Your Olive Oil Was Probably Cut With Corn Oil

Be careful in that olive oil aisle!
Be careful in that olive oil aisle! Photo: Suzy Rosenberg/Flickr

Sometimes when packages say “100% Pure ___” they only mean 85 percent pure, or something like that, according to a new report commissioned by the Department of Homeland Security and reported on in the April issue of the Journal of Food Science. Food fraud, or the use of adulterants to dilute and cut corners in common food products, is more widespread than most of us know, and the study lists the products that are most commonly, and illegally, adulterated without our knowledge: olive oil, orange juice, milk, honey, coffee, and saffron.

In the case of olive oil — in 2007, the New Yorker ran a terrific story about the industry’s rampant fraud — the most common adulterants are cheaper things like corn oil, hazelnut oil, and palm oil.

As for orange juice, we don’t even get why producers would dilute their product with grapefruit juice, which would only sour it, or paprika extract, which we guess just makes it more orange? Either way, chalk up another advantage of fresh-squeezed.

The Most Adulterated Food Products: Olive Oil, Milk, Honey And More [HuffPo]

Your Olive Oil Was Probably Cut With Corn Oil