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

We have recently mentioned about absolutely black olives floating in a chemical solution. However despite our publications, fake black olives have not disappeared from the shelves of supermarkets. 

Colored black olives in the supermarketDyed black olives in the supermarket

So it's time to tell in detail about black olives and real black olives

First, if you do not know what is the difference between black and green olives: they are not distinct 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 farmer 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 will be green: 

When olives unripe they are green

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

Natural ripe black olives on the branch

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. 


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, has a negative effect on 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.   

By the way, it's time to answer the question of the title: How to make sure if your olives are really black?
Just look at the pit. Under normal conditions, olive pits never turn black. So if the pit is black, then your olives are colored.

Why do they dye olives? They have nothing to do?

It's simple, just two things:
1. Money today is better than money tomorrow. It’s better to sell olives right now than in two months. 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.
2. Let’s say you have 100 kg of green olives on your tree in October. Do you really think you will have 100 kg of black olives in December? Of course not. Some olives will rot on a tree, some on the ground, and some will be eaten by olive fly. Leaving them to ripen on the tree, you risk losing up to half of your yield.

Therefore, some olive producers simply harvest the entire crop in October and divide it into two parts: green and black olives.

You don't need to do anything with green olives, they are already green.

What about the black 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 gangster.   

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 in order to earn 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 progress, do you?!

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

This guy is a big fan of Coca-Cola
This kind grandpa loved Coca Cola so much that he invested 19 billion 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.

However there is also good news. Recent studies have already confirmed that the safe amount of alcohol is zero. 

Perhaps it’s time to think about what we eat? 

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