There is so much demand in the world for essential oils that it has far outstripped production. It is estimated that at least 90% of all essential oils sold on the planet are chemical. As they say, “Buyer Beware!”
Moreover, since many governments consider essential oils to be perfumes or at most, flavourings, regulations for what appears on the product label tend to be very lax. A label may state that the oil is therapeutic grade and 100% natural yet may contain very little actual essential oil.
One of the most adulterated essential oils is lavender. I will explain.
For many years France has been the lavender oil capital of the world.
Lately there are no more than 7,000 acres of lavender planted, producing only 20 to 25 lbs of oil per acre.
Most French production has now gone into lavendin, a hybrid of lavender. There are about 52,000 acres of lavendin grown yielding 150 lbs of oil per acre,
When you compare the yield per acre of lavender oil versus the lavendin oil it is obvious is substantially cheaper to produce lavendin oil.
Lavendin oil smells VERY much like lavender. So guess what happens….
There are several problems for the lavendin growers.
The first is that the lavendin oil contains a caustic compound called camphor. You can use lavender oil to treat even a third degree burn whereas lavendin oil will intensify the burn.
So the lavendin growers heat their oil to a very high temperature to “flash off” the camphor. In the process the oil is fractured and becomes therapeutically useless.
The second is that lavendin oil also lacks an organic compound present in lavender oil, lenolol acetate, so the growers add up to 6% synthetic lenolol acetate.
Finally, propylene glycol, DEP or DOP (solvents that have no smell) are added to increase the volume.
This oil is then sold in North America as 100% pure natural lavender oil.
A similar situation exists in the world market of olive oil.
Unless you know what you are doing it is likely that the olive oil you buy in your supermarket has been diluted with a cheap vegetable oil. This is especially true if your purchase decision is based on cheapest price. You may be surprised to find that:
- Your olive oil probably contains less actual olive oil than you’d ever imagine.
- It is likely that your oil has been mixed with colourants and other less expensive oils like sunflower-seed oil, canola oil, and soybean oil.
Extra-virgin olive oil, which comes from the first pressing of the olive harvest, is prized by chefs and food lovers across the globe for its rich, fruity flavor and vibrant green color. But there’s currently a dark shadow hanging over Italy’s lucrative olive oil industry: fraud. CBS’s 60 Minutes recently explored how the olive oil business has been corrupted by the Mafia; it’s so widespread — bringing in an estimated $16 billion a year— that Italians have a special word for it, Agromafia.
It’s estimated that as much as 80 percent of extra-virgin olive oil sold in the States doesn’t meet the legal requirements to actually be called extra-virgin; much of it is diluted with cheaper olive oils from elsewhere in the Mediterranean, and sometimes it’s even a cheaper product like sunflower oil that’s been colored and scented.
- Source: https://www.eater.com/2016/1/5/10718096/italian-olive-oil-fraud-video-60-minutes
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