Olive oil

No extra-virgin olive oils in our test were worthy of a gold medal.

Pouring olive oil

If you’re shopping for olive oil, extra-virgin is the highest quality you can get. It’s also a healthy choice with high levels of monounsaturated fatty acids, antioxidants and polyphenols. But are all extra-virgin olive oils created equal? We tested 17 from New Zealand, Australia and Europe to find out.

Extra-virgin olive oil is produced without heat or chemical processing. The International Olive Council (IOC) says the oil must meet chemical criteria and be free from defects when assessed by a sensory panel trained to IOC standards.

We carried out 3 chemical tests and a sensory analysis of the oils. The oils that passed the chemical and sensory tests were lined up in a blind tasting by 3 IOC-accredited tasters. The tasters rated the oils out of 100 and were looking for well-balanced oils with good aromas and lots of fruity flavours.

What we found

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Off the mark

Italian olives

Top 5 in our tasting

Our tips

Full results

The name game

About our test and tasting

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