14 Fake Olive Oil Brands to Avoid 2024

Every food-grade oil requires chemical processing to become edible. Olive oil and coconut oil are the only exceptions.

Olive oil is one of the most used oils worldwide because it is the healthiest. Sadly, it is also one of the most vulnerable to scams.

There is a lot of corruption in the olive oil business, which has been going on for a long time.

So, you want to make sure to get the right stuff by simply recognizing the worst olive brands to avoid at your local grocery stores or at online stores.

Before we get into which olive oil brands to avoid, you should first know the terms like olive oil, virgin olive oil, EVOO, and types of olive oil.

  • Olive Oil: It is refined and filtered.
  • Virgin Olive Oil: It is not refined and filtered.
  • EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil): It is less refined and less filtered.

List of 14 Fake Olive Oil Brands

Olive-Oil-Brands-to-Avoid

Due to dilution, use of inferior olives, and failure to meet EVOO standards, the fake olive oil brands to avoid are Mezzetta, Safeway, Filippo Berio, Primadonna, and a few others.

A study at the UC Davis Olive Center revealed that 70% of the major olive oil brands at the US’s local stores have been diluting their oil with cheaper alternatives like soy, sunflower, or canola to increase profits at the cost of our health.

Furthermore, the imported EVOO often fails to meet the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) and international standards.

These low-quality olive oils, which do not qualify as extra virgin, may have a number of adverse health effects.

Check out the list of 14 fake olive oil brands to avoid that have failed to meet EVOO standards.

  1. Mezzetta
  2. Safeway
  3. Filippo Berio
  4. Primadonna
  5. Carapelli
  6. Pompeian
  7. Pietro Coricelli
  8. Mazola
  9. Sasso
  10. Bertolli
  11. Star
  12. Whole Foods
  13. Antica Badia
  14. Colavita

Reasons to Avoid:

  • These brands dilute the EVOO with a cheap oil or mix it with lower-grade olive oil that has been chemically refined
  • They use old, rancid, rotten, and inferior olives, which make the tastes bitter, flavorless, fatty, or just not enjoyable
  • The oil is perfumed, colored, and then flavored before being sold as an extra virgin oil
  • Another reason to avoid them is that you can’t find the source and country these olives are coming from. It is essential to make sure the source in order to avoid the fake brands
  • Avoid bargain prices on these brands because they are too cheap to be real olive oil

14 Fake Olive Oil Brands: Our Point of View

At WorstBrands.com, we strive to provide accurate and up-to-date information based on the best available resources and research material.

However, the information on our website is based on our personal experience, tests & experiments by our team, research, consumer reviews, and other publicly available sources, which may not be fully accurate or complete.

The above list of Fake Olive Oil Brands is based on the research done by UC Davis Olive Center and on the report of USDA (United States Department of Agriculture).

Related:

How to spot Fake Olive oil?

How to Spot Fake Olive OilDescription
1. Check bottle colorBottle should be dark or tinted to protect oil from light
2. Read ingredients listLook for any additives or other oils mixed in
3. Check for third-party authenticity labelsThese labels certify that the oil meets extra virgin standards
4. Look for a harvest date and placeHigh-quality olive oil should have a harvest date and place clearly mentioned
5. Don’t be swayed by fancy appearanceFake brands may focus more on appearance to entice consumers

Olive oil is one of the most commonly forged foods in the world. Some oils, such as sunflower or soy oil, are often sold as olive oil.

Lower-quality olive oils, which are widely available in local grocery stores, are often available as an extra virgin with the wrong labels.

You can identify these fake brands in various ways, such as by checking whether the bottle color is dark or tinted.

Reading the ingredients list on the bottle, third-party authenticity label, harvest date, and harvest place.

Don’t be enticed by a bottle or label’s fancy appearance because fake brands tend to do more work on appearance to make consumers buy it.

Method to Check Fake Olive Oil at Home:

There is an easy way to test the purity of your olive oil at home.

  • Put your bottle in the fridge for about 5 hours at 0 degrees Celsius, and then check if the oil has started solidifying.
  • If it does, that is a good sign. It indicates the oil you purchased contains exactly what it should.
  • If the oil remains liquid, it has been diluted with some cheap vegetable oils, and surely it is not an extra virgin.

