Olive Oil in India : What Type and Which Brand?

With numerous olive oil brands available out there in the Indian urban market, one might wonder which brand is good for your specific cooking – salad dressing needs as well as for the use on hair or body. Most importantly, one should know which type shouldn’t be used at all. Well, with this post and my latest 5 minutes video, let me explain what could work for you when it comes to olive oil in India.

(If you are too lazy to read, please watch the short video below)

If the video doesn’t appear on this page, please click this direct link

Types of Olive Oil

Olive oil is primarily available in the following broad categories:

  • Extra Virgin Olive oil
  • Virgin Olive oil
  • Pure Olive Oil / Refined Olive Oil
  • Blended Olive oil or Olive oil (i.e. the blend of Virgin and Refined)
  • Pomace (Avoid!!!)

The above is an incomplete list with different manufacturing processes changing the final outcome of the oil.

However, our primary interests are around THREE types of olive oils viz Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Pure Olive Oil and Pomace.

Without much delay we will shortlist it further by dropping Pomace from our list. Pomace is the type of oil that you SHOULD NOT BUY because it is one of the lowest grade oil that is treated with solvents and undergoes several stages of changes. AVOID POMACE although they are available at cheaper price tags. Many consider pomace oil worse than even your standard refined oils such as Soy or Sunflower oil.

(Premium) Extra Virgin Olive oil

Cold pressed Extra Virgin Olive oil is what one needs for raw (direct) usage types such as salad dressing or dips for your bread/dinner rolls etc. One should only go for premium extra virgin oil that is available in dark glass bottles. Never ever buy your expensive extra virgin oils that come in plastic bottles because the good traits of the olive oil are easily lost when it is exposed to harsh light and temperature.

By the way, the extra virgin olive oils are the best for your hair massage and body massage purposes as well. Just make sure that, they are slightly warmed (not heated) when used for massaging purposes. What I usually do is to heat an empty steel bowl for five to ten seconds, remove it from the flame and pour oil into it.

Pure Olive oil (Refined oil) and Virgin oil

This is the second grade of oil that’s good enough for cooking purposes. Pure olive oil is considered safe because it doesn’t undergo any treatment with solvents. These are filtered oils and hence good for generic cooking purposes.

Virgin oil is good for cooking as well but sometimes slightly more expensive for no reason.

By the way, when people talk about just ‘Olive oil’ it often means either refined olive oil or a blend of refined and virgin olive oils. i.e. Unless ‘Pomace’ is specifically mentioned in which case you have to stay away from the same.
(Note: Please note that any type of olive oil is NOT meant for deep frying or high-heat cooking purposes. By doing so, the olive oil gives up all its good reasons. For high heat cooking and deep frying, something like virgin coconut oil is the best as it holds well even at high temperatures)

Which Brands of Olive Oil in India should you Consider?

Disclosure: Please note that I have no association or business interest with any of these brands, their producers or marketers. My suggestions are purely based on my personal use of these brands.

For extra virgin olive oils, the best brands that I have used are Borges and Leonardo Gold. Make sure that you buy the premium variants that come in darkened glass bottles. Monini Classico is a good brand too. Please note that good quality premium extra virgin olive oil will cost you anywhere between 500 to 750 rupees per half litre. Your salads, soups, cooked vegetables and bread are going to be exceptionally tastier and healthier with the above mentioned extra virgin oils. There may be other brands too that I haven’t tried but I have this habit of going with tried and tested ones only.

For general cooking purposes, the extra virgin is expensive and hence not practical. Most of the pure or refined olive oil brands is good enough for generic cooking. What I mostly use is brands like Ibero, Figaro, Nature Fresh etc and these are usually available at a price range of 400 to 600 rupees per litre (Figaro is slightly more expensive and comes in metal cans)

That’s pretty much about olive oils types and brands. I hope this post is useful to the health freaks out there.

112 Replies to “Olive Oil in India : What Type and Which Brand?”

  1. i bought Ibero olive pomace oil 5 litre. Having read the quality issues of Pomace, I wont be happy using it. I shall try for a Return with the shop and switch to Olive oil.

