Do you have issues to differentiate the olive oil grades present in the market. This discussion is intended to clarify the different olive oil grades available for the end consumers.
Basically, when the olives are carried to the refineries, and the olive oil is extracted, it has to be sent to the laboratory to pass an inspection conducted by experts designated by the International Olive Council.
In the lab, the highest quality olive oil with free acidity, expressed as oleic acid, of not more than 0.8 grams per 100 grams is granted with the name “Extra Virgin Olive Oil”. The olive oil not qualifying for direct human consumption (because of higher acidity and other impurities) is refined, and after it is refined they mix it with extra virgin olive oil, calling this blend just “OLIVE OIL”.
The best quality is always “Extra Virgin Olive oil”, but this doesn’t mean just “Olive oil” is not a good and tasty oil.
Therefore, the three main marketable olive oils commonly allowed to be sold in supermarkets for direct human consumption are:
Extra Virgin Olive Oil: oils obtained from the fruit of the olive tree solely by mechanical or other physical means under conditions, particularly thermal conditions, that do not lead to alterations in the oil, and which have not undergone any treatment other than washing, decantation, centrifugation and filtration. It has a free acidity, expressed as oleic acid, of not more than 0.8 grams per 100 grams.
Olive oil: is the oil consisting of a blend of refined olive oil and virgin olive oils fit for consumption. It has a free acidity, expressed as oleic acid, of not more than 1 gram per 100 grams.
Olive pomace oil: is the oil comprising the blend of refined olive pomace oil and virgin olive oils. It has a free acidity of not more than 1 gram per 100 grams.
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