Ecotest: olives with coloring

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No residues of pesticides were found in olives, but a lot of colorants.

(05.08.2010) The environmentally conscious consumer magazine "Öko-Test" examined 24 varieties of olives from different manufacturers. Residues of pesticides were only detected in a single sample in the laboratory. Amazing: The organic olives of all were affected by pesticides. However, Öko-Test made another discovery: many of the olives had colorants.

So-called iron salts are used to color the black olives. Olives that are actually still green and immature are colored. Because the olives are mostly harvested when they are not ripe, i.e. green. The consumer advocates, however, give the all-clear. The limit values ​​were observed for all olives.

But how do you recognize black-colored olives? The answer is simple, you hardly recognize it at all. Because even if the olives have been colored afterwards, according to the food regulations there is no need for a coloring note. Only the note on the ingredient list shows whether the olives have been colored. If black olives have been dyed, the list of ingredients says: "Iron-II-gluconate". The addition of iron gluconate causes an oxidation process in olives and therefore discoloration. The dye with the designation E 579 is used exclusively for olives. No health risks have been observed so far. Since the dye has a very high iron content, this can lead to an increase in pathogens under certain circumstances. (sb)

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Image: Rainer Sturm /

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