    Is the pomace oil good for body massage, in case the dealer refuse to exchange??

    1. Pomace is okay (not the best) for body massage although not so for hair massage. In fact, it’s better to stick to extra virgin oil for both hair and head. Pomace or Pure oil may be chemically treated and hence not so good.

    2. I think we are missing virgin olive oil as it is good as extra virgin oil also it has higher smoking point so it can be used in hot indian cooking. If extra virgin is used in place it could give you burnt smell in the food.

      Pure virgin (refined(90%) + virgin(10%))is slightly misleading, it doesn’t have essentials in it as refined olive oil mostly.

      1. I have delmonte extra virgin olive oil, can I use it for body massage. I found only this one in my city,but it was available only in plastic bottle, guide me that it is helpful for skin…Thank u.

        1. For massage, it should be fine. For direct consumption (on salads etc), it’s better to buy Extra virgin that comes in dark glass bottles and kept away from light sources. EV oil that’s kept in plastic bottles oxidizes due to light.

  2. I think if olive oil then why not an Indian Brand, currently i m using Oleev – extra virgin olive oil as an edible oil and this is a good product. I totally agree to the fact that these are the Imported brands and as far as i know western organization give as not the best quality, so using oleev. If at all in a problem will deal with them.

    1. why not? it’s the best oil for hair massage. massage it on ur scalp before going to bed and left overnight. wash it away with a mild shampoo(pantene). Do the same at least for 1month and feel the difference. Figaro obviously the best.

  3. can I apply ibero 100%pure olive oil for hair.its written on the bottle for cookng,fryng,nd massage,so is it good for hair,pls reply nd if nt,pls tell whch brand olive oil is good for hair

    1. More than the brand, please use any Pure or Virgin olive oil for regular Indian cooking. Do not waste money on extra virgin olive oil wherever any heating is involved.

      As for the brand, anything like Figaro, Ibero, Nature Fresh or most such popular brands seen in supermarket racks will help.

      1. I would like to break you on the information and extra virgin and extra light are not for deep frying they are more like fruit juices. I have tried Oleev Pomace oil for deep frying and found it better then other oils.

  4. Hello sir
    Today I read about olive oil on your website. Actually I was finding a way
    to select the olive oil for cooking purpose. We are using pomace olive oil
    with following composition : 85% pomace refined olive oil and 15 % extra
    virgin olive oil. Is it ok to use this olive oil? Please suggest which
    olive oil we should use for cooking vegetables with composition.

  5. Olive Oil is NOT suitable for Indians. If you understand evolutionary biology and medicine, humans(genotype) and its food have co-evolved over time.
    eg.Buffalo Mozarella in Pizzas is harmless for Europeans who have lived mostly in cold environments relying on meat & cheese, but the same would cause high morbidity in Indians even with lesser obesity.
    As a general rule,food which cant be grown in your local environment is hazardous.
    Also, major international brands are adulterated.
    Besides, international transport of food causes environmental damage.Eat local.

    The fad in India of Olive Oil is mainly a result of EU advertising aimed at generating income for an economy which is sinking. Greece,Spain & Italy(major Olive Oil producers) are the worst economies.The Petrodollar is dying and EU is about to break up. This will cause depression & civil war in Europe.

    Olive Oil is inferior to Coconut Oil and Sesame oil in health benefits.

    1. Agree that Coconut oil (best for deep frying) and Sesame oil have certain health benefits but it doesn’t mean that Olive oil is bad. The extra virgin oil has proven health benefits as per research from even non-olive oil producing countries.

    2. Right Said My friend. We have been using coconut oil for ages and is staple oil. Still ppl live in kerala. Health issues started to creep in due to urbanization.. processed food.. refrigirated and reheated fast food. Its only a trick to revive dying economy.

    3. Even I read this before from many research areas that most of the foods that can be grown in local are suitable for the health of people in that areas. this is nature!

