The Truth about Avocado Oil Purity: How to Choose the Best Quality

Hand with avocado and pit to introduce aricle on tips for buying pure avocado oil

Avocado oil has gained immense popularity in recent years, thanks to its numerous health benefits and versatile uses. It is known to be rich in healthy monounsaturated fats and antioxidants, making it a healthier option for cooking, salad dressings, and skincare products. However, with the rising demand for avocado oil, there are concerns about its purity and authenticity. 

Oil adulteration is a major issue where premium culinary oils like avocado are diluted with cheaper seed oils, with estimates suggesting a staggering 10-30% of these oils on the market are adulterated

Adulteration and contamination of avocado oil can have serious health consequences and affect its quality. Therefore, it is crucial to understand the factors that affect avocado oil purity and the methods for ensuring that the oil is pure and safe for consumption. In this article, we will delve into the topic of avocado oil purity and provide valuable insights into how to choose a high-quality, pure avocado oil.

Factors that affect the purity of avocado oil

Several factors can affect the purity of avocado oil, including the production process, storage conditions, and the source of the fruit used to make the oil. Here are some factors that can impact avocado oil purity:

Extraction process

The method used to extract avocado oil can affect its purity. Some extraction methods involve the use of chemicals, heat, or solvents, which can leave residues in the oil and reduce its quality. Cold-pressed or expeller-pressed avocado oil is generally considered the purest form of the oil.

Source of the fruit

The quality of the avocado fruit used to make the oil can also affect its purity. Avocado fruits grown in polluted areas or treated with pesticides and other chemicals can contaminate the oil. Organic and sustainably grown avocados are a better option for making high-quality and pure avocado oil.

Storage conditions

Avocado oil can go rancid if exposed to light, heat, or air for extended periods. Rancidity can cause the oil to develop an off-flavor and odor and reduce its nutritional value. Proper storage of avocado oil in a cool, dark place, away from light and heat, can help maintain its purity and quality.

Adulteration and contamination

The increasing demand for avocado oil has unfortunately led to some unethical manufacturers adulterating the oil with cheaper oils or using low-quality avocados. Contamination with bacteria, mold, or other foreign substances can also affect the purity of avocado oil. Proper quality control and testing can help prevent these issues. This economically motivated fraud deceives companies and consumers into purchasing mislabeled "pure" oils that may contain harmful seed oil adulterants.

Processing and packaging

The processing and packaging of avocado oil can also affect its purity. Some manufacturers may use additives or preservatives to extend the oil's shelf life, which can affect its quality. Packaging in plastic containers can also cause the oil to absorb harmful chemicals that can contaminate the oil.

Various factors can impact the purity of avocado oil, including the extraction process, source of the fruit, storage conditions, adulteration and contamination, and processing and packaging. It is crucial to choose high-quality and pure avocado oil to enjoy its health benefits fully.

Study on Avocado Oil Purity

In 2018, the University of California, Davis conducted a study to test the quality and authenticity of avocado oil sold in the United States. The study aimed to address concerns about the purity and labeling of avocado oil, as some products on the market were found to be adulterated with cheaper oils or mislabeled.

The study involved testing 22 samples of extra virgin avocado oil purchased from retail stores and online retailers. The samples were analyzed using various methods to measure their fatty acid composition, peroxide value, and other quality parameters.

What did the study on pure avocado oil find?

The results of the study were published in the journal Food Control in March 2019. The study found that only five out of the 22 samples tested met both the purity and labeling requirements of extra virgin avocado oil. The other samples either failed the purity test, the labeling test, or both.

Some of the samples that failed the purity test were found to contain lower levels of monounsaturated fatty acids, which are a hallmark of high-quality avocado oil. Some of the samples that failed the labeling test were found to contain other types of oils, such as soybean oil or sunflower oil, which were not listed on the label.

The study highlighted the need for better regulation and quality control in the avocado oil industry to ensure that consumers are getting what they pay for. The authors of the study recommended that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration establish standards for avocado oil and increase enforcement of labeling regulations.

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Consequences of consuming adulterated avocado oil

Impurities in avocado oil can lead to a range of health risks and consequences. The following are examples of how impure avocado oil can be harmful:

Potential Health Issues

The addition of cheaper vegetable oils, such as soybean or sunflower oil, is a common problem in the industry. Consuming adulterated avocado oil can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and other health problems as these oils are often less healthy and may contain harmful contaminants such as pesticides or heavy metals.