This test is not perfect, but it’s a good place to start initially if you are unsure about your oil quality.

What is Extra Virgin Olive Oil?

  • Extra virgin olive oil is a food-grade oil that is extracted from top-quality olives. It is the fresh olive juice.
  • EVOO is very light and mellow tasting. It has an almost sweet nuttiness and a fruity scent reminiscent of green olives.
  • It also has a natural olive taste and is suitable for cooking
  • Its color is oil greenish-yellow or golden green, depending on the type of olive and the growth environment.
  • It has a natural fragrance that smells like fruit and is flavorful and pleasant.

How to Buy Real Olive Oil? Buying Guide

Since many fake olive oil brands exist in the marketplace, you must consider all the important aspects that help you identify the real brand.

The following are the tips on how to buy real olive oil.

1. Check the Harvest Date

High-quality EVOO should always include a harvest date. The harvest season for olives runs from October to December. Usually, it arrives in the US early in the new year.

The best used is typically two years from harvest. So, look for oil from olives harvested in the last 12 months, and don’t buy older than one year.

If the best-by or bottled-on date appears on the label instead of the harvest date.

In that case, it is a clear indication of ambiguity from the supplier. The harvest date on the bottle tells you about the freshness.

2. Verify Storage Conditions

Heat, sunlight, oxygen, and time have harmful effects on olive oil. When an extra virgin is stored properly, time should be the only thing that affects an unopened bottle.

Light can also be one of the most critical factors if a bottle is under the store’s bright fluorescent lights for many days.

3. Olive Oil should be in a Dark Bottle

Dark glass bottles are better than clear glass to protect the oil from degrading. But they are still not totally protected from light, especially if sitting on the top shelves.

Many companies are protecting these bottles from light with a box or bag packaging, which reduces oil exposure to oxygen.

4. Find a Trusted Source

It is one of the important considerations while purchasing. Many supermarket olive oils contain oil sourced from 5 or more countries.

An acknowledgeable merchant should be able to direct you to quality-sourced products.

So, find a retailer passionate about olive oils who visit the mills to see the process and inspect the quality.

When you buy from a trusted source, you will feel better about the purchase.

5. California Olive Oil Council (COOC) Label

It is a non-profit organization, and they ensure extra virginity. To assess extra virginity, the COOC needs a lab examination as well as a taste test.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which olive oil has the most polyphenols?

Good quality olive oil has a green, bright, and peppery bite, and that taste is due to the presence of polyphenols.

Olivar Santamaria Premium Extra Virgin Olive Oil has the highest levels of polyphenols. But these bottles are very expensive to buy.

Is cold-pressed olive oil better?

Cold-pressed olive oil is always better because it is the first pressing of the oil without any heat or chemical adulteration.

It is done at room temperature, but it is cold-pressed without heat to extract more liquid.

This ensures that the oil remains in its purest and most natural state, making it a healthy and nutritious oil with the highest anti-oxidant levels.

Final Words

You deserve to know what you are buying. Trusting those mentioned above, 14 fake brands present a picture that they are taking your dollars under false pretenses and putting your health at risk.

Furthermore, no one knows what chemicals these brands use to make cheap oils look like olive oil.

However, there is no specific federal standard defining extra virgin like there is for organic food.

So, you have to be diligent while purchasing and be aware of the worst olive oil brands to avoid.

When buying, do your own research as well. Look for a reliable source and purchase small bottles from them.

Erica Steven Author
Co-Founder and Content Manager at WorstBrands

Erica Steven is the founder and lead writer of WorstBrands, a site dedicated to providing honest and trustworthy reviews about outdoor gear and fashion products.

With a passion for exploring the great outdoors and staying up to date on the latest fashion trends, Erica uses her expertise to provide valuable insights into the products that matter most to her readers.

Whether you're looking for camping equipment or the latest fashion accessories, Erica's articles are the perfect resource for finding the best products that fit your lifestyle.

53 thoughts on “14 Fake Olive Oil Brands to Avoid 2024”

  1. This thing is so complicated that we can never be sure about it.
    Besides, there can be politics being played during approval process.
    Also “fake” doesn’t mean it’s that bad most of the time.
    The dangerous ones are the one faking the olive oil by mixing with other types of oils, and these are the ones that need to be avoided completely.
    So I would like to know the names of the scam brands if possible.

