Virgin olive oils
This oil is obtained only from the olive, the fruit of the olive tree, using solely mechanical or other physical means in conditions, particularly thermal conditions, which do not alter the oil in any way. It has not undergone any treatment other than washing, decanting, centrifuging and filtering.
It excludes oils obtained by the use of solvents or re-esterification methods, and those mixed with oils from other sources.
It can be qualified as a natural product, and virgin olive oil can have a designation of origin when it meets the specific characteristics associated with a particular region.
Virgin olive oils can have the following designations and classifications depending on their organoleptic (taste and aroma) and analytic characteristics (the degree of acidity refers to the proportion of free fatty acids, not to the taste)
Extra Virgin olive oil
Virgin olive oil which has a free acidity, expressed as oleic acid, of not more than 0.8 grams per 100 grams (0.8%), and the other characteristics of which correspond to those fixed for this category. Extra Virgin olive oil accounts for less than 10% of oil in many producing countries. Used on salads, added at the table to soups and stews and for dipping.
Virgin olive oil
Virgin olive oil which has a free acidity, expressed as oleic acid, of not more than 2 grams per 100 grams (2.0%) and the other characteristics of which correspond to those fixed for this category in this standard.
Ordinary Virgin Olive Oil
Virgin olive oil which has a free acidity, expressed as oleic acid, of not more than 3.3 grams per 100 grams and the other characteristics of which correspond to those fixed for this category in this standard.
Ordinary oil may still be fine for frying or where flavor is not wanted or needed.
Lampante Virgin Olive oil
Virgin olive oil not fit for consumption as it is, designated lampante virgin olive oil, is virgin olive oil which has a free acidity, expressed as oleic acid, of more than 3.3 grams per 100 grams and/or the organoleptic characteristics and other characteristics of which correspond to those fixed for this category in this standard. It is intended for refining or for technical use.
Refined Olive oil
Refined olive oil is the olive oil obtained from virgin olive oils by refining methods which do not lead to alterations in the initial glyceridic structure. It has a free acidity, expressed as oleic acid, of not more than 0.3 grams per 100 grams (0.3%) and its other characteristics correspond to those fixed for this category in this standard.
This is obtained by refining virgin olive oils which have a high acidity level and/or organoleptic defects which are eliminated after refining.
Over 50% of the oil produced in the Mediterranean area is of such poor quality that it must be refined to produce an edible product.
Note that no solvents have been used to extract the oil but it has been refined with the use of charcoal and other chemical and physical filters. An obsolete equivalent is “pure olive oil”
Olive oil is the oil consisting of a blend of refined olive oil and virgin olive oils fit for consumption as they are.
It has a free acidity, expressed as oleic acid, of not more than 1 gram per 100 grams (1.0%). The cheap refined oil is mixed with a flavorful virgin oil.
Olive Pomace oil
Pomace is the ground flesh and pits after pressing. Olive-pomace oil is the oil obtained by treating olive pomace with solvents or other physical treatments, to the exclusion of oils obtained by reesterification processes and of any mixture with oils of other kinds.
Olive-pomace oil is the oil comprising the blend of refined olive-pomace oil and virgin olive oils fit for consumption as they are.
It has a free acidity of not more than 1 gram per 100 grams and its other characteristics correspond to those fixed for this category in this standard.
2/ 1n no case shall this blend be called “olive oil”. It is considered an inferior grade and is used for soap making or industrial purposes
Crude Olive-Pomace oil
Crude olive-pomace oil is olive -pomace oil whose characteristics correspond to those fixed for this category in this standard.
It is intended for refining for use for human consumption, or it is intended for technical use.
Refined Olive-Pomace oil
Refined olive -pomace oil is the oil obtained from crude olive -pomace oil by refining methods which do not lead to alterations in the initial glyceridic structure. 1t has a free acidity expressed as oleic acid, of not more than 0.3 grams per 100 grams
Olive cake is the solid phase that’s remained after pressing olives. Also called pomace or sansa.
Cold Olive Oil
According to IOOC regulations this is still considered “cold pressed”. Heating the paste excessively increases yield but degrades flavor.
Producers would lose money by attempting to extract a little more oil by overheating and degrading the flavor of the oil to the point where it would not qualify as more profitable extra virgin.
Regulation 1019 of 2002 determines the use of the term “Cold Pressed” in the EU. During Malaxation and Extraction the olive paste must be kept under 27 degrees Celsius.
After the oil is pressed out of the paste, the dry pomace (pits and flesh) is sometimes sold to refineries where steam and solvents are used to remove any residual oil. This oil is called olive pomace oil.
First press is no longer an official definition for olive oil. A century ago, oil was pressed in screw or hydraulic presses. The paste was subjected to increasingly high pressures with subsequent degradation in the flavor of the oil. Today the vast majority of oil is made in continuous centrifugal presses. There is no second pressing.
Lite or Light Olive Oil
Flavorless and often low quality (refined) oil is sold as “lite” or “light” oil for a premium price. The “light” designation refers to flavor, not caloric content, as all olive oil has the same amount of calories. There is no official definition of lite or light olive oil.
Pure olive oil
See Refined above
Blended Olive Oil
Most supermarket brands of olive oil are blended from oil from many different varieties, regions, and even countries. Because olive oil tastes differently year to year from the same grove due to weather, to create an oil that tastes the same blenders must take oil from many sources and come up with a recipe to create the same taste.
Blending some oil high in polyphenols in with one which does not will increase its shelf
life. Sometimes olive oil is blended with canola or other vegetable oils. This should be stated on the label. Illegal blending of cheaper hazelnut oil can be profitable for the unscrupulous and can be difficult to detect.
Unfiltered Olive Oil
Unfiltered oil contains small particles of olive flesh. Olive Oil aficionados claim this adds additional flavor. Unfortunately it causes a sediment to form at the bottom of the bottle which can become rancid, negatively impacting flavor and shelf life. Unfiltered oil should be carefully stored and used within 3-6 months of bottling.