Posted August 8, 2018

Extra Virgin Olive Oil That Isn't

Pompeian OlivExtra Original may contain less extra virgin olive oil than listed on the label, according to sources that spoke with Spain's digital newspaper El Español and as reported by The Olive Oil Times.

Pompeian OlivExtra Original is marketed as a "special scientific combination of the best robust tasting extra virgin olive oil and milder tasting canola oil" that is "simple, affordable and convenient." In the U.S. the product is labeled as containing 85% canola oil and 15% extra virgin olive oil. However, the Olive Oil Times article says that sources described as "close to the matter" told the Spanish media that less than one percent of the blend may be extra virgin olive oil, and the rest, Canadian rapeseed, or canola oil. 

The sources also said that Pompeian is "always emphasizing the image of olive oil as a commercial claim," despite the fact the oil is a mixture of extra virgin olive oil and less expensive oils. In the article, Cristóbal Cano, the general secretary of the Union of Small Farmers and Cattle Ranchers (UPA) in Jaén, Spain expressed that such practices do a "'disservice" to all parts of the Spanish olive oil sector working to promote its products in the U.S." 

According to the Olive Oil Times, the owner of Pompeian brand olive oils controls approximately 17 percent of the Spanish olive oil market in the U.S. while keeping its prices low -- "up to 40 percent lower than other Spanish and Italian brands and up to 100 percent lower than California olive oils." 

Interestingly, a different Pompeian extra virgin olive oil product was one of three oils that were rated as UNCERTAIN as to its quality in ConsumerLab's Extra Virgin Olive Oil Review.

See related warnings:

Seven Arrested for Selling Fake Olive Oil in Greece

To read the complete Olive Oil Times article, use the link below.