Stiftung Warentest: cheap sunflower oil good

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In a study, consumer advocates from Stiftung Warentest compared refined and cold-pressed sunflower oils. As so often, the conclusion of the comparison was: "Expensive does not always mean better".

The consumer initiative Stiftung Warentest tested the quality of sunflower oils from different manufacturers. It turned out that the price does not always provide information about the properties of the oils. The result showed that "high-quality sunflower oil must still be organic at high cost". For the study, the experts examined a total of 16 refined and 12 cold-pressed sunflower oils. 13 of the products bore the organic label.

According to test results, a sunflower oil rated "good" cost 1.49 euros. The same amount, but much more expensive, was an organic sunflower oil with the rating "Inadequate" for 8.50 euros. The prices of the oils ranged from 1.49 to 9.60 euros per liter.

Manufacturing defects in some organic oils
The consumer testers found manufacturing defects, especially in the cold-pressed organic oils. "A good oil must have a nutty and pithy aroma," said the testers. However, five of the sunflower oils tested had a "slightly peeled to moldy taste" or there was a "burnt taste and smell". All refined oils, however, were contaminated with pollutants. These can arise in the refining process.

Another focus was on the vitamin E supply of the oils. Here, many oils were rated "good" or "satisfactory". Accordingly, 13 out of 28 oils were good or satisfactory, one oil was just "sufficient" and another sunflower seed oil was rated "poor" in this category.

Only six oils had good frying properties
Every fourth edible oil that is sold in Germany is a sunflower oil. Although most consumers use sunflower oil for frying, according to the Stiftung Warentest, only six oils showed good properties for frying. All results will be published in the November issue of Test magazine. (sb)

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