How to buy the best high-polyphenic extra virgin olive oil for health benefits

Learn how to buy the ultra high polyphenol extra virgin olive oil and what is important to look out for.

12/19/20233 min read

a close up of a yellow and blue liquid
a close up of a yellow and blue liquid

As the price of olive oil has increased and the popularity of olive oil has risen - the market has become flooded with new brands and beautiful bottles. It has also become the breeding ground for 'fake' oil. Fake oil is usually made with low grade olive oil, chemically refined olive oil, or even blended together with cheaper oils of another type, like seed oil.

Even in Europe, where food regulations are quiet strict on what counts as Extra Virgin Olive Oil not only is fake oil extremly common, so too are the health claims attached to many of the new brands popping up across the internet and amazon.

Not all Extra Virgin Olive Oils offer health benefits they claim.

Olive Oil only has to have 250mg/kg phenol count to be labeled as an extra virgin olive oil. For cooking this is a great oil quality and brands you find in your local supermarket are likely to be at this level. The problem is scientists have proven that an Extra Virgin Olive Oil needs to have a a phenol count above 500mg/kg to be able to provide health benefits. With many oils now being sold online by unregulated merchants -many make false claims about the phenol count of the oils they sell. It is not something printed on the bottles themselves so it is very hard for the average customer to check.

How do we assure the oil we sell has the polyphenol count they claim?

The best and most accurate way to test polyphenol levels in olive oil is to send it to a lab for proper testing. The lab can run a full COA (certificate of analysis) or simply test for polyphenol levels. We want to make true high polyphenol extra virgin oils easy accessible to all - to do this we only list oils which have been 3rd party tested and have the certificates to prove it. We make these certificates available within every listing so you know exactly the quality you are purchasing. We don't leave anything to chance or leave room for fraud.

How to spot a high polyphenic count extra virgin olive oil without a certificate

If you do buy an extra olive oil brand without a certificate - a few ways you can tell if it has a high polyphenol count is to check for the following

1) Check the colour: Extra Virgin Olive oil that is green in colour may indicate higher levels of polyphenols. This doesn't guarantee quality thou - some unscrupulous producers have been known to disguise their oil’s golden colour by adding chlorophyll to it. Although the International Olive Council (IOC) does not allow additives in extra virgin quality oil, this fraudulent practice is unfortunately widespread and labeling regulations are rarely enforced.

2) Check the olive variety: Different olive varieties contain different levels of polyphenols. Olives that produce the highest polyphonic oils are Koroneiki and Athinolia.

3) Buy "Early Harvest": The polyphenic count of olives diminishes as they ripen. Thus, early harvest olive oils will have a higher level of polyphenols.

4) Taste them: When tasting olive oil it might be bitter, peppery, tingly, and/or spicy sensation especially in the back of your throat. Those are all indications of polyphenols.

5) Buy dark bottles: Polyphenes will degrade with exposure to light. Many fancy bottles on the market do not protect the polyphenes within the oil. Choose dark glass bottles - not plastic bottles.

6) Buy the latest Harvest: Check to see if the bottle has a harvest date. Unlike wine, Extra Virgin Olive Oils degrade over time. You want to buy oils that have been harvested within a year of purchase.

7) Look for cold pressed EVOO's: Heat destroys polyphenols which is also why you should store your oils in a cool dry place.