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Olive Oil in the focus of counterfeiters

Olive oil is considered healthy and enjoys great popularity among consumers. It is produced in different quality levels, whereby the highest quality level represents the extra virgin olive oil. The inferior qualities show among other things sensory defects, which do not occur in the high-quality extra virgin olive oil.

In supermarkets one finds almost exclusively the cold pressed, “extra virgin” olive oil, which is most expensive. However, this motivates counterfeiters to use cheap, inferior oil to maximize their profits by selling it declared as Extra Virgin.

By means of soft deodorization technique the slight defects of virgin oil may be eliminated and the oil is artificially “upgraded” to “Extra Virgin” and sold as such. The consumer is deceived.

In a recent case recently uncovered in Italy, olive oil was not only stretched, but completely replaced by sunflower or soybean oil, which was additionally colored with colorants, such as chlorophyll or b-carotene, to imitate the appearance of olive oil. 150,000 litres of counterfeit olive oil were seized.


How can you protect your business from such counterfeits and avoid consumers deception?


The Tentamus Center for Food Fraud (TCF2) is your ideal partner. In collaboration with QSI GmbH, a laboratory of the Tentamus Group with decades of experience in food analysis, TCF2uses NMR technology to detect counterfeits.

A “fingerprint” of the sample is created, i.e. a large number of different substances are recorded simultaneously and then compared to those found in authentic olive oils. Since the composition differs, for example, from sunflower oil and olive oil, it is possible to detect an admixture of sunflower oil in olive oil. By using NMR spectroscopy not only the detection of sunflower oil is possible, but also admixtures of other oils.

Furthermore, TCF2and QSI GmbH are continuously developing new methods to detect not only adulterations of olive oil, but also of other foodstuffs, such as honey, coffee, spices and herbs, using state-of-the-art technologies.


Contact our expert for food counterfeiting and adulteration and get competent advice:


Arne Dübecke
Head of Tentamus Center for Food Fraud (TCF2)

T +49 421 596 607 37

Tentamus laboratories in your vicinity