How to Choose Avocado Oil
Avocado oil is a great source of vitamins, minerals and the type of fats associated with reducing the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes. But not all products on the market are the same.
“Most people who buy avocado oil are interested in the health benefits, as well as the mild, fresh flavor, and are willing to pay more for the product. But because there are no standards to determine if an avocado oil is of the quality and purity advertised, no one is regulating false or misleading labels,” said Selina Wang, Cooperative Extension specialist in the Department of Food Science and Technology at UC Davis.
Here are some tips for selecting avocado oil at the market.
- Flavor: The flavor of virgin avocado oil can differ by varieties and region. In general, authentic, fresh, virgin avocado oil tastes grassy, buttery and a little bit like mushrooms.
- Color: Virgin avocado oil should be green in color, whereas refined avocado oil is light yellow and almost clear due to pigments removed during refining.
- Size: Even good oil becomes rancid with time. It’s important to purchase a reasonable size that can be finished before the oil oxidizes. Store the oil away from light and heat. A cool, dark cabinet is a good choice, rather than next to the stove.
- Smell: How do you know if the oil is rancid? It starts to smell stale, sort of like play dough.
- Dates: When possible, choose an oil that’s closest to the harvest/production time to ensure maximum freshness. The “best before date” is not always a reliable indicator of quality.