If you want to buy olive oil and don’t know which type is the best, you are in the right place. Here we will explain different types of olive oils and which one is the best. Olive oil is divided into different categories, depending on their quality indicators based on the oil’s chemical, physical and organoleptic properties. On the supermarket shelves, you will see three main categories of olive oil:
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
The oil is of the highest quality, with a bright, rich taste and golden-green color. Only undamaged ripe olives harvested by hand are taken for pressing. Oil is produced by cold pressing, which means that all valuable acids remain unchanged. Extra Virgin acidity does not exceed 0.8%.
Virgin Olive Oil
It is a cold-pressed oil from average quality fruits. The taste and aroma are no longer as bright as in the previous species, but the oil is tasty and healthy. The product is obtained by mechanical pressing methods and purified without the addition of chemical reagents. The acidity of Virgin Olive Oil should not exceed 2%.
Olive oil Refined Оlive Oil
Oil of the first extraction, which after pressing, undergoes a refining (purification) process. It is then blended with Extra Virgin olive oil. The manufacturer chooses the proportions based on the characteristics of one or another oil. In terms of its taste, Refined Olive Oil is slightly inferior to Extra Virgin oil. Still, it contains a sufficient amount of vitamins and minerals. This blend is one of the most popular oils in Europe. This is because the oil price is more affordable than Extra Virgin and is versatile in use. The acidity level does not exceed 1.5%.
Olive Pomace Oil
It is obtained as a result of chemical treatment. It is odorless and tasteless and has no nutritional value. Only 10–20% Extra Virgin Olive Oil is added to the final product to stabilize the taste and reduce the product’s acidity. The acidity level does not exceed 1%.
Best and most beneficial Olive oil
The best and most beneficial of these is obviously Extra Virgin olive oil, but the other three types have their own specific uses and characteristics.
This oil can be likened to a freshly squeezed olive fruit juice, without any preservatives or additives. It is the highest quality product, and the way it is produced has hardly changed since ancient Egypt time. It is called “liquid gold” all over the world. Extra Virgin olive oil has the greatest nutritional value, which it retains for 18 months, and in some cases, for as long as two years.
You can use it like any other oil, but it is best used when dressing salads and preparing sauces. It is a purely organic product having many beneficial health properties, and it should be used just as it is.
Extra Virgin olive oil flavor
Extra Virgin olive oil’s flavor depends on the type of olives from which it is made. But it should all have a bitter taste. If the oil is young, the bitterness is more marked, and if the oil remains in the bottle for more than 6 months, the bitterness is less strong. This also depends on the type of olives and their blend. It can be likened to wine. To achieve the optimum flavor, winemakers mix wine of different types to arrive at the optimum flavor.
For salads, marinades, and cold snacks, choose unrefined Extra Virgin Oil to enrich the flavor of your meals. You can also use this oil with natural additives such as pepper, garlic, basil, or lemon – it’s delicious! With Extra Virgin flavored oil, even trivial bread can be made.
Extra Virgin oil packaging contains the abbreviations DOP, IGP, and BIO. Let us explain what this means.
DOP (Denomimazione di Oridine Protetta)
It means that the oil has a “protected region of origin.” In simple terms, the olives for this olive oil were grown and harvested in a specific region. In the same region, the oil was squeezed out. If you come across this type of oil at a low price in ordinary shops, it is probably a clever imitation aimed at people with little knowledge of this subject.
IGP (Indicazione Geografica Protetta)
It means the production process took place under strict control. At the same time, part of the process was implemented outside the designated region.
It guarantees the buyer 100% naturalness. This means that no synthetic fertilizers, growth hormones, or pesticides were used to produce the oil. This certificate also guarantees that the oil does not contain dyes, flavor enhancers, food additives, and genetically modified products.
Reading the label
Extra Virgin Olive oil is not a wine. The younger it is, the more useful it is. Therefore, when buying, first of all, look at the production date and expiration date. The shelf life of the oil should not exceed 18 months! The color of the olive oil will also help you choose the right one. It depends on the olives’ ripening process: the darker the oil, the more mature the olives are. The greenish color indicates cold-pressed. The packaging of such oil should be glass and slightly darkened ─ olive oil is afraid of the sun’s rays. Whenever possible, choose olive oil with the fullest possible composition. It should not contain the words “mix” or “mixed” ─ such oil refers to mixed products.
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