In the framework of the testing of olive oils labelled as “extra virgin” performed by the Food Service of the Ministry of Health, grave deviations from the standard, and oils that do not comply with the standard for “extra virgin” olive oil, were found. The testing was performed in cooperation with the Olive Division of the Plants Production and Marketing Board. The oils were sampled from marketing channels throughout Israel, and were tested at the Ministry of Health’s public health laboratory in Haifa and at the Chemiservice laboratory in Italy. The test results were analyzed together with olive oil experts in Israel.
In the past, cases involving forgery of olive oil by means of filling with other vegetable oils resulted in convictions that included imprisonment and expensive fines.
Below are details of the products, as labelled on their packaging, which were determined by testing of their composition to not be olive oil (as per Israeli Standard 191), in contradiction to their being marked as olive oil on the product label, in a manner that could mislead the consumer:
  • Premium extra virgin olive oil, first cold pressed, 0.5% maximal acidity, produced and packaged by: Sun Oil Ltd., Kidmad Galil Industrial Area 14101, for use by: 23-Oct-15, 750 ml. This product was sampled by inspectors of the Food Service at the Big Feisal Center, Akko-Nahariyya Road, Mazra’a . This oil is not olive oil, and it does not comply with Standard 191 for olive oil.
In accordance with the findings, the Ministry of Health will take steps against this business in accordance with the enforcement measures at its disposal. 
Deviations in the Quality of Olive Oil in Markets such that Consumers Could be Misled
In the framework of the operation, the following products were found that could mislead the consumer, alongside contravention of the requirements of Israeli food legislation. The following products were identified as olive oil, but their laboratory results indicated deviation from the requirements of the “extra virgin olive oil” standard, in accordance with expert opinions. 
Below are the details of the products as labelled on their packaging:
  • “Einot Kedem, organic olive oil, cold pressed, acidity up to 0.4%, extra virgin, Jewish labor, Einot Kedem agricultural farm, Mobile Post Office Arvot Hayarden, Yitav 90670, latest marketing date: 28-Jul-15”.
    The product was sampled by inspectors of the Food Service in the “Rotem Natural Products” store, 7 Rambam St., Be’er Sheva.
    Acidity found on laboratory testing: at Ministry of Health laboratory in Haifa- 1.4%, at the laboratory in Italy- 1.38%. The maximal level for extra virgin olive oil permitted by the standard is 0.8%.
    The level of acidity found meets the requirement for “virgin olive oil”, not for “extra virgin olive oil”.
  • “Hoshen, olive oil, first harvest olive oil from the “Maresha” series, cold pressed extra virgin, 1 liter, date of manufacture 24-Oct-14, good for marketing until 24-Oct-15, maximal acidity 0.5%, Hoshen, Kibbutz Gal’on 79555”.
    The product was sampled by inspectors of the Food Service in the “Kokhav Hatavlinim” store, 13 Rambam St., Be’er Sheva. Acidity found on laboratory testing: at Ministry of Health laboratory in Haifa- 2%, at the laboratory in Italy- 1.92%. The maximal permitted level for extra virgin olive oil is 0.8%.
    The level of acidity found meets the requirement for “virgin olive oil”, not for “extra virgin olive oil”.
The businesses suspected of misleading the public are currently being investigated, and in accordance with the findings, the Ministry of Health will take the enforcement measures at its disposal. 
The Food Service of the Ministry of Health is continuing the testing of the compliance of oils to the requirements of Israeli legislation.