Did you know that the types of olive oil are regulated by a European Union regulation? In the last 25 years, the consumption of olive oil has increased by 49%, being the authorities themselves who have seen the need to regulate their consumption to ensure the well-being of buyers known as "liquid gold".
In the next post we will talk about the types of olive oil, what are their differences and similarities and some simple tips to differentiate and always bet on the best quality olive oil. Friend olive, this post is made for you.
Olive oil types: How can we differentiate them?
Why is there a European regulation that regulates the types of olive oil? For its price. European Regulation No. 1019/2002 highlights the "organoleptic and nutritional qualities" and production costs that result in a more expensive price compared to other vegetable fats.
Have you traveled recently to other countries in the European Union? You will notice when entering any supermarket. It is difficult to find variety of types of olive oil, but above all, it is difficult to find them at a reasonable price. Sometimes we forget how lucky we are to be able to buy olive oil at a good price - quality ratio.
The regulation establishes in its article 3 a series of categories that must be clearly expressed on its label, indicating four types of olive oil:
Extra virgin olive oil
"Olive oil of superior category obtained directly from olives and only by mechanical procedures"
Although there are different types of olives, as a general rule, 30% of the pulp of the fruit is oil, separating it for the production of different types of olive oil. The extra virgin olive that extracts by mechanical processes of cold pressing. (Extraction by cold pressing is the one we perform at less than 27 ° C)
The use of heat increases the production of olive oil, but reduces its quality.
The extra virgin olive is of the highest quality, it must not exceed 0.8º of acidity per 100 grams and in case of undergoing a qualified olive oil tasting it must obtain a qualification higher than 6.5. By not having any type of mixture, we can say that it is an authentic juice of olives.
Virgin olive oil
"Olive oil obtained directly from olives and only by mechanical procedures"
The production process of the virgin olive is the same as the extra virgin, but its quality is somewhat inferior. Acidity and qualified tasting are the two key criteria to differentiate the types of olive oil. While the extra virgin can not be found failures during this process, this changes with the virgin olive.
In an area so conducive to the production of olive oils as the Iberian Peninsula, another criterion for cataloging the quality of the oil is the collection of different types of olives. The olive must be harvested at the exact moment (For this reason, the best quality oils are those harvested early) and directly from the tree, which is known as "flight olives".
The coverage of the olive should be as little damaged as possible after the process and from here, grinding should be done in the shortest time possible.
It is all these little nuances that mark the differences between virgin olive oil and extra virgin.
"Oil that exclusively contains olive oils that have been subjected to a refining treatment and oils obtained directly from olives"
If it does not bear the label of virgin or extra virgin, we are talking about refined olive oil, an oil that after processing is subjected to a refining process that uses high temperatures that eliminate the negative organoleptic properties.
Depending on the quality of the "origin" oil and the possible mixtures and procedures to which this product is subjected, it will have an acidity or another. Although its quality is lower it is suitable for human consumption, and is the one that you will find more easily in foreign countries, where the culture of "liquid gold" is less widespread.
Olive pomace oil
"Oil that exclusively contains oils from the treatment of the product obtained after the extraction of olive oil and oils obtained directly from olives"
The day laborers of the field called olive residue that remained after extracting the different types of olive oil. These remains were made up of bones, water and a surplus amount of olive oil, and through chemical solvents, a substance called olive pomace oil was extracted.
While it is not the best taste to take crude oil, it is a good choice to use it as frying oil.
Olive oil designation of origin
The types of olive oil vary depending on agricultural uses or local practices of extraction or mixing, in addition to different kinds of olive trees depending on where the olive harvest is located. For this reason, within one of the four categories, we find products with different prices and qualities.
On many occasions, the origin of olive oil production is designated in the name of the brand itself. This is possible only in the case that these names have been officially registered according to European directives (See the following image)
To avoid confusing the consumer when buying the product, the obligation to establish the designation of origin has been established in the case of extra virgin olive oil and virgin olive oil, which tend to have a higher price and more Adepts within the olive market.
The European Union recommends establishing on the label the difference between the location of the olive oil factory and the place of extraction of the olive or olive. They are usually located in contiguous areas, especially when we talk about the development of gourmet olive oil.
In case of being separated, it is recommended to add this information on the label so as not to disturb the consumer about the varieties of olive oil.
Occasionally, olive oil bottles are composed of mixtures of different types of olive oil that retain their constant quality. In fact, thanks to this "addition" the character of the oil is preserved. However, it is recommended that the consumer should be informed about the origin of the olive oil and the possible mixtures that would have been carried out for its production.
At the time of packaging the different types of olive oil, the maximum size is that of five-liter canisters, a size that varies when it is a production intended for consumption in the service sector or the hostel sector.
Also, when you go to the supermarket, you will see that many prepared products carry labels with the name "Prepared with extra virgin olive oil" "Cooked with olive oil of the highest quality". It is a mistake to point out the reputation or quality of the product in a generic way without indicating the composition of the same, although it is not punished by the current regulations.
We hope that this post has served you to see the differences between the different types of olive oil! From now on, look at the labels of supermarkets and according to our guidelines you can find highest quality extra virgin olive oil.
What is the best olive oil? Basically depends on your taste and preferences. You can try all the varieties until you find the one that is perfect for each occasion. If you want to buy high quality olive oil, come by our specialized store and discover the real liquid gold at the best quality. We are waiting!