How is your consumer and traceability decisions going to determine your purchases of Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) in 2015?
Firstly we must know that the shelf life of pure EVOO in a retail environment is two years.
We must learn :
how and when the oil is supplied from the grove to the bottle fillers.
how the bottle fillers fill and store the oil before shipment to the logistics companies that distribute the oil.
how the logistics & distributors store the oil before passing it to the logistics company that manages the purchase for the end seller.
Then you have to evaluate the time from the date of production and date of filling, how the oil was exposed to light, changes in temperature, exposure to moisture & air.
So the integrity of the label matching the contents is your next study.
Aside from assessing the chemistry of the oil. We need to know how far the oil has decomposed or oxidised in the bottled of oil being sold.
Then a declaration of true origin of the oil being sourced and supplied, becomes important for food safety reasons.
Unfortunately, the largest EVOO exporters and are no longer exporting because of a massive drought in 2013, 2014 and this year 2015 a massive disease that has killed most fruit bearing trees. So most shelves that have oil from Italy, Spain & now France with 2014 or 2015 production date must be considered either "fake", counterfeit, or EVOO from other countries.
If honesty & 100% traceability prevails then any EVOO seller must declare the original source of the oil. Where it is grown, crushed & filled. e.g. If the Italian owners & sellers of real EVOO may own or lease a grove in, Tunisia, Hungary, Croatia, Libya, Lebanon or even Australia.
So if they are honest they would say on their labels that this oil is grown in "Australia" and is a safe & healthy oil.
The above is just a start!
The next step is assessment that you are buying a real, fresh, pure, healthy and safe oil. That can be used to make at high temperatures, exposed to air and water sauces, sauté, fry, bake or sealed healthy & safe food.