New Extra Virgin Olive Oil Savantes tasting program dates - Melbourne (July 2013) and New York (August 2013) registrations open! Click here for more information...
Bag the Can
Why pay a premium price for extra virgin olive oil delivered to your food with the help of a hydrocarbon gas such as propane or butane? The same sort of gas that drives your car - LPG.
At a leading supermarket one can buy an Australian extra virgin olive oil in a spray can for $2.33/100g, in a bottle the same brand will cost $1.29/100ml – around $1.04 less. The difference between buying the oil in a can or bottle varies, but if you buy it in a can you will be paying substantially more.
So we can argue that if we ‘ban the can’, and customers spend as much on olive oil, we will sell more oil and more of the income will come back to the producer and less to the canner and gas supplier!
While the propellant gases used are mostly the inert hydrocarbons propane and butane, Ethanethiol is intentionally added to the gases to impart a smell that is easily noticeable if the gas escapes during packing processes. This and other compounds added for the same effect are not inert and contaminate the olive oil making its classification as extra virgin questionable.
The marketing pitch for the can is that the consumer uses very little. There are other options to achieve this such as the ‘bag in a can’. Here the propellant is separated from the oil in a bag so no contamination occurs, however the packaging process is expensive. For US$9.95 one can also buy the Misto Olive Oil Sprayer which is filled with fresh olive oil as the user requires.
So for the producer, banning the can could increase bottle sales and for the consumer, a pure product will be delivered.