Grading Olive Oil
A wide range of tests are carried out to determine Levels of: peroxide, sterols, polyhydric phenol, tocopherol, tryglicerides as well as oleic acid. Oleic acid has an especially important role in the identification of olive oil. In fact, for an olive oil to be classified as extra virgin, EU regulation stipulates that the oleic acid level must not exceed 0.8%. A panel of experts evaluates a sample of each oil in terms of aroma, flavour, colour and texture, the sample is assigned a score for each aspect and finally an overall score. For an oil to be classified as extra virgin this score must be equal to or greater than 6,5 out of 9.
EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
This is the top grade of olive oil. It is virgin or unprocessed olive oil which must have an acidity level of no more than 0.8%. The extra virgin olive oil must also have perfect aroma, flavour and colour.
VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
This is a virgin olive oil which has an acidity level of no more than two per cent, still with a perfect aroma, flavour and colour.
This is blend of refined and virgin olive oil. It must have an acidity level of no more than one and a half per cent. Refined olive oil has no taste or smell and virgin oil is added to provide flavour. The olive oils vary in the amount of virgin olive oil that is added to them and so in the concentration of their flavours.
OLIVE OIL LIGHT FLAVOUR
This Olive Oil is obtained from the blending of refined Olive Oil with at least 5% of Extra Virgin Olive Oil. This is for people who prefer a neutral light flavour Olive Oil with a taste similar to that of other vegetable oils.
OLIVE POMACE OIL
This refined oil which is extracted from the pomace left in the hydraulic press or centrifugal after the majority of the olive oil has been squeezed out. The olive pomace oil should have an acidity of no more than one and a half per cent. Like regular olive oil it is flavoured with extra virgin olive oil. Under no circumstances should it be labeled “olive oil”.
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