For many centuries, the olive oil has been classified according to its quality. The upper classes enjoyed the best oil extracted from the green olives and the slaves had the oil that was extracted from the rotten olives.
Today,olive oil producing countries have set specific standards to grade their olive oil. The European union, who is the world’s biggest producer with 80% of the olive oil production, has regulations focusing on names and labels. Their International Olive Oil Council (IOOC), that is an inter-governmental organization based in Madrid, Spain, focuses on the authenticity of the olive oil all over the world.
The classifications of the olive oil can be confusing not only to the new olive oil consumers but to the ones like me who grew up with it. The classifications of the olive oil mean that the the oil came from the fruit of the olive tree and is not mixed with any other kinds of oil. There is virgin olive oil and olive oil. In order for the virgin olive oil to hold the virgin classification must be obtained by physical or mechanical means under specific temperature and conditions. Chemicals and filtration are not acceptable.
The extra virgin olive oil is the oil that is extracted from the green olives and has been extracted mechanically. The acidity is less than one percent, it does not have defects and on the label says: “Olive oil of superior category made from olives only through mechanical process”. This is the “liquid gold”.
Virgin olive oil is the oil that is extracted from olives that begin to ripen and the acidity is more than two percent. It is make mechanically and has minor defects.
Olive oil as a classification means that it is a mixture of virgin olive oil and refined olive oil. The acidity is more than one percent and the label reads: “Oil extracted from olives and olive oil has been produced under a refining process”.
Refining means that the base oil has defects and the defects are removed chemically. Then, the oil is mixed with extra virgin or virgin olive oil.
Olive-Pomace oil as a classification means that it is coming from the mass leftover after the pressing of the olives. It is a mixture of virgin olive oil and olive-pomace oil. The words olive oil are not used in this classification because it does not apply to oil produced from olives.
If you want my honest opinion, stay away from olive- pomace oil and stick with the extra virgin olive oil, the super food with the countless health benefits.
Extra virgin olive oil is your leader to health. Pure, refined and other olive oils are olive oils that lost their virginity in the process.
When it comes to your health, don’t take shortcuts.