2017 – 2018 season of “olive’s”, fruit of the immortal olive tree, journey to transform into olive oil began. While this year's harvest is expected to hit record high, the experts are pointing out that due to olive oil being stored in plastic bottles or transparent glass bottles, toxic chemicals get into the oil and make the olive oil very “unhealthy”.
The experts also state that re-using plastic bottles containing BPA that could leach into food and drinks could be harmful. When exposed to excessive levels of BPA, you may experience breast or prostate cancer, heart diseases, diabetes, abnormalities in liver enzymes, etc.
Asst. Prof. Dr. Mine Güngörmüşler, Lecturer, Department of Food Engineering, Izmir University of Economics (IUE), pointed out that olive oil should not be stored in plastic bottles or transparent glass bottles, and should be kept away from sunlight. “This is not good for olive oil. We often see that olive oil is sold in plastic bottles under the sun by the roadside. Since we do not know when it was produced, its acidity, storing conditions, or whether it is pure or not, consuming them is not advisable. It is also known that vast majority of this unbranded olive oil is adulterated. And this warning goes for not only the ones being sold by the roadside, but for unbranded, unpackaged products sold anywhere else,” said Güngörmüşler.
‘Store in tinted glass bottles’
Asst. Prof. Dr. Güngörmüşler stated that the olive oil package should include must-know information such as the brand name, enterprise registration number, date of production and expiration, etc. Güngörmüşler said, “Heat, air, light, water, or humidity are the enemies of oil. It is best to store it in tinted glass containers, away from sunlight and humidity at a room temperature around 150 centigrade. When the chlorophyll in olive oil stored in transparent glass bottle is exposed to sunlight, oxidation and rancidity occurs and that leaves a bad taste in your mouth. Therefore, the best storage containers for olive oil are made of either tinted glass (to keep out light), a nonreactive metal, such as stainless steel, or porcelains.”
‘Cotton seed oil is being mixed’
Asst. Prof. Dr. Güngörmüşler reported that some sellers mix cotton seed oil with olive oil to make more money. “Research regarding cottonseed oil is underway. Preliminary results show that cottonseed oil may contain pesticide residue, and may increase LDL cholesterol levels due to saturated and unsaturated fatty acids.
You cannot tell the quality of olive oil by its color. Therefore, you should never consume olive oil from unknown sources,” stated Güngörmüşler.