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How Supermarket Practice Affects the Food You Eat?

  1. Should a buyer still buy the oil if the shelf life is less than half the total product shelf life?

  2. Should there be a listing & advertising fee and should that be declared?

  3. Is the Landed price to Shanghai going to include the cost of transport from the Port to the central Warehouse?

Now let me answer the questions.

Listing & Advertising Fees

Listing Fees are an upfront payment to entice the supermarket to take the stock because they are getting an instant profit from the shelf-space. The fee is looked upon as hidden commission that could allow fraud to take place. Consumers have for decades trusted the supermarket to sell them goods that are healthy on the date of sale and that the contents of the container is the same as what is described on the label.

The largest distributer of Mediterranean oils in the USA (Salvo) is being sued for mis-representation etc. So it is very unwise for an inexperienced marketing or advertising officer NOT to advertise. They cannot trust the value of the information given to them.

Thus supermarkets should have a code of ethics that protects the consumer and not hide from the consumer any potential “secret” deals.

Landed Prices to Port clear of Duties, storage and taxes

It is the only safe means of pricing, as no one knows where the goods need to be delivered.

Shelf Life

  1. Facts

  • Under international law the shelf life of EVOO from date of bottling is 3 years

  • If you are 100% grown, harvested, bottled in Italy then it is 18 months in the places where it is made with great pride.

2. STORAGE conditions can affect the Shelf life.

  • Most storage operators have limited temperature control. All oils cook under changes in temperature. Just like a green banana turning yellow and the sickly brown. Hence the life expectancy of the oil is often lower than what it says on the label.

  • In fact the oil in most storage buildings are exposed to artificial & natural light (24 hours x 7 days a week) and hence they are subject to wider temperatures ranges. From 6 to 20°C in winter and 20°C at night to 35°C during the day in summer time. The storage conditions are almost an OVEN.

  • Also in a supermarket which may have temperatures as high as say 26°C during the day and then at night the oil cools down to say 8°C in winter and or go as high as 35°C on hot nights.

  • In the environment (a), (b) and (c) the oil will cook and change its composition.

  • Note lower quality oils will cook faster. Cooking changes the chemistry of the oil. The chemistry can be measured by the increase in Free Fatty Acids (FFA). Once the FFA content is above 0.8% the oil can no longer be classed as extra virgin oil. In fact this oil is now called olive oil.

3. Shelf Life can be reduced by exposure to light (a form of temperature), changes in air pressure & the quality of the Plastic bottle:

The action of the plastic bottles contracting and expanding allows the neck of the soft plastic bottle to open just enough to allow air to mix with the oil. Since the oil is radiated with light (heat) the oil and air cooks (oxidizes) in the bottle and the oil’s chemistry changes.

Otherwise the low quality polyethylene chloride plastic bottles exchange their chemistry with the oil turning the oil toxic.

Hence the shelf life is really NOT as important as the health of the oil in the bottle. So if the owners store it, then the distributer and finally the supermarket has the oil on their shelves for 2-3 – we have potentially or at worst 6-month period the oil is not going to survive fresh & healthy. Since we know that during this time the oil is exposed to light, plus wide fluctuations in temperatures allowing the oil to cook and change chemistry – making the oil unhealthy.

Lastly, the health of an oil can be tested easily by making it work or sending it off to licensed oil testing laboratory.

Bench TESTING an oil in the Supermarket Kitchen.

  1. Test 1 Taking a hot plate and stepping the heat up slowly to allow the oil to reach its steaming point and at higher temperatures the oil will reach its smoke point. This test can differentiate a good oil from a bad oil.

  2. Test 2 Take equal pieces of fish and equal amounts (say 5 ml) of extra virgin olive oil and place the oil on the plate at 165°C. Note the purer oil will not run but stay together like a blob, whilst the impure oil will run like a river. Now place on top of each sample of oil a duplicate piece of fish. Time and fry each piece until they are lightly white. Do not forget to measure every 2 ml of oil added to protect the fish from burning. Three to five times more ml of impure oil will be required. With the fish finished. Four pieces should be cut and four sommeliers taste the fish. The oils that are aerated and decomposed like a banana will share their taste with the fish. Whilst the pure enjoi extra virgin olive oil will only lift the fish smell and raise awareness of fresh fish with a clean or salty texture.

