Narrator: This is Science Today. In a first study of its kind by an American academic institution, a University of California at Davis research team found that most of the imported olive oils sold in California supermarkets and "big box" retail stores are not the top-grade ‘extra virgin' oils that their labels claim. Dan Flynn, is executive director of the UC Davis Olive Center.
Flynn: We found that most of the imported olive oil that is sold as extra virgin in California, does not meet international standards for extra virgin. The oil was often old, it was possibly adulterated or it was poorly made. But it wasn't extra virgin.
Narrator: Extra virgin is the highest grade of olive oil and must be extracted from the olive without heat or solvents, according to standards set by an international council and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Flynn hopes their findings, which confirmed previously anecdotal reports of poor quality olive oils, will lead to better methods for evaluating extra virgin olive oil and increased consumer confidence. For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.