Olive Oil Receives USDA Quality Monitoring Product Verification. All that glistens may not be pure gold in the bottle of extra virgin olive oil you purchase at the supermarket. In fact, earlier this month The Journal of Food Science reported that the top seven adulturated food foods sold in the U.S. are olive oil, milk, honey, saffron, orange juice, coffee and apple juice. In the case of extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) this could mean that the oil you buy is not actually “extra virgin” or is even rancid by the time it reaches the shelves.

The good news for olive oil consumers is that the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Services (AMS) recently announced a Quality Monitoring Product Verification Program for extra virgin olive oil to ensure the product’s authenticity and quality. The USDA-AMS has a Quality Monitoring Product Verification for  90 agricultural products. This is the first for olive oil.

Baltimore, Maryland based Pompeian volunteered to be the first olive oil brand to undergo the USDA-AMS’s rigorous tests and plant inspections. Bottles of Pompeian EVOO and organic EVOO will start carrying the new USDA Quality Monitoring Product Verification seal in May 2012.

So, how can you tell if the olive oil sitting in your cupboard is still fresh?  It should have a fresh, lightly fruity olive smell and taste. If it tastes bitter, stale or sour it has turned. Store your olive oil away from light heat to maintain freshness.

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