Grades & quality of olive oil
We buy olive oil according to the quality; as virgin, olive and refined olive oil, but consumers are often unaware of differences between these categories. Namely, each oil category produced from olive fruit is identified with olive oil, disregarding that it is often merchandise with lower quality. Therefore, it is necessary to recognize categories, offered to consumers with different names in market, such as:
- Extra virgin olive oil;
- Virgin olive oil;
- Refined olive oil;
- Crude olive pomace oil.
Virgin olive oil is produced from olive fruit exclusively by mechanical or other processes in specific thermal conditions which do not cause unwanted oil changes and that do not pass through any treatments other then washing, decanting, centrifuging and filtering. These oils are classified as follows:
1. Extra virgin olive oil – a product with no organoleptic flaws (determined by sensor analysis – panel test) whose fruitness is larger than 0 and that contains maximally 0.8g of free fatty acids expressed as oleic acid in 100g of product. It is the most appreciated the richest with aromatic and biologically valuable substances. This is the category of oils we mean, when we talk about useful effects of olive oil on health.
2. Virgin olive oil – a product with barely noticeable flaws, containing maximally 2g of free fatty acids expressed as oleic acid in 100g of product. It is made by same procedure as extra virgin olive oil, but it differs in aroma.
3. Refined olive oil – olive oil of organoleptic characteristics with noticeable flaws, containing more than 2g of free fatty acids expressed as oleic acid in 100g of product and that can be used for human nutrition only after processing – refining, so we talk about a new category of olive oil, refined olive oil.
4. Crude olive pomace oil – a product made by mixing refined olive pomace oil and virgin oils, not containing more than 1g of free fatty acids expressed as oleic acid in 100g of product. Pomace, a solid residue of olive stones and pulp after pressing and centrifuging, contains 5% of olive oil that can be extracted by organoleptic solutions. Olive oil produced in such way is subjected to refinement and is added a bit of virgin oil. In that way, previously mentioned oil category is made – crude olive pomace oil.