U.S – According to a recent study by experts at the University of California, Davis, close to 70% of private-label avocado oil items on retail shelves are either contaminated with other oils or have gone rancid.
36 private label avocado oil products were evaluated for quality and purity in the study, which was published in the journal Food Control.
The quality and purity of private label products, which are made by outside processors and marketed under the brand names of supermarkets or other retailers, were examined.
Only 31% of the samples examined were pure avocado oil, and only 36% matched the advertised quality standards, according to the results.
Out of 29 refined samples, three met both quality and purity standards, 11 met quality standards and eight met current proposed purity standards; out of 7 unrefined samples, three met current proposed purity standards for avocado oil.
The remaining products were either of poor quality because of aging, heat, or light exposure, or they contained additives.
The study examined avocado oils bought from 19 merchants in the US and Canada, all of which offered their products at different pricing points. The results of the study showed that cheaper oils had a higher likelihood of being tampered with during production, including the addition of different oils.
“We found that low-cost products indicate a higher probability for adulteration, but the high cost didn’t guarantee purity or quality,” said Selina Wang, Associate Professor of Cooperative Extension in the Department of Food Science and Technology and Co-Author of the paper.
Researchers found particular molecular indicators in avocado oil that could distinguish genuine products from fakes, helping experienced retail shoppers make educated judgments. According to the researchers, customers may verify the authenticity and quality of the avocado oil they want to stock by using these identifiers.
Researchers, business executives, and governmental organizations are apparently working together to set enforceable standards for avocado oil in response to the study’s findings.
The American Oil Chemists’ Society and the Avocado Oil Expert Group were formed to discuss prospective standards and upcoming research initiatives.
“I’m very optimistic for the future of the avocado oil industry. It’s a high-value product with high consumer demand, similar to what I saw with olive oil 10 years ago.
“Olive oil quality and purity has improved significantly, which is where I see avocado oil going if we can establish fair standards and eliminate fraudulent products,” concluded Wang.