Seeking a Chemical testing report from a recognized laboratory;

Oil Testing

Australian NSW Department of Primary Industries

161 Kite Street, Orange NSW 2800, Australia

Okoer - CEO Mr. Luo Changping,

北京市朝陽區工體北路4號機電大院81樓4層, 100027

4/F, Building 81, Electromechanical Courtyard,

Worker's North Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing


Eurofins Food Testing Hong Kong Limited

Flat A, 13/F, Hover Industrial Building, 26-38 Kwai Cheong Road, Kwai Chung, New Territories, Hong Kong.

Tel: +852 2636 3288

Fax: +852 2636 0211

Mobile: +852 9382 7577E-mail:

How much should you pay?

Why should a buyer pay the same price for Extra Virgin Olive or more for Olive oil? When the olive oil has changed its chemistry to a more unhealthy chemical state?

  1. If the EVOO has a Free Fatty Acids (FFA) of >0.8% then it is Olive oil.

  2. Which means the oil content no longer matches the extra virgin olive oil label.

If the CFDA were to check all the oils on the shelf and determine the FFA is 0.81% or higher then the purchasing officer would face a CNY 50,000 fine per product.

Just in time supply.

  1. Enjoi agrees to supply 100% pure EVOO from storage, bottle for the supermarket within 4 weeks and deliver the goods ordered to a China Port within 8 weeks.

  2. This means provided CIQ and Customs is paid the oil can be on the shelves selling to the customer from the 13th week of its life in a bottle. Whilst the bottle is being transported from Australia through to Customs the temperature of the oil is CONTROLLED at less than 25°C 24 hours a day.

  3. This is what supermarket is starting to pay for and this is what the customers need to know to be comfortable that they are buying from Enjoi the healthiest oil possible.

How much support should a supplier contributes to a supermarket for sales & marketing?

  1. The consumer should always know what they are paying for.

  2. The consumer should clearly see what the expenses are. So they are able to believe in the products they are buying.

  3. Consumers will approve of expenses that are paid to reputable third parties for testing the chemistry & physical attributes of the oils against international and national declared standards.

  4. The supplier should contribute the KNOWLEDGE and the test results on a publicly free forum. (Internet site).

  5. The amount set aside for this should already be included in the super market price.

How much does a buyer know & how can they ask questions?

  1. The expertise of the Purchasing Officer is rarely shared with the Buyer.

  2. Every product should have a QR Code.

  3. Every customer must have access to the QR code on the shops pricing label.

  4. Every supplier (Enjoi) should provide batch #, traceability & sustainable reporting information on an easily accessible site - such as WeChat & the Web.

  5. Enjoi has 54 Blogs (& growing) describing the properties of Enjoi’s extra virgin olive oils.

  6. The Supermarket marketing dept. can create sales programs successful by accessing the 54 + blogs Enjoi has created. Of course the consumer should be able to access them through the sellers website.

  7. The 3rd Party Analysis to qualifying the oil should be available – e.g. the Okoer report or a similar one (Eurofins, Australian NSW Dept. Primary Industries).

  8. The “Okoer” report must clearly describe the oil’s physical & chemical components and compare them to the international and Hong Kong oil standards.

  9. The report in (c) must be in simple words confirming the oil is fresh, has a long shelf life, safe, healthy and edible.

Has the buyer and the seller tasted and cooked with it to determine how good the oil is?

CFDA Compliance is a marketing advantage

The CFDA have stated what chemistry standards they want and are applicable.

  1. The record books of all Retailers, Food service & Manufacturers should show they know what these standards are and that they have applied them to each batch of oil they purchase. For example they must be aware that the oil is fully traceable e.g. the oil is not rancid (sick) on the day the oil is opened by the end user.

  2. This means the supermarket must prove that the oil is not rancid (sick) and or counterfeit (meaning the label does not match the contents). Unfortunately this is not well known and in fact the majority of oils on the shelves would fail.

A public declaration of a code of ethics by the supermarket

All supermarkets and distributors should have a published CODE of ETHICS that includes the declaration that they will provide ALL the tests and traceability work required will give the consumers MORE CONFIDENCE to SHOP at the nominated supermarket.

The above doors to successfully selling Enjoi oil can be explained by the writer Steven Horton, Director of Enjoi Ltd.

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