Like many single-ingredient foods, olive oil is supposed to have just one ingredient that comes from a single source (spoiler alert: it’s olives). Like orange juice comes from oranges and peanut butter comes from peanuts, olive oil should only come from olives. At Bertolli, we have our own set of standards above industry-grade that makes sure everything that ends up in a bottle of Bertolli is nothing but the best.
To ensure all the olive oils in our blends are above the grade, Bertolli samples high-quality olive oils from around the world, visiting orchards throughout the year to determine the best crops. As growers send in their samples from Spain, Italy, Greece, Portugal, Argentina and more, Bertolli’s Chief Quality Officer Paula Lopes and team meticulously sift through the selection to find only the very best oils to use in different blends and markets.
“We bring the samples to our labs and analyze the oils to test for chemicals and contaminants, organize the oils by profiles and rank the samples according to an internal scale,” Lopes explains. “Once we select the oil that’s of interest for our products, we go and visit the growers again to audit the mills to guarantee that they produce oils according to our standards.”
With internal standards stricter than legal requirements, Bertolli performs multiple site visits to ensure the mills are following procedures that will stop contaminants from entering the pressing process. Creating a single-ingredient food product doesn’t leave room for pesky contaminants or adulterated oil, and going the extra mile (literally!) is one of the ways we are able to offer high-quality extra virgin olive oil throughout the year and around the globe.
Lopes continues: “We have strategic agreements around the world with grower cooperatives, working directly with them to let them know how to make the oil that Bertolli needs. We also pay more money for better oil, which incentivizes the mills to work in perfect conditions.”
After all, when you’re only working with one ingredient, it has to be the best!