    Reply
  2. Right I heard! But they come in a plastic bottle! Which I heard is bad esp with oil as the compounds don’t mix well! Plus plastic has a tendency to leae plastic particles behind, etc! Look it up!

    Reply
  3. I bought ‘5 liter olive oil” by Lazada. I tasted and smell it. It was bad, brand Dolce Vita, seller Euro Rich. It is just bad and completely fake. Lazada don’t want to refunded it. Where can I let control this? Is there an institution in the Philippines who is checking this. I’m sure this is bad for the health, it has a kind of plastic machine smell too.

    Reply
    • Usually, plastic bottle isn’t good for storing any liquid as the smell of the plastic can get to the liquid.
      For example, when you get a bottle of water, you can literally taste plastic.
      As for your oil, if it smells so bad, likely it’s already bad due to heat or expiration.

      Reply
  4. I use the organic EV Olive Oil with the Costco Kirkland brand. It’s affordable and has gotten good reviews.

    California Olive Oil Council? Who decided they would be the experts? Who scrutinizes their practices? Don’t you have to pay a fee for certification from the COOC?

    Reply
    • Right I heard! But they come in a plastic bottle! Which I heard is bad esp with oil as the compounds don’t mix well! Plus plastic has a tendency to leae plastic particles behind, etc! Look it up!

      Reply
    • Hello Rick,

      Yes, Greek extra virgin olive oil from Crete that is ideal for all uses. Salads, spaghetti, and other dishes may all be prepared with this oil.

      Reply
  5. Another way to see if it’s real is if it has “bite”, or a slightly peppery taste when you eat if off a spoon. It should sting just a bit. I read this many years ago.

    Reply
  6. Cold pressed is an advertising ploy and means nothing. There is no standard scientific measurement for this. Cold pressed in Athens vs Cold pressed in Alaska are two different things. Only Extra Virgin means an extra pressing using chemicals was NOT used.

    Reply
    • I have read great things about the California Olive Ranch and so have stuck with it for years. Now looking for harvest date, COOC, EVOO(but does spell it out) and do not find any of these. It is the 50/50 blend, however., olive oil and avocado oil. Seems that should not matter. It does list the 2 ingredients only and says Keto certified and P certified. perhaps i need to look at the pure Virgin Olive Oil labels and purchase both items separately and can mix myself. Thank you for your help

      Reply
  7. Believe it or not, Kirkland Signature Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 2 L from Costco is considered one of the best olive oils to buy and it’s a fraction of the price if comparable brands. It’s certified and rated by Bureau Veritas (one of the top European certifications) and includes all of the certifications, harvest and press dates, ISO no.s, N° ratios, etc. that the top brands carry. It is also recommended by experts, chefs, and even some dude that writes books about olive oil (go figure). Look it up and do your own research.

    Reply
    • Right I heard! But they come in a plastic bottle! Which I heard is bad esp with oil as the compounds don’t mix well! Plus plastic has a tendency to leae plastic particles behind, etc! Look it up!

      Reply
  8. We just received a gift of Garcia de la Cruz organic extra virgin olive oil early harvest, Madridejos (Toledo), Spain. Best before 04/2022.
    Quote from box: ” Juice made with the first harvest olives, picked when green at the optimum moment, cold-milled and transformed into oil five hours after harvesting from the tree. The result is a BLEND (my caps) with an intense green color that elevates this oil to a luxury product.”
    Could the term “blend” mean that other oils have been added? We have not heard of this brand and rarely use olive oil anymore because of all the controversy and the extreme difficulty in obtaining accurate and truthful information.
    If anyone knows of this brand and it’s reputation, I’d love to hear from you.
    Thanks in advance!

    Reply
    • Hi Jim,

      Sams extra virgin olive oil is a staple item in many US households, but what many people don’t know is that it does not meet the EVOO standards. Sams extra virgin olive oil is made using a blend of both virgin and extra-virgin oils, meaning it doesn’t have the same quality as a true EVOO.

      Reply
    • Hi,

      I hope you are doing good
      No, I don’t suggest Olivita olive oil since it doesn’t meet USDA or international standards.

