Most extra virgin olive oil does not meet EU requirements, according to new research by the Finnish Customs Laboratory. In a press release, customs revealed that the laboratory tested nine different varieties of extra virgin olive oil this year, and over half failed to comply with quality standards.
Of those that missed the mark, three originated from Spain, one from Italy, and one from Tunisia. The oils were tested based on their organoleptic properties and were found to have the same quality as ordinary virgin olive oil.
The method of preparation and storage conditions were also unclear in the case of two of the oils. According to Jenni Vuokko, a senior customs officer at the laboratory, there have been similar problems with the standards of extra virgin olive oils across the EU.
Customs stated that the laboratory selected only a small sample of oils that were on sale in Finland and stressed that the test results should not be generalised to include all oils of the same grade sold in the country.
Olive oil must meet the highest quality requirements, including flawless organoleptic properties, to be classified as extra virgin olive oil. Although the oils that were tested were discarded due to non-compliance, they are still safe for consumption.