Low-quality or impure avocado oil may be more susceptible to oxidation, which can compromise its nutritional value and flavor. Oxidized oil can produce harmful compounds, such as free radicals, that can damage cells and tissues and increase the risk of chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimer's.


Impurities like pesticides, solvents, and heavy metals can be present in impure avocado oil, leading to various health problems, including cancer, reproductive disorders, and neurological damage.

Nutrient deficiencies

Impure avocado oil may contain lower levels of beneficial nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, resulting in nutrient deficiencies and increasing the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, cancer, and osteoporosis.

It is crucial to select high-quality, pure avocado oil from reputable sources to avoid adverse health outcomes associated with impure avocado oil consumption. This is why Jackson’s uses only high quality premium avocado oil for its potato chips.

Determining the Purity of Avocado Oil: Common Methods

The purity of avocado oil can be determined through multiple tests and analysis that can help understand and evaluate the composition and quality of the oil.  The following are some of the typical methods used to assess the purity of avocado oil. The Seed Oil Free Certification program aims to combat this issue by conducting precision laboratory testing to verify oils are truly pure and unadulterated. It helped a company discover their supposed "avocado oil" was actually two-thirds sunflower oil, highlighting how even diligent brands can fall victim to this fraud.

Fatty acid composition analysis

This method involves measuring the types and quantities of fatty acids in the oil. The analysis helps to determine the nutritional value, quality, and authenticity of the oil. Authentic avocado oil should have high levels of healthy monounsaturated fats, such as oleic acid, and low levels of saturated and trans fats.

Peroxide value (PV) test

The PV test measures the extent of oxidation in the oil, which can indicate its freshness and quality. Higher peroxide values indicate more oxidation, which can affect the oil's taste, aroma, and nutritional value. The Codex Alimentarius sets a maximum peroxide value of 15 meq/kg for avocado oil.

Unsaponifiable matter (UM) test

This test measures the quantity of non-fatty acid compounds present in the oil, including vitamins, sterols, and pigments. The UM test helps to determine the oil's authenticity, purity, and nutritional value. Authentic avocado oil should have high levels of unsaponifiable matter, which contains beneficial compounds such as beta-sitosterol and carotenoids.

Sensory analysis

Sensory analysis involves evaluating the oil's taste, aroma, and appearance to determine its overall quality. Trained sensory panels can detect any off-flavors, odors, or colors that may indicate impurities or adulteration.

A combination of these methods is typically used to evaluate the purity and quality of avocado oil. These tests help to ensure that the oil is safe for consumption and meets regulatory and industry standards.

Tips to buy pure avocado oil 

Look for reputable brands

Choose avocado oil brands that have a good reputation for producing high-quality, pure oils.

Check the label

Look for labels that indicate the oil is 100% pure avocado oil, without any added oils or fillers.

Check the color

Pure avocado oil is typically greenish-yellow in color, so if the oil is clear or a lighter color, it may have been processed or mixed with other oils.

Look for cold-pressed oil

Cold-pressed avocado oil is made without the use of heat or chemicals, which helps preserve the oil's nutritional value and purity.

Check for certifications

Look for certifications such as USDA organic, Non-GMO Project Verified, and Fair Trade Certified, which can indicate that the oil is of high quality and has been ethically sourced.

Buy from trusted sources

Purchase avocado oil from trusted sources, such as health food stores or online retailers with good customer reviews. Check out the clean oil crew for other food products made with pure premium oil.

At Jackson’s, we use unadulterated premium oils that are never diluted with cheap refined oils or poly-unsaturated fats. Our avocado oil is tested and evaluated by a 3rd party to ensure it meets our standards.

By supporting these companies, you can increase your chances of buying pure and high-quality oils, which can provide a range of health benefits without any potential health risks associated with impure oils.

Key Takeaways: 

  • The purity of avocado oil is determined through various tests and analyses, including fatty acid composition analysis and sensory analysis.
  • Factors that can affect the purity of avocado oil include the harvesting process and adulteration of the oil.
  • A study conducted by UC Davis found that 82% of tested avocado oils did not meet purity standards.
  • Consumption of adulterated avocado oil can pose serious health risks, such as nutrient deficiencies and oxidation.


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