the Appel­la­tion D’Origine Contrôlee (AOC) or Appellation D’Origine Protégée (AOP) labels were gen­er­ally found to be of excep­tional qual­ity while those from other European coun­tries and car­ry­ing pri­vate labels were of lesser qual­ity, accord­ing to the tests.

Of course, there was quite a dif­fer­ence in price; con­sumers can pay from 3 to 40 euros per liter of olive oil.

Chateau d’Estoublon for exam­ple, one of the most expen­sive extra vir­gin olive oils tested, sold for around 38.67 euros per liter.

This intense fruity green olive oil, with the Appellation D’Origine Protégée Vallée des Baux de Provence (AOP) label was judged to be of excep­tional qual­ity, with a low acid­ity and per­ox­ide level.

Château de Montfrin, another favourite which sells at 18.10 Euros per liter was cho­sen as best choice” for the third con­sec­u­tive time. This is fruity green oil with hints of arti­choke and cut grass.

An extra vir­gin olive oil , mar­keted and sold under the brand name of Auchan, one of the lead­ing hyper­mar­kets was rated as best value for the money. Priced at 4.59 Euros per liter, the judges found this oil, likely from Spain, to be per­fectly con­ve­nient for every­day use.

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