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Experts urge consumers to buy olive oil from reliable sources

Olive oil - ameer 1
Olives processed before pressing into virgin olive oil. (Photo: Ameer Khalifeh/JNews)
AMMAN — With the season dawning for picking olives and pressing them for virgin olive oil, consumers are warned to beware of fraud and to buy oil from reliable sources.اضافة اعلان

By the same token, experts urged the responsible authorities to intensify control over olive oil, whose prices will see a slight increase.

Mahmoud Al-Omari, a spokesperson for the General Syndicate of Jordanian Olive Oil Mills Owners and Olive Producers, called on consumers to buy oil from reliable sources “either from mills, or from trusted farmers”.

He envisaged oil production in the upcoming season at 27,000 tonnes. He told Jordan News that the price of an olive oil tin of 16 liters will cost up to JD90.

Omari invited consumers to an Olive and Rural Products Festival on November 23, which will be held in Mecca Mall, saying different brands of virgin oil will be displayed.

Nedal Samain, head of the Jordanian Society for Sensory Evaluation of Food, said defrauding in olive oil “is not new”.

“In the past few years, we developed mechanisms with the competent authorities in the private and public sectors to control and track fraud,” he told Jordan News.

“Nevertheless, some merchants keep inventing new methods to deceive consumers,” he noted.

He pointed to the necessity of buying oil from mills, or from olive-producing farms, “thus ensuring that the source is reliable”.

“The label must state the name of the company,” he asserted. He warned against buying the product online so as not to fall prey to deception.

“It is difficult to rely on the consumer to determine the quality of the oil through taste or color because some traders make its taste good and its color is identical to the original,” he said.

Adnan Khaddam, head of the Jordan Valley Farmers Union, predicted that the upcoming olive oil season “will be good”.

Khaddam said that in light of the worsening financial conditions and the weakened purchasing power of many Jordanian families, “consumers are expected to look for the product at the lowest possible price.” That, he noted, will open the door for swindlers.

Lawrence Al-Majali, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Agriculture, told Jordan News that his ministry has undertaken “exceptional” measures this year to combat oil fraud. He said the effort is done jointly with the Jordan Food and Drug Administration, security services, and the Jordan Standards and Metrology Organization.

“There will be committees deployed in hotels and restaurants to verify the quality of the oil used”, he said. “There will also be an initiative to check the oil before it reaches consumer homes to ensure the safety of the product.”

Majali confirmed that this year, olive oil prices “will rise slightly, especially at the beginning of the season”.

“The quantity of olives is expected to rise this year to 190,000 tonnes, with a production surplus of 10–20 percent,” he noted. He said that it is also expected that olive oil production will reach 27,000 tonnes this year.

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