Types of olive oil: from the worst to the best olive oil
In other articles on our website we have talked about the process of making extra virgin olive oil and the analyses it undergoes to determine its category (physical-chemical analysis and tasting).
We are now going to discuss the different types of olive oil that can be found on the market. We want you to be perfectly aware of their differences so the next time you go shopping, you will have all the arguments to make the best choice.
Olive oil classification
Once the oil has been produced, a physical-chemical analysis is carried out in the laboratory and an organoleptic analysis by tasting. After these two analyses, the quality of the oil can be determined.
Depending on the results of both tests, the oil can be bottled directly, as is the case with virgin olive oil and extra virgin olive oil. If the oil does not fall into one of these two categories, it will have to undergo a chemical process, refining, before it can be bottled as olive oil. Here are the different types of oil:
- Lampante olive oil: It comes from the poorest quality olives, picked from the ground or in the fermentation process. Due, among other things, to the state of the olive, an oil is obtained with organoleptic defects and an acidity of more than 2%. This oil cannot be consumed directly, it is not packaged or marketed, but is sent to the refining industry or used for other technical purposes.
- Refined Olive Oil: This oil normally comes from the refining, through a physical and/or chemical process, of lampante olive oil. The maximum acidity of this oil is 0.3% and it is not marketed either. It is used to mix it with other types of oils, with the aim of obtaining an olive oil, which is the type we see below.
- Olive oil: Olive oil is obtained by blending refined olive oil and virgin olive oils. This oil can be consumed and has healthy properties, although its quality is not on a par with virgin olive oil or extra virgin olive oil.
- Virgin Olive Oil: This oil is obtained directly from olives and only by mechanical processes, but may have slight organoleptic defects. The degree of acidity is usually above 0.8% and cannot reach 2%. Virgin olive oil is a good oil, but its quality does not reach the quality of an extra virgin olive oil.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil: This oil is produced only by mechanical means and has a maximum acidity of 0.8%. It is an oil with irreproachable organoleptic qualities and has healthier properties than any other oil. Extra virgin olive oil is the best for any gastronomic use.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil Protected Designation of Origin Estepa: The extra virgin olive oil certified by the PDO Estepa meets more rigorous requirements than those established by international standards for an extra virgin olive oil, in three key aspects of the oil:
- Acidity: we require our oils to have an acidity of 0.3% or less. Acidity is one of the quality parameters of virgin olive oils, as a low value indicates that the oil comes from healthy, fresh olives. The lower the acidity of an oil, the better.
- Fruity: our extra virgin olive oils have a fruitiness that exceeds international standards, another parameter that defines the excellence of the oils certified by our Designation of Origin.
- Polyphenols and Tocopherols: our oils are high in antioxidants, the consumption of which is associated with better cellular health, which means lower risk of disease.
For all these reasons, we can say that we are probably the most demanding in the world when it comes to certifying extra virgin olive oil.
We hope that, from now on, when you buy olive oil, you will take into account the types of oil and our recommendations to choose the most suitable one, as your recipes and your health will be grateful for it.
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