Spanish cops seize 68,000 gallons of inedible lamp oil about to be passed off as "olive oil"

For over a decade, I've read stories about how olive oil is rarely olive oil. I assumed that whatever it is that must be making it into the widely reputed fake supermarket, olive oils were edible, but just not olive. This report is a bit of a shocker for me, as I did not realize that at least one of the popular swaps for edible olive oil is just a lower-quality crack of olive oil used for fueling lamps.


Italian and Spanish police investigated one such scheme in which extra virgin olive oil was diluted with lampante oil, the release said. Named after its use as fuel for oil lamps, lampante oil is described as a "lower-quality variant of olive oil" with higher acidity, a "distinctly unpleasant" smell and "undesirable flavor."

Lampante oil is made from "bad olives and could be dangerous or not depending on the state of the olives it is produced from," Europol told McClatchy News via email.

Europol spokesperson Ina Mihaylova said lampante oil is "forbidden for direct human consumption" in Spain, "but not in other countries."

The investigation into fake "olive oil" led to police raids in Ciudad Real in Spain and Tuscany and Sicily in Italy, the release said.

Police in Spain seized about 68,680 gallons of fake "olive oil," four vehicles, about $98,500 and other paper evidence, Europol said.

Good work, Spanish police.