Avocado oil has become a popular choice for many people in recent years because of its heart-healthy benefits and versatility in cooking. However, nearly 70 per cent of private label avocado oil is rancid and mixed with other oils, a study has revealed.
Researchers at the University of California, Davis, analysed samples of 36 private label avocado oil products and graded them based on quality and purity.
Their findings, published in the journal Food Control, showed that 31 per cent of the samples tested were pure, and 36 per cent were of advertised quality.
For purity, researchers measured fatty acids, sterols and other components that differentiate avocado oil from other oils.
The study included oils purchased from 19 retailers in the US and Canada with various price points. They found that lower-priced oils were more likely to be tainted with other oils.
"We found that low-cost products indicate a higher probability for adulteration, but high cost didn't guarantee purity or quality," said Selina Wang, associate professor of Cooperative Extension in the Department of Food Science and Technology.
Researchers also identified certain chemical markers in avocado oil that professional retail buyers can use to make more informed decisions when it comes to choosing suppliers. This way, consumers can feel confident about the products they buy.
This is the second comprehensive study conducted by UC Davis researchers on the quality of avocado oil sold in the US The first study released in 2020 found that many of the test samples were of poor quality, mislabeled or adulterated with other oils.
"This study demonstrates that although progress is being made in standard development since our first market study in 2020, there are still issues with purity in avocado oil and these issues extend significantly into private label oils," Wang said.
Wang hopes that the study's findings will contribute to the establishment of standards that benefit both consumers and avocado oil producers who want to compete in a fair market.20230525-152401