The main differences that exist between the large number of types of olive oil are related to the way it is extracted from the fruit and the treatment that the oil receives once extracted.
Once the oil is cataloged according to its type, we find a multitude of qualities that depend on the treatment of the fruit on the tree, the way of harvesting, the time that elapses from the harvest to the mill (The place where the extraction is carried out), the storage, if any,the packaging and any small detail in the chain of the process that elapses from the birth of the fruit until the oil reaches our table.
According to the rigorous European and Spanish.regulations,“Extra Virgin Olive Oil” is considered to be the highest quality. Below we list the types of olive oil according to their quality.
It is the highest quality olive oil. It is mainly characterized, according to the regulations, because the extraction method is exclusively by mechanical methods without involving chemical or calorific processes. It also has to meet with an acidity level that is equal to or less than 0.8%.
The acidity is obtained by analysis in authorized laboratories and is directly related to the amount of free fatty acids in the oil, this amount depends on the optimal state at the time of harvesting the fruit, the time that has passed from the harvest to the extraction of the oil, if the olive has been collected in the ground or if it has led to any fermentation before the extraction of the oil.
Therefore we will say that “THE LOWER THE ACIDITY, THE HIGHER THE QUALITY OF THE OIL”.
In addition to acidity there are also other parameters that give olive oil the denomination of “Extra Virgin Olive Oil”. These parameters are the peroxide index, the K270 index and the presence of waxes among others.
When buying olive oil always demand that it be “Extra Virgin Olive Oil”
Virgin olive oil is extracted from the fruit in the same way as extra virgin olive oil with the difference that its acidity can be above 0.8% up to a maximum of 2%. This is mainly due to the poorer state of the fruit at the time of oil extraction.
However, it may be the case that this oil meets the acidity or other parameters required for extra virgin olive oil and yet does not obtain its qualification due to organoleptic analysis by tastings or experts.
Therefore we must say that virgin olive oil can present defects in its smell or taste. However, it does not mean that it is an oil not suitable for consumption, and is able to be used for direct consumption without any fear since it is still juice directly from the fruit of the tree, although the quality of the fruit was not in its optimal state to achieve the cataloging of “Extra Virgin Olive Oil”.
This oil is characterized by a milder taste and a lower content of antioxidants beneficial to health.
This oil is of inferior quality, it has an acidity greater than 2% and is not suitable for human consumption. This oil is usually refined or intended for industrial uses.
In addition to the above categories we can also find other types of olive oil such as refined olive oil, blended olive oil or olive pomace oil among others, but we will not include it in this section since they are not virgin olive oils and are not marketed by our brands.
UNIQUE AND LITTLE-KNOWN COMPONENTS OF EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL.
The professor of Internal Medicine at the University of Córdoba, Francisco Pérez, declared at the First Congress on the Culture of the Olive Tree, held in Jaén “that it is essential to investigate extra virgin olive oil because it is a product that from the point of view of its composition has many “little known”components.
According to Francisco Pérez Jiménez of the Lipids and Arteriosclerosis Unit of the Reina Sofía Hospital in Córdoba, only one tenth of the benefits of extra virgin olive oil are known. So far, the advantages of olive oil to reduce cholesterol, prevent cardiovascular diseases or others such as cancer or diabetes are recognized.. Its high antioxidant power has also been demonstrated along with its contribution to prevent the recurrence of myocardial attacks. However, in order to continue advancing this knowledge, research and resources are needed. The latter focus, above all, on the advantages provided by the unique components of extra virgin olive oil.
It is for this reason, you should consume extra virgin olive oil and not simply olive oil. When we buy a bottle where only the word “Olive Oil” appears, we are buying refined olive oil, to which a little extra virgin has been added to give it flavor.
When refining extra virgin olive oil, all the components that make it unique compared to any other type of oil are lost. Components that cannot be added artificially. Even enriched vegetable oils are far from reaching the natural composition of extra virgin olive oil.
Therefore always keep in mind when buying olive oil that it is “EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL”
… and remember OLIVE OIL is not the same as EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL