There is often confusion about olive oils: what class they are, how they are made, whether they are enriched or infused, and what “additives” might be in their olive oil?

The International Olive Council Standards for EVOO

One thing is clear – there should never be “additives” put into an extra virgin olive oil (EVOO).  The International Olive Council (IOC) has extremely high standards for what an “extra virgin olive oil” is.  They also monitor how it is made.  And the IOC is clear that extra virgin olive oils and virgin olives should never have additives (see these at

Extra virgin olive oils can be “enriched” with additional olive fruit polyphenols – this is not an “additive”.  These polyphenols provide the customer with high levels of olive polyphenols for their health.  This is just a more concentrated olive oil.

These specialty enriched olive oils, can be created by extracting the polyphenols (hydroxytyrosol, tyrosol, and their derivatives) from olive fruit, reducing them to a powder or liquid and then mixing it back into the EVOO.  This extraction process can be either performed with a water-based process, or with the use of solvents and resins.  The water-based process of course, guarantees that there are no solvents in the extracted polyphenols.  The polyphenol powder or liquid is mixed with the EVOO to make a polyphenol rich extra virgin olive oil.

TrePhenol® and Olive Polyphenols Are Not Additives!

Traditionally, standard olive oils have hydroxytyrosol levels (the main active olive fruit polyphenol), as low as 10mg/Kg of oil.  Very high quality EVOO or enriched olive oils will have hydroxytyrosol levels of 250 to 650mg/Kg of hydroxytyrosol in them.  This results in 25x to 60x the amount of standard olive oils.   In addition, putting additional polyphenols into the EVOO is beneficial to the customer because hydroxytyrosol can break down somewhat over time due to oxidation or heat.  Learn more about polyphenols!

The New York Times recently reported that Italian extra virgin olive oil “from Italy” was questionable.  They reported that it was often not from Italy or it was not virgin olive oil.   Some others may claim that extra virgin olive oils have additives.  Spain produces 50% of the world’s olive oil  – and has been for centuries!  Watch your source for the best EVOO!  And real EVOOs never have additives in them!

So look for extra virgin olive oils (EVOO) where you can be sure of the standards – with no additives!


International Olive Oil Council website : “Designations and Definitions of Olive Oils”; see more at

Also, try our polyphenol-enriched EVOO oils here.