Your Questions About Olive Oil Answered

Q: What is olive oil?

A: It is the natural juice from the olive that starts to deteriorate slowly from the time it is picked and pressed, as it ages it becomes oxidized and eventually turns “rancid”.

Q: What are the different classifications of oil?

A: Extra-virgin- is the pure juice extracted by mechanical process at low temperatures from the fruit of the olive tree. It comes from the first pressing, under conditions that do not lead to alterations in the decantation, centrifugation and filtration, to the exclusion of oils obtained using solvents, chemical or biochemical action. It must not have any mixture of oils of any kind, thereby maintaining its health and taste attributes. Rich in anti-oxidants, it is not to contain more than .8 acidity, not to exceed 20 in perosidy and when judged by an accredited panel of judges, to have a superior taste being classified as extra-virgin.

Virgin Oil– is extracted as in extra virgin but has an acidity of no more than 3.3%. There can be no refined oils in it and is usually represented as extra virgin on labels. It may be judged to have a good taste, but not having all the attributes of the extra virgin.

Olive Oil- is a blend of refined oil that have been chemically treated to neutralize strong tastes and to hide defects. It contains more than 1 % acidity, often used in canned products and sold as good olive oil, deceiving the public being that acidity is removed and flavoring often added, yet classified in the U.S. as pure olive oil, particularly in restaurants.

Pomace Oil- is oil extracted from the pomace (remains after pressing) using chemical solvents, as well as heat. It is a blend of refined olive oil and although could have some virgin oil in the blend, it can be consumed but may not be called olive oil except in the U.S., and often used in restaurants.