Nutrition: Olive oil: A test winner and 18 oils with harmful substances | Guide | We in Bavaria | BR Television | TV

olive oil |  icon image Image: picture-alliance/ Zoonar Thomas Klee

Ökotest magazine tested 19 extra virgin olive oils for its May issue. The frightening result: 18 of the olive oils tested, including 9 organic oils, were, at times significantly, contaminated with mineral oil. In addition, pesticides and plasticizers were detected in some oils.

Winner of the current Ökotest olive oil test

That Rapunzel Crete extra virgin olive oil it is the only olive oil among the oils tested in which no traces of mineral oil or other harmful substances could be detected.

Is mineral oil bad for health?

In principle, mineral oil has no place in food.

  • Of particular concern are the so-called MOAH (aromatic petroleum hydrocarbons), which were detected in 7 of the 19 olive oils examined. MOAH are carcinogenic.
  • MOSH (saturated hydrocarbons) found in almost all oilsaccumulate in the body in. The health consequences of this are not yet known. Although MOSH has been detected in human tissue, no adverse health effects have been associated with it to date.

How does mineral oil get into olive oil?

Mineral oil residues can find their way into olive oil through lubricating oils in machines used in harvesting or processing, for example in the press or on conveyor belts. We also ingest mineral oil components with other foods. They can often be detected in small amounts in food, for example mineral oil components also carry over from recycled packaging to pasta. According to the EFSA (European Food Safety Authority), mineral oil components are present in almost all foods.

Is mineral oil bad for health?

In principle, mineral oil has no place in food.

  • Of particular concern are the so-called moah (aromatic petroleum hydrocarbons), which were detected in 7 of the 19 olive oils examined. MOAH are carcinogenic.
  • MOSH (saturated hydrocarbons) found in almost all oilsaccumulate in the body in. The health consequences of this are not yet known. Although MOSH has been detected in human tissue, no adverse health effects have been associated with it to date.

MOAH and MOSH limits:

Noisy BfR (Federal Institute for Risk Assessment)) a health assessment is not possible due to insufficient data. There are currently no limits for MOAH and MOSH. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) is currently working on a final risk assessment, which is expected to be published in December 2022.
The EFSA generally classifies MOAHs, which are ingested through food, as questionable.

package (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) can be formed during production by excessive heating and represent a whole group of compounds, including benzopyrene, which is classified as carcinogenic. A limit value of 2 µg/kg is specified in the maximum contaminant content ordinance. However, this maximum amount was not reached in the olive oils examined.

emollients in olive oils

Plasticizers were found in 11 of the 19 olive oils tested. Among other things, these are used for flexible plastic products to make them flexible or stretchable and to keep them flexible. Since softeners are soluble in water and fat, they can be released from hoses during the production of olive oil, for example. Plasticizers can damage the kidneys, liver and testicles. In large amounts, plasticizers can cause infertility and damage embryos. Plasticizers are also suspected of increasing the risk of asthma, diabetes, and breast cancer, among other things.

Pesticides in Olive Oils

Pesticides were detected in 6 of the 19 olive oils tested. Depending on the species, they can lead, among other things, to acute symptoms of intoxication, chronic skin diseases, cancer, infertility, thyroid diseases, damage to genetic material and embryos, and decreased immune defenses.
The particularly toxic pesticide deltamethrin was detected in 4 olive oils.

“Extra virgin” – a sign of good quality?

The appellation “extra virgin” or “extra virgin” used to be a sign of the highest quality for olive oils. However, the current olive oil test carried out by Ökotest has again shown that oils of this quality level can also be contaminated with harmful substances. Also, the taste of many of the oils tested was not convincing.

Alternative: homemade olive oil

ingredients (for 100 ml of olive oil):

  • 500 g (drained weight) olives in brine
  • Drain the olives well in a colander, pit them if necessary and grind until a homogeneous mass is obtained.
  • Heat the olive puree over medium-high heat for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring constantly.
  • Place a straining cloth (close mesh cotton cloth) in a strainer, pour in the hot mixture and allow to cool.
  • Next, squeeze the mass of olives with the help of the cloth and collect the liquid in a bowl.
  • Let the liquid (mixture of water and oil) rest covered for about 12 hours so that the olive oil separates from the water.
  • Then carefully remove the oil that floats on top and fill it into a bottle.

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