What Is Pomace Olive Oil and Why Should It Be Avoided?

Most people have never heard of pomace olive oil — and if you have, you were probably pretty intrigued by its low price point. Unfortunately, pomace olive oil is far inferior to the olive oil you are familiar with, not to mention it might potentially contain carcinogens! Today, we are explaining what pomace olive oil is and where it comes from and then offering some alternatives for tastier, healthier oils.

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What Is Pomace Olive Oil?

First of all, we need to clarify that pomace olive oil is not regular olive oil. Pomace is a byproduct of the oil production process that is made from the leftovers of the fruit. Thus, it is a much lower quality olive oil that lacks the taste, texture and smell that many people associate with olive oil.

Extra virgin olive oil goes through five main production steps: harvesting, processing, malaxation, pressing and bottling. That fourth step, pressing, gets a vast majority of the oil out of the olive fruits. However, a small quantity of oil still remains in the olive pulp, which is called pomace. Usually about five to eight percent of the overall volume of oil the fruit contained is still left in the pulp. To extract the remaining oil from the pulp, the pomace olive oil is treated with chemical solvents to remove the last vestiges of the oil.

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The result is low quality olive oil that is not actually considered fit for human consumption until additional processing is done via high heat and other refining methods. Sometimes, the pomace olive oil may also be mixed with virgin olive oils to make it fit for human consumption. However, both the British and Spanish governments have warnings against carcinogens resulting from these methods.

Even if the olive pomace oil is made fit for human consumption, it will be missing both the flavor and nutritional benefits that people know and love about extra virgin olive oil. Pomace oil may be cheap, but trust us when we say that is well worth a few extra dollars to buy actual olive oil.

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Alternatives to Pomace Olive Oil

Thankfully, pomace oil is not widely available to the consumer, meaning that you are unlikely to accidentally grab a bottle of it at your local grocery store when you meant to get high quality olive oil instead. However, if you do happen to run across pomace oil in your everyday life, we recommend choosing one of the many great alternatives below instead.

For cooking, you cannot beat a great extra virgin olive oil. The delicious taste and excellent nutritional benefits make this a staple in pretty much every kitchen. Choose from many types of olive oil, or get a flavored olive oil if you are feeling adventurous. For the freshest olive oil, consider choosing a domestic brand such as Brightland, which can exercise more quality control and ship the olive oil to you more quickly.

If you are looking for a completely flavorless oil for baking recipes, then canola oil or vegetable oil is a good choice. These oils are much more widely available than pomace olive oil and they are also quite affordable, although their health benefits cannot match that of olive oil. There are many other oil options that you can explore, including sunflower oil, safflower oil, palm oil and more. Check out some of our comparison guides below to help you make a decision:

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Ready to buy an olive oil that is just as delicious as it is good for you? Head on over to our online store to check out the many different extra virgin olive oils that we carry. Whether you want an olive oil set or a chili infused olive oil, we have got you covered.