The report by Which? magazine concluded that the most expensive extra virgin olive oil is simply not worth the money.
The test was carried out by a panel of three olive oil experts who value four parameters: aroma, balance, complexity and taste.
The panel of experts carried out a series of blind taste tests on a total of 12 extra virgin olive oils produced by big brands and High Street supermarket chains.
The Italian oil producer Napolina ranked highest on the judges’ final results and proved to be more popular than leading brands Bertolli and Filippo Berio.
The label on the Napolina Special Selection oil, which costs £5.69 for a 500ml bottle, says it is made from the highest quality olives. But Which? experts preferred Napolina’s standard extra virgin olive oil, which cost £3.79 for 500ml.
Aldi’s olive oil was the cheapest product on test – along with Lidl’s – at £2.25 for 750ml but despite its low price it was rated the second-best olive oil behind Napolina with a score of 60 per cent.
Expert panel was not impressed with the olive oils from Tesco and Marks & Spencer. Tesco’s oil was too bitter, with one expert identifying flavours that were “dusty” and “like a mouldy piece of bread”
Consumption of olive oil in the UK has increased steadily over the past 20 years and half of homes now use it, compared with 35 per cent in 2001.
Britons consume 28million litres a year and annual sales are at record levels, topping £150million a year.
The Which? Magazine Olive Oil Rankings 2011
1. Napolina (Standard) £3.79 67%
2. Aldi Evoo £2.25* 60%
3. Bertolli Originale £3.69 58%
4. Morrisons £1.84 56%
5. C0-operative £2.29 56%
6. Asda £1.84 52%
7. Filippo Berio £2.98 51%
8. Lidl Primadonna £2.25* 48%
9. Waitrose £2.48 45%
10. Sainsbury’s £1.99 45%
11. Marks & Spencer £2.79 41%
12. Tesco £1.84 38%