Can I drizzle olive oil on a piece of roasted country bread?
Is extra virgin olive oil suitable for cooking & frying?
Which type of olive oil can I use to make soap or apply it to my skin?
What type of olive oil is suitable to burn in an oil lamp?
If you feel confused and not well informed about olive oil, you are not alone. Your power as a consumer is in understanding of the characteristics in the label.
MyElia is here to help you!
Extra virgin, virgin, refined, pomace, organic, milled olive oil and the list goes on and on. Different uses may require different oils. How do you choose correctly?
The quality of an agri-food product such as olive oil depends on numerous parameters.
Main quality criteria of olive oil based on EU Regulation (1) are:
- Organoleptic characteristics such as odor, smell, taste and color
- Fatty acid profile
- Free acidity (minimum expression in oleic acid)
- Peroxide value (peroxide oxygen per kg/oil)
- Special absorbency in ultra-violet (DK, K232, K270)
Although each of the above affects quality, the parameter that determines the grades of olive is Free acidity. Although there are many categories and definitions of olive oil, we would like to emphasize on that we believe are most relevant to you as a consumer.
According to International Olive Council (2) the wide category of virgin olive oils includes all the unrefined oils, that are obtained from the olives solely by mechanical or other physical means under conditions, particularly thermal conditions, that do not lead to alterations in the oil and have not suffered any treatment other than washing, decantation, centrifugation, or filtration.
Excluded are oils obtained using solvents or adjuvants with chemical actions, by re-esterification process or any mixture with oils of other types.
Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
It is considered the highest quality of olive oil and the best vegetable oil, in the market. EVOO is rich in antioxidants and vitamins. This is due to the low acidity, up to 0.8% and a sensory grade of higher that 6.5 points, meaning that has perfect aroma and flavor. The color is golden. Thus, EVOO is indicated for raw consumption, marinating, and frying to taste the strong fruitiness and spiciness.
Due to its content, you can find cosmetic products in market with EVOO that can be used for applications in hair treatments, masks, and more.
Virgin olive oil
Are next in quality, as categorized by the International Olive Council Standards (3). The extraction process is similar to EVOO, though production standards are not as rigid. Higher level of oleic acid is recorded (up to 2%), and less intense flavor compared to EVOO. The color is green. Virgin oils are often used for frying and sautéing.
Lampante olive oil
It is the lowest grade of virgin olive oil. It is not fit for human consumption. It has a natural acidity (over 2%) and may also have an unpleasant taste and aroma. The color is light yellow to green. It is not suitable for human consumption and historically, lampante oil was used as fuel for lamps.
Other types of oil that you can find in the market are:
Refined olive oil
Are the virgin olive oils that are produced under physical or chemical conditions to improve the color, smell and taste. In this case, oils are characterized by poor nutritional value and used in mass production (food industry, dining).
Olive oils or pure olive Oil
The label can be recognized in the market as simple “olive oil” or “pure oil”. This olive oil is the result of the blending of virgin olive oils (not lampante) with refined olive oils.
The name is misleading, as oil is composed by refined ones that give a lighter color, more neutral flavor and an all-purpose cooking use.
Crude olive pomace Oil
This type refers to oil obtained from olive pomace by using solvents, physical treatments or oil corresponding to lampante olive oil type, except for certain specified characteristics.
According to the International Olive Council, it is intended for refining or technical use. It is not really fit for human consumption as it is.
Refined olive pomace Oil
It is referred to the type that is obtained from refining crude olive pomace oil.
Olive pomace Oil
It is the result oil from mixing refined olive pomace oil and virgin olive oil different than lampante oil.
Extra Light Olive Oil
This olive oil is lighter in flavor and color, not lower in fat or calories. Because this olive oil lacks flavor, it is excellent for baking and for any use where a high-flavor oil would be intrusive.
Acknowledge your consumer choice and purchase today! Find our fully traceable extra virgin olive oil MyElia that can guarantee you the premium quality that holds!
Learn more about the health benefits of EVOO here
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