Black or Black: How to Tell If Your Olives Are Really Black?

Perhaps you have ever seen perfectly black olives floating in a chemical solution, and you may have been suspected that they are fake, dyed black olives. And most likely you are right. 

Also, perhaps you know, that black and green olives are not different olive varieties. Black olives grow on the same tree as green olives, and not only on the same tree but even on the same branch. It is the producer who decides whether they should be black or green, simply by determining the time of harvest. 

If the olives are harvested in September or October, they are green

Green olives Istrian Belica

If the farmer decides to wait a few months, the olives will be black: 

Ripen black olives Arbequina



What? Are these olives not black enough for you?

That’s right, it’s just because these are real, naturally ripe black olives. They will not become blacker, at least while they are on a tree.

Let’s go back to the can of black olives we saw in the supermarket. What are they?

These are green olives harvested from a tree in October and dyed with iron gluconate, ferrous gluconate, or ferrous sulfate. 

Chemical formula of iron gluconate.

Iron gluconate - toxic dye that turns green olives into black.Meet our hero: Iron Gluconate C12H24FeO14. 

It’s a toxic substance, gray-brown in powder or granules and black in compound.   

It corrodes the gastric mucosa, hurts the heart and blood, in some cases causes nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, as well as headache, chills, convulsions, and even coma.     

Well, falling into a coma will only work in case of a severe overdose. So you can safely eat a jar of dyed black olives and most likely you will not die.   

How to Make Sure Your Olives Are Really Black? 

Detecting whether black olives are artificially dyed can be challenging because the dye used is typically very difficult to spot just by looking at the olives. However, there are some more methods you can use to get an idea of whether black olives have been artificially colored: 

1. Check the ingredient label: The easiest way to determine if black olives have been artificially dyed is to check the ingredient label on the packaging. If any artificial colorings or additives are listed, it’s a clear indication that these olives are dyed. 

2. Look for signs of inconsistency: Natural black olives can have variations in color, including shades of dark brown or purple. If all the olives in the container appear to be a perfectly uniform black color, it could be a sign that the olives have been dyed.

3. Inspect the liquid: The liquid in the container of olives may provide some clues. If the liquid is unusually dark or has a strong color that doesn’t match the appearance of the olives, it might suggest artificial dye has been used. 

4. Look at the pit: Under normal conditions, olive pits never turn black. So if the pit is black, then your olives are dyed. The only exception is sun-dried black olives Thassos Throumpa from the Greek island of Thassos. 

5. Taste and texture: While this method is less reliable, natural black olives tend to have a more complex and less uniform flavor compared to artificially dyed ones. Additionally, the texture of naturally ripe olives may be slightly different from those that have been artificially treated. 

6. Research the brand: If you suspect that a particular brand has a history of using artificial dyes, you can research online or read customer reviews to see if there are any reports or claims about their olives being artificially colored. 

Why Do They Dye Olives? 

It’s simple, artificially turning green olives black is a common practice in the food industry for several reasons: 

1. Money today is better than money tomorrow. Natural ripening can take several months so it’s better to sell olives right now than later. Every day of growing olives is a cost. Therefore, it is better to stop spending money as early as possible, especially if these expenses do not increase profits. Artificially coloring green olives allows producers to have a consistent supply of black olives year-round, rather than waiting for the natural ripening process to occur.  

2. Imagine you are a farmer who have 100 kg of green olives on your tree in October. Do you think you will have 100 kg of black olives in December? Of course, you will not. Some olives will rot on a tree or on the ground, and some will be spoiled by olive flies. Leaving them to ripen on the tree, you risk losing up to half of your yield. 

3. Preservative benefits: Some artificial dyes used to turn olives black may also act as preservatives, helping extend the shelf life of the product. 

4. Market demand: There is a high demand for black olives in the food industry, and consumers often prefer the appearance of black olives. By using artificial methods to turn green olives black, producers can meet this demand more efficiently. Artificial dyeing ensures a uniform black color across all olives in a batch. Natural ripening can result in variations in color, which may not be desirable for some consumers or food manufacturers who want a consistent product. Yes, it sounds crazy, but we are the ones asking manufacturers to deceive and poison us just because we don’t bother trying to figure out how things actually work. 

So many olive producers simply harvest the entire crop in October and divide it into two parts: green olives and green olives that turn black once they’re jarred. You don’t need to do anything with green olives, they are already green. As for the second part of the olives (which are still green), just add some iron gluconate and they will become perfectly black and very shiny, like the patent leather shoes of 1930s Chicago gangsters.   

This is what black olives dyed with iron gluconate look like

The wonder of chemistry will always help smart guys, who are ready to feed us with any rubbish to earn an extra couple of coins. 

Why isn’t it forbidden? Because we live in an age of scientific and technological progress. You don’t want to stop the progress, do you?!

The industry can afford to buy scientists and officials with entire laboratories and prefectures. Only this can explain so many chips, cola, refined oils, and other junk foods available to all feeble-minded and semi-literate people in any supermarket. 

Do You Want Real Examples? Here They Are: 

Trans Fats: Trans fats, often found in partially hydrogenated oils, are widely used in processed foods to improve shelf life. Trans fats have been linked to an increased risk of heart disease. This is an absolutely official scientific fact, but you can still find this crap in a huge number of restaurants and supermarkets.

High-Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS): HFCS is a sweetener used in various processed foods and sugary beverages.Everyone already knows that consumption of added sugars, including HFCS, has been associated with obesity and other health issues. Have you heard anything about the corn syrup ban?

Artificial Sweeteners: Many studies have raised concerns about the long-term health effects of artificial sweeteners like aspartame and saccharin. However, regulatory agencies such as the FDA have determined that these sweeteners are safe for consumption within established limits. How do you imagine the average consumer adhering to these limits? No one follows them or even knows about them until pancreatitis or cirrhosis begins the countdown.

Sodium Nitrite/Nitrate: These additives are commonly used in processed meats such as bacon and hot dogs as preservatives and artificial colors. Consumption off such foods has been associated with an increased risk of certain cancers. So what? give up profits because of such trifles? No way!

Monosodium Glutamate (MSG): MSG is a flavor enhancer used in many processed foods. Short-term effect: headaches, nausea, vomiting. Long-term effects have not yet been studied. So monosodium glutamate is recognized as safe by regulatory authorities. When in 30 years our children begin to die from eating this shit, officials will recommend limiting its consumption. 

This guy is a big fan of Coca-Cola
This man loved coca-cola so much that he invested billions in it. And now we all believe that he lives so happily ever after solely due to the daily intake of 5 cans of this wonderful drink. 

Of course they use chemical preservatives not to intentionally make food unhealthy or dangerous but to extend the shelf life of food products. Why extend the shelf life? To make transport and warehouse logistics cheaper. 

They use flavor enhancers like monosodium glutamate “to enhance the flavor of food products” Why?! Have you ever thought about improving the taste of fresh apple or avocado? Nature hasn’t given us enough taste?! 

They use color additives “to make food more visually appealing”. It would be interesting to see what this thing looked like before improving its appearance. It hardly resembled natural food in any way. Otherwise, what idiots we have to be to try to improve the visual appeal of what nature has created! 

They use emulsifiers “to modify the texture and consistency of foods”.
No comments. 

What about the officials? Regulatory agencies, such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States and similar organizations worldwide, establish guidelines and monitor the use of food additives to ensure they are safe for consumption. 

Do you know what that means? You must trust the authorities and never even allow the thought that you are now dying of cancer because you have been eating poison for the last 40 years. Maybe right now it’s worth thinking about what’s going on? 

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