Herbs are about the only thing I can grow that aren’t eaten by birds, possums and skinks.
Seven of the 12 dried oregano samples sampled by Choice Australia contained other ingredients, including olive and sumac leaves.
Last year a study reported that 25% of dried oregano samples in the UK were adulterated. Concerned that Australian consumers might be affected by the same issue, CHOICE decided to carry out a spot check on the authenticity of oregano being sold here. We bought a selection of dried oregano products from supermarkets, grocers and delis in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth – 12 different brands in total – and had a single sample of each product analysed.
Shockingly, the results of a unique screening test for oregano adulteration showed that of the 12 samples, only five were 100% oregano. The other seven – from brands Master of Spices, Hoyt’s, Stonemill (Aldi), Spice & Co, Menora, Spencers and G Fresh – contained ingredients other than oregano, including olive leaves (in all seven samples) and sumac leaves (in two samples). Ingredients other than oregano made up between 50% and 90% of the adulterated samples.
It’s important to note that we tested just one sample of a single batch from each brand, so the results aren’t necessarily representative of each of those individual brands and companies’ whole range of oregano products.