    1. Pomace is made from the left over pulp, seeds and skin after pressing out good quality extra virgin oil once or twice. Since this left over oil cannot be extracted via mechanical pressing, they use solvent extraction process using chemical solvents such as Hexane. It also involves heating of oil and then cooling during which the oil would have lost all its goodness. In short, instead of using Pomace, one could as well use cheaper oils that are used for typical Indian cooking and they are way better.

  6. Hi,

    Can you suggest what type of oil needs to be used for Deep Frying. Can we use Canola Oil for deep frying instead of coconut or Sunflower oil? I assume Pomace as per your suggestions should be avoided.Also Extra Virgin and Pure Olive oil are not recommended for deep frying.

  7. I like your post ….that really help me out to choose a better brand for specific purpose…i want to know Is Figaro is genuine olive oil extracted …and is it good for hair too…

      1. Dear Ajith,
        Firstly, kudos to you that you are maintaining your blog properly and making sure you answer everyone!
        Regarding Figaro olive oil; Ingredients (refined+virgin)olive oil, I’m using it for over 2 years and I always purchase 5 ltrs in metal container.
        My cholesterol was little high over last few years. I think it has helped me maintaining good cholestrol, but has not done much about bad cholestrol or trigs… Well, such details should not be discussed here, but do you have any other recommendations of using other olive oil brand/type?
        Our cooking style is regular Indian style cooking.. We don’t deep fry things in olive oil.. Nor use extra virgin oil for dressings..

  8. Purchased in the Supermarket Extra Virginia Olive oil in a plastic container. Is it good for to decrease the Cholesterol. Expecting you reply, because it cannot be return back since purchased from Supermarket. Thank you.

  9. Thanks for the information
    Unfortunately I brought 2 bottles (1 Liter each)Pomace olive oil just now. Instead of cumbersome procedure of returning them, I will use it for the last time and finish it.

    1. Is Figaro olive oil suitable for general cooking like poha and all or normal vegetable cooking loki aloo nd all ?

      If not what oil should use my father has bp problem excess weight

  10. I have bought borges olive oil classic. It is not written on it weather it is extra virgin, pomace or any other quality. Can i use it on my hairs?

  11. Dear Ajit,
    thanks for providing the detailed info on olivy oil types and usages. However I have still confused on one thing. You say that for Indian cooking we can use Virgin/Pure olive oil. However most of the Indian cooking is generally high heat cooking (not talking about deep frying) in which these oils may not be useful. Please clarify on the same.
    Thanks in advance for the help.

    1. Gaurav, you are right! For deep frying, oils with high smoke points are the best. Sunflower oil, Canola oil, Peanut oil, Mustard oil, Safflower oil – all of them that we typically use regionally in India. When I say, pure/virgin olive for ‘regular’ cooking it means, sauteing, stir frying type of cooking. And the advantage here is less saturated and trans-fats that get into your body. However, any oil for that matter, if you see the smoke while cooking, probably you are stretching it beyond it smoke point and the oil has started breaking down which is not good!

  12. Ajit honestly speaking I love to spend my money on best of the

    foods reasons well known to all.Health is WEALTH!

    Happy to read invaluable info on extra virgin oil.We have been

    using it since last 20 years when it was not available in India.

    you enhanced our information.One celebrity chef said yesterday

    that EVO oil has impurities so it shld b heated before cooking

    Well I cook my veggies without oil and pour oil liberally after putting off the flame like we drizzle it on salads.

    kindly guide!

    1. Well, as a veteran user of EVO, you must be knowing a lot more 🙂 I have no clue whether the oil contains impurities that it has to be heated. If that was the case, why wouldn’t they remove the impurities after cold pressing the same? Heating may remove impurities but any good qualities of the oil as well, I would presume!

  13. I am a first time buyer of Olive oil. I just bought – Gaia Extra light for cooking and Gaia extra virgin for salad dressing. But now I am confused. I have option to return it. Should I get an exchange to Leonardo olive oil or Gaia is equally good. Please suggest.

  14. Hi, I bought Farrell extra virgin oil. Is the quality of this brand good? Also can I use itfor my hair/face/body? Appreciate if you could guide me.

