The word of the month: Types of olive oil

There are many varieties and qualities of olive oil and it is not always clear how to identify them by the nomenclature or the qualities described in the labeling of the containers.
The different types of olive oil are classified according to their variety and quality, acidity, methods of extraction (physical or chemical) and sensorial characteristics (organoleptic characteristics).


The oils that we can find in the market are:

• Extra Virgin Olive Oil
• Virgin Olive Oil
• Olive oil

This classification corresponds to the four commercial categories of olive oil recognized in European Union legislation (EC Regulation 1019/2002).

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

is one that preserves all its sensory characteristics and health properties intact. It can be considered juice of olives without additives or preservatives, pure juice of fresh and healthy olives, without any aroma or flavor can distort the sensory qualities of fresh or mature olives. It must have an acidity of less than 0.8%. That is, with 0 defects.

In the process of obtaining this type of oil there has been no chemical process. For this reason, on the label of a virgin olive oil or virgin extra virgin appears the following legend: “olive oil of superior category obtained directly from olives and only by mechanical procedures“.

Virgin Olive Oil,

without the word “Extra” is still olive juice without additives or preservatives but has a sensory defect, however small. Its acidity must be less than 2%.
The main difference with the Extra Virgin, is in the degree of acidity and in the score that they obtain in sensorial analysis.

The olive oil

When the olives are damaged and / or there are problems in the process of elaboration, we will probably obtain virgin oils, current or lampante, that must be refined because they are not suitable for consumption.

In this process, all the unwanted components are eliminated, leaving, therefore, the oil almost devoid of taste, smell and color. Once refined, the ordinary virgin olive oil is called refined olive oil.
To this oil is added a certain amount of virgin olive oil and what we get is what is called olive oil. This is the oil that has traditionally been consumed in Spain and is still consumed. It is the subject of great advertising campaigns on television and the person in charge of creating in the consumer the confusion of which acidity is equal to flavor.
In fact, olive oil with an acidity of 0.4 ° is softer on the palate than that of 1 °. But the motive is another: to 0,4 º is added little virgin olive oil, while the one of 1º contains some more virgin olive and has therefore more flavor.

Now due to the criticisms received and to the new regulations the degree of acidity has disappeared from its commercial communication and has been replaced by the positioning of “soft taste / intense flavor”



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