6 Types of Olive Oils – including that special “extra”
Olive oil is a food ideal to emphasize a healthy, balanced diet and lifestyle. Apart from the fact that people are sometimes unaware of what they are buying and consuming under different categories of “olive oil”, one of the main challenges upon purchasing the ‘liquid gold’ is that one rarely reads the declarations. We are here to help.
Do we know which category of olive oil are we buying?
If you ever wondered about the formula known to olive oil connoisseurs, it is not a secret or an intricate process. When buying olive oils, usually some pay attention to the price, while others to the color. However, the color has nothing to do with quality and category, but with the variety of olive oils.
Considering different categories of olive oils, price is an important factor and it showcases the olive value. You end up paying for the oil category, believing the contents of the bottle match the content displayed on the label.
Let us go back to recognizing olive oil categories. The first step is paying attention to the declaration and the label (a label that sometimes catches our interest with design). Apart from not being read, the declaration also tends to be incorrect, and might not correspond to the contents of the bottle.
Bottled oil is usually declared under “extra” category, which is the best, but sometimes the oil in the bottle does not belong to the mentioned categorization.
The olive categories are determined by physicochemical and sensory analysis. To avoid such misconceptions, we offer a brief overview and a tutorial on the categorization of olive oils and the types that you may meet on the shelf, so that you may effortlessly find your way while shopping and selecting your personal favorite oil for cooking and use.
Olive oil is a matter of a personal taste, so we will leave the type, olive variety, olive oil region, and the brand of preference to you. Enjoy browsing a plentiful offering and try selecting your top 10 favorites.
Extra-virgin, virgine, refined Olive oil… which is the best?
1. Virgin olive oil
a) Extra virgin olive oil is an oil obtained directly from the olive fruit exclusively by mechanical means, containing a maximum of 0.8 grams of free fatty acids expressed as oleic acid per 100 grams of oil. It’s used mostly for seasoning and salads.
b) Virgin olive oil is an oil obtained directly from the olive fruit exclusively by mechanical means, containing a maximum of 2 grams of free fatty acids expressed as oleic acid per 100 grams of oil. Its primary usage is for cooking, baking and, you guessed it, salads.
c) Lampante olive oil is a virgin olive oil of unacceptable sensory properties, containing more than 2 grams of free fatty acids expressed as oleic acid per 100 grams.
2. Refined olive oil is an oil obtained by refining virgin olive oil, which does not contain more than 0.3 grams of free fatty acids expressed as oleic acid per 100 grams of oil. It’s your cooking only olive oil.
3. Olive oil composed of refined olive oils and virgin olive oils is an oil obtained by mixing refined olive oil and virgin olive oils other than lampante olive oil, which does not contain more than 1 gram of free fatty acids expressed as oleic acid per 100 grams of oil.
4. Crude olive pomace oil is oil obtained by processing olive pomace by mechanical processes and / or extraction of olive pomace with organic solvents, without refining and re-esterification and without mixing with oils of other types.
5. Refined olive pomace oil is an oil obtained by refining crude olive pomace oil, which does not contain more than 0.3 grams of free fatty acids expressed as oleic acid per 100 grams of oil.
6. Olive pomace oil is an oil obtained by mixing refined olive pomace oil and virgin olive oils other than lampante olive oil, which does not contain more than 1 gram of free fatty acids expressed as oleic acid per 100 grams of oil. This one’s not for eating, except for high heat cooking. It’s mostly used for cleaning purposes.
Preferred category “extra”
From the above categories, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Virgin Olive Oil, Olive Oil composed of refined olive oils and virgin olive oils along with Olive pomace Oil are available to the consumer.
The most sought-after types among consumers are Extra Virgin Olive Oils, which are also the most common among producers. They often pride themselves on varietal oils, specific by its own characteristics and special in its own way.
Extra virgin olive oil is obtained directly from the olive fruit, the fresh fruit being subjected exclusively to mechanical or other physical processes, under conditions which do not lead to a change in the constituents of the oil.
Carefully selected healthy olives are first grinded and then the oil is extracted from the olive dough by pressing or centrifuging. An indicator of the quality of extra virgin olive oil once discovered is never to be forgotten. The ‘it factor’ lays in its spicy and bitter taste that slightly stings and burns when consumed, as well as its aroma reminiscent of partially ripe fruits and vegetables or freshly cut grass.
Why Declarations matter
Extra virgin olive oil is not just recognizable by its unique taste but it is also an important part of a varied diet. If you wondered what gives an incredible value to your cooking and wellbeing, it is the richness of chlorophyll, lecithin (a natural antioxidant that stimulates the metabolism of fats, sugars, and proteins), carotene, polyphenols (antioxidants), and essential vitamins A, D and K, and vitamin E – Ideal synergy that guarantees both perfect aftertaste and perfect health. All the more reason to use it every day and enjoy it without guilt.
When buying olive oil, read the declarations, labels. In the following articles on the subject, we promise to further explore the world of olive oils and teach you how to taste and recognize the extra virgin olive oil, the best olive oil in every category. Until then don’t forget to stock up on some “liquid gold” from our selection.