    1. I think Farrell is a good brand for massaging. If you stick to what I mentioned here (not the brands, but how it’s packaged in dark glass bottles and not very old in terms of date of packaging/manufacturing) there may be more benefits.

  15. As per my nutritionist suggestion I need to switch to olive oil and she is suggesting me to go for the brand
    Borge’s.
    Can you please suggest if it’s ok to opt for 5 litre pack of olive oil. This will be primarily used for Cooking Indian dishes. I read some where that’s it’s always best to go for smaller pack.

    1. If your consumption is less, it’s better to go for smaller bottles. It’s not advisable to store it for longer. Most of those discount sales (1L for 1L) you see online and otherwise, is to dispose older stock. They never advertise the production date or date of packaging.

  16. Hi. You mentioned buying extra virgin olive oil only the ones stored in dark glass bottles.I’m not sure if the one I found is dark enough, so can you tell me what you think of it:

    (Link removed)

    Should I buy it, or should I look for a darker bottle?

    this one looks darker and is also organic:

    (Link removed)

  17. Hi, Can I use extra virgin oil for hair? Is there a different extra virgin oil meant for hair & cooking or is it meant for both purpose ?

  18. I bought seiga extra virgin oil, it was in a plastic bottle. Is it bad quality, because it cheaper. I should have borges but its price was the exact double.

  19. I have very dry skin extreamly dry skin
    Somebody suggested me go use extra virgin olive oil on facial skin .
    Which barand of extra virgin olive oil is good for d facial skin?

  20. Thanks ajith, one peculiar thing I noted in olive oil thts 100 percent cold pressed, if you take a teaspoonful in morning, blood sugar reduced drastically, I don’t know why, people with low blood glocuse, please avoid,
    its natural diab 2 reducer.

  21. Now I am using borges extra virgin olive oil for all types of cooking even deep fry.. can I use it ..I have no problem of price tag.

    Or if refer me what should I use for deep fry .like extra light olive oil or safolla gold

    1. You can use extra virgin for cooking, stir frying etc but NOT for deep frying. It won’t add any value. Coconut oil, Sunflower oil, Canola oil, Peanut oil, Mustard oil, Safflower oil – all of them are good for deep frying as they have high smoke point.

      1. I hve bought delmonte extra light olive oil.
        But iam confused .what is the difference between extra light olive oil and extra virgin olive oil.
        Can i use extra light olive oil for all purpose cooking except frying.
        Or else i should go for extra virgin olive oil as there’s not much price difference.

        1. The Extra Light Olive Oil is the same Oil than Pure Olive Oil which it is a blend of Refined Olive Oil and Extra Virgin but the main difference is that in the proccess of deodorization and decoloration are more severe so that it is that the taste and the colour is lighter. I work for a big Olive Oil company in Spain so I have seen the proccess by myself.

  22. Any recommendations on what should be used for baby massage? We use Figaro but as per your analysis above it looks like we should use Borges Extra Virgin?

    1. Go for any extra virgin oil that comes in dark green bottles. Borges, Leonardo etc are good. By the way, it’s not recommended to use olive oil on babies from day one. You may want to use it after a few weeks, as per my reading.

  23. Hi Ajit,

    we are using the mustard oil and now wanted to switch to olive oil.So which one is the best olive oil for cooking.

    1. For deep frying, please stick to your Mustard Oil. For salads, pasta, light stir frying etc, you may use extra virgin oil. For regular cooking, use any Pure or Virgin olive oil brand (Don’t use Extra virgin for regular cooking).

  24. Can I use extra virgin olive oil like (Borges or leonardo gold) for both: Salads as well as hair massage?
    or Figaro olive oil for hair massage?
    please suggest.

  25. Very educative and eye opener. Seiga. Brand extra Virginia is selling at 650 per litreOlive oil . Will it be pure
    SHRI

  26. I want to use olive oil for hair but i m liitle confused wheather there is a any diff between figaro olive oil and gaia extra light olive oil for healthy cooking . And also i can use olive oil in hair if it for cooking purpose

  27. Applying any oil for hair does not do any good. It is scientifically proven that applying oil to increase growth, thickness, reduce early balding or whitening is a myth and a marketing gimmick. Don’t waste expensive Olive oil on applying to hair. Body massage with oil including to head will increase blood circulation and absorption into body. This is OK. But regular application of oil to hair for cosmetic purposes does no good except greasing the cloths and needing extra shampoo to clean. Edible oil draining in sewerage is an environment pollutant under Pollution Control norms.

