It is with interest we read a recent article published by the Olive Oil Times written by Virginia Brown Keyder on January 12, 2015 (see link at the bottom of the article) concerning two class action suits against Filippo Berio and Bertolli Distributors in the United States “together represent[ing] a considerable portion of the mass market olive oil imported to the US from Italy”.
The suits allege the mislabeling of defendants’ olive oil products. We are interested in this action as we agree that all olive oil products should be labeled correctly with verifiable content. Our understanding and according to Ms. Keyder “The claims in the two actions are roughly the same: first, that what was labeled ‘extra-virgin’ contained refined oil (olive oil that has been chemically treated to hide, or neutralize defects and high acidity and then usually mixed with higher grade oil to mask any undesirable tastes) and was therefore not entitled to the ‘extra virgin’ label”.
Our common theme at Khayyan is that we label all product content on Olivar Santamaria bottles and the authentic product content and origination documentation is available to all our clients and consumers upon request. We label bottle content as “Extra Virgin” along with expiration, the origin of Spain, lot number according to harvest documentation provided by growers and the expiration.
We urge consumers to explore such details along with the levels of acidity (should be below 0.8%), oleic acid (should be between 55 – 83% the higher the better) and polyphenol (should be between 100 – 500+ the higher the better) when purchasing olive oil so that everyone consumes the freshest and healthiest extra virgin olive oil money can buy!
We should note, Olivar Santamaria Extra Virgin Olive Oil acidity levels range from 0.09 – 0.12%, oleic acids 79.3% – 80.3% and polyphenols 500+.
According to the above mentioned article, in addition to the alleged mismarked labels the defendants’ packaging is misleading because, the “designation of the actual origin of the oil was only provided on the back-label while the prominent display of ‘Imported from Italy’ on the front allegedly misled consumers into thinking the olives originated and were pressed in Italy”.
Also it is alleged, both defendants “fail[ed] to package the oil in light-proof containers result[ing] in quality degradation such that even if the oil was ‘extra-virgin’ at the time of bottling, it was no longer so when it reached the consumer due to exposure to heat and light”. This is the reason all retail Olivar Santamaria bottles are colored to protect from UV light.
Know what you eat…
The case is Koller et al v. Deoleo USA, Inc. and Med Foods, Inc. and Kumar et al v. Salov et al.