      Reply
    • If it’s ridiculously cheap, then you should avoid it.
      Otherwise, the chance is that it isn’t in good quality though it’s still an olive oil.

      Reply
  9. If you research articles on “fake” olive oils, you will find that many have their origins in an article published some years ago. Basically, this information has been gleaned and published over and
    over again and has now become internet “truth”. The original article has information provided by the California Olive Oil Council, which in turn is promoting California olive oils. Not quite an independent study, is it? Now, I have nothing against California oils or their Council, but my point is that you should research your information as carefully as you research your olive oil. Oh, and by way, the test of putting olive oil in the refrigerator to see if it is “real” is another urban legend. Many oils begin to solidify at the freezing point of water. So good luck with that. In closing, just by an olive oil that tastes good to you.

    Reply
  10. I noticed on the back of Pompeian EVOO it has a black stamp that reads ES, TN. and best by, Lot#, Country of Origin. Below that are abbreviations for different countries. I see TN as Tunisia. Thoughts?

    Reply
  11. It should be ILLEGAL to mix any oil into Olive oil ! Period…..it is a fraud…..and the companies that do this should be fined and held accountable… the FDA should do their jobs.

    Reply
    • You should trust our scientists rather then the misinformation you’re getting from Fox and other right wing sources… you’ll live longer !

      Reply
      • Lol. Fox actually pushes the shot. Better off listening to Dr. Sherry Tenpenny and Mike Rogers for truth on the subject.

        Reply
      • Lol. There is no more disinfo and misinfo than those received from leftist sources. They eagerly swallow whatever the gov’t tells them to. And it almost always ends up being wrong. Remember when Fauci and CNN and MSNBC and NYT all told us the vaxx kept you from catching covid? That masks work? Try thinking for yourself for a change.

        Reply
      • And so what you listen to is the truth and science…you must be listening to left wing sources like CNN, ABC,NBC,MPR…you are being fed misinformation and I dont trust scientists that have a vested interest in big pharma

        Reply
      • You should trust your Common Sense and NEVER trust the government. Fox is a shill for Big Pharma. Why do you trust Big Pharma? Why inject an experiment into your body? It is unnatural for your body to create spike proteins, how can that be healthy? Get plenty of sleep and sunshine and don’t eat sugar or drink to excess. Get your vitamin C and take zinc and Vitamin D if your levels are low.

        Reply
        • Caution – Synthetic vitamins are NOT same as natural form and that’s why you need to eat healthy foods in natural form.

          Reply
      • It has nothing to do with right or left.
        And science must be evidence based, not by false narratives or claims without basis.
        And the other guy you are replying to is also off topic.

        Reply
      • You are not trusting in science, but trusting in their bogus “claim” without actual evidence.
        Also just because the papers are published doesn’t mean their procedures are done correctly.
        So you really need to deep dive into detail in order to find the real science.
        Sadly, this is how corrupt the current medical establishment is as most of so called “scientists” or “doctors” care more about getting funds from government than actually finding the cure.

        Reply
    • Hi Debra,

      California Olive Ranch, Olio Verde, and Ellora Farms are reputable brands.

      Whether you go to a local grocery store or order online, look for an olive oil brand that meets the standards we listed in this post.
      Such as, Check the Harvest Date, Verify Storage Conditions, Olive Oil should be in a Dark Bottle, and Check for California Olive Oil Council (COOC) Label.

      Reply
    • Dear Jeanne

      There are a number of good brands such as California Olive Ranch, Olio Verde, Ellora Farms, and more. But, you need to keep in mind how to spot the fake olive oil brand. So when buying, make sure to check the harvest date, verify the storage condition, the oil should be in a dark bottle, and most importantly, there must be a third-party verification label on it.

      Since there are no specific criteria to inspect the olive oil quality, you can ensure the brand’s quality by checking these parameters.

      Reply
      • Why is Greek olive oil likely to be the real thing? Does the Greek government keep tight controls on it or something?
        –>> Thanks in advance to anyone who can answer this question.

        Reply
        • some says that it’s good because Greeks believe in olive being sacred.
          It’s “supposedly” good, but humans do corrupt things, so you won’t be 100% sure about their claim.
          I guess you’ll need to try one and be own judge.

          Reply

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