If you too fight insomnia with cough syrup and late-night episodes of Rachael Ray's cooking shows, you know the perky, much-maligned crafter of 30-minute meals uses a cute acronym for the fruity green sap she drizzles over her convenience-oriented concoctions. She calls it EVOO, short of course for extra-virgin olive oil, the lifeblood of the Mediterranean. If a study done by the U.C. Davis Olive Center at the university's Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science is to be believed, Ray might not only be annoying ― she might also be inaccurate.
As reported by NPR earlier this week, more than two-thirds of random tested samples of imported, so-called EVOO may have been adulterated, diluted, or otherwise degraded below the standards for extra-virginity. “It's like we have our own CSI: Olive Oil lab here,” the lab's forensics manager, Charles Shoemaker, told NPR. He broke down a few of his factors: For starters, spectroscopic studies to reveal oxidation and subsequent rancidity and fatty acid testing to see if any soybean or sunflower has corrupted the olive.