Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) is incredibly healthy and the best among the 4 types of olive oil. it benefits your heart, brain, joints and more. Many experts suggest this is the only oil you use at your kitchen.
It works as an anti-inflammatory, boosts hair and skin health, protects against diabetes, loaded with powerful antioxidants (which have anti-cancer properties), may help prevent strokes, protective against heart disease, may fight Alzhimer disease, and so on.
When choosing extra vigin olive oil you want to:
1. High level level of polyphenols (ranges from 100 to 900).
2. High level of aleic acids (70% or more is required by FDA to make claims for cardio vascular benifits).
3. Oxidation/Peroxide level - current and previous. It indicates if the oil or olives was sitting somewhere getting bad due to aerial oxidation exposure (rancidity). The current level is often displayed on the bottle of a good olive oil. The previous level (which indicates if the oil had high oxodation level which was removed later) usually captured by human testers (a group of 8+ testers required to make a sound conclusionif it's a defective oil).
As of 2022 you won't find information on any of these 3 factors on the bottle of olive oil. There's also no good/comprehemsive summary/comparison of different brands on the web that include chemical analysis and a group of testers.
Here's a good 30min video on how to test olive oil from one of the leading experts in the US explaining complexity of us making a choice of good olive oil.
1. Look for the Harvest date (not expiration date, not use by date). If the bottle doesn't have a Harvest date - there's a big chance that it's a blend of different vintages (olives from different years) which is a common practice for overseas evoo. The fresher the oil - the better it is (as oil oxidates over time).
2. Look for certifications on the bottle (California Olive Council, USDA, Extra Virgin Alliance, etc). It indicates that this oil was tested by a trained panel.
3. Here's additional evidence from ConsumerLabs.com confirming that all of 10 tested pretty popular EVOOs in the US have passed chemical testing.
California Olive Ranch 100% California is one of very few manufacturers on the shelves of Walmart and Kroger that publishes Harvest dates and has credible certification. It also doesn't mix vintages (years) and olives come from one country/state.
Other products to consider: Costco (included into many non-comprehensive reviews with favorable results) , Cobram Estates (Australians opened business in CA with openess policy).