  28. Thanks for giving us the information about the olive oil. But I have some queries regarding olive oil. I want to know that for cooking vegetables should I use extra virgin or virgin olive oil. And another thing is that you told us to buy dark coloured glass bottles of olive oil but olive oils are available mostly in plastic bottles

    1. Any high heat cooking, deep frying etc shouldn’t use Extra virgin. It’s meant for salad dressing or quick stir frying etc. You can use Pure or Virgin olive oil for regular cooking.

      Good quality extra virgin olive oil is available in dark colored bottles. Brands like Leonardo, Borges etc. Some brands like Figaro are available in metal tins.

  29. I am using Figaro and Leonardo extra virgin in darkened glass bottles for Dosa, Chutney powder, Upma, Powa,etc. Is it OK and for garnishing. Is it OK. Your advice will go a long way for my healthcare as I have undergone Bypass surgery for heart.

  30. Thanks for sharing this useful information.
    i want to use raw olive oil for direct consumption for cleaning bowls and treating constipation,for that purpose i bought extra virgin oil of DiSano brand,but it is in plastic bottel.can i use it or should i change the brand?

    1. Ajay, I haven’t used DiSano yet. Olive oil stored in plastic bottles are said to oxidize faster than the one stored in SS or dark glass bottles. Having said that, if you get a batch of recently produced (Date of Production) oil, it wouldn’t make a lot of difference. Usually, what we get in department / online stores is several months old oil and hence dark glass bottle is always the best option.

  31. I am using borges olive oil – extra light which is in plastic bottle for daily general cooking.I would like to whether it is the right brand for daily cooking? Also please suggest ny indian brand…

      1. hii..i bought disano olive oil{aceite de oliva} 5ooml in plastic container.ingredients are refined oil{85%}and extra virgin olive oil{15%}.in that bottle it is for frying sauteing and grilling .so my doubt is can i use this olive for hair and body massage.because i bought because of this reason only.

  32. Hi,

    I would like to know whether Olive Refined oil purchased from market is good in comparision to Mustard oil and sesame oil purchased from Village. Mustard oil/Sesame Oil from Village does not go through chemical process and are pure in every respect. So PLease suggest which is best for Cooking and deep Frying among the 3. Waiting for your reply, Thanks Maneesh

  33. i need to know which type & brand of olive oil is best for hair and even also for skin under normal price, as i am student thats why its also necessary to kept my pockey money budget.
    Thanks Regars,
    Debjeet.

  34. Plz guide me for olive oils ..which is d best for ppl hvng high cholesterol levls & can we use in our daily use … in parathas & deep frying etc

    1. First, as the post and video says, don’t use Olive oil for deep frying. Use whatever oil you have been using in your region in India – be it Coconut oil, Mustard, Sunflower whatever. For stir frying, making regular curries etc you can use Virgin Olive oil or even Pure Olive oil. For cold usages (salads, chutneys, topping any other dish), please use Extra Virgin Olive oil (EVOO) typically bottled as mentioned here.

  35. Respected sir
    I have purchased seiga 500ml extra virgin olive oil in pet bottle no glass bottle ( first cold pressed ) . This is branded or not.this is original or not. Can I use as hair oil. Please answer soon

  36. I want to purchase for business purpose. Please send rock bottom prices of different kinds and packs also how can we get near Delhi.

  37. Can you please suggest which type of Olive Oil is best for consumption for health purposes …. and which brands are best for it ??

    1. Roy, any premium brand Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) that comes in glass bottles is good for salad dressing, pasta making, chutney making, stir frying purposes… Brands like Leonardo, Borges, Monini, Figaro all are good. Please note that EVOO is not meant for deep frying. Please watch the video completely to understand the difference between oils.

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