How many types of olive oil are there?
There are basically two types of olive oils, the virgin ones which are obtained by physical procedures, and the refined ones, which come from a refining process of the lamp ante virgins.
Among the virgin olive oils, these are classified and differentiated by their quality parameters.
– Extra Virgin Olive Oil is the best quality, it has better physical-chemical and sensorial parameters.
– Virgin Olive Oil may present small alterations in its quality parameters, whether physical-chemical or sensory, it is therefore an oil of a lower category in relation to Extra Virgin.
– Lampante Virgin Olive Oil has altered its quality parameters and cannot be packaged and sold to the public, therefore it is subjected to an industrial refining process. Through a process of refining virgin olive oil, Refined Olive Oil is obtained, which is not sold in a package and which, mixed with virgin olive oils, gives rise to Olive Oil. They are industrially prepared oils with a great continuity in flavor, but that may lack some elements of nutritional interest in Extra Virgin Olive Oils.
What is extra virgin olive oil?
The olive is composed of vegetable water, solids and oil. Extra virgin olive oil or ‘EVOO‘ is the ‘juice‘ of the olive obtained by physical means and which also has an acidity lower than 0.8 and does not have any type of organoleptic defect. It is also the only vegetable fat suitable for human consumption without subjecting it to deodorizing and refining processes.
Why is extra virgin olive oil better?
Because extra virgin olive oil is the juice of the olive, obtained from healthy fruits and at their ideal maturity, under conditions of special care so that their characteristics are not altered. It has all the minor components of nutritional interest as well as an extraordinary composition in fatty acids and offers a wide variety of sensory nuances, which make it unique among all oils and suitable for both raw consumption and other culinary uses.
How do you keep the oil?
The worst enemies of oil are direct sunlight and oxygen, so the containers must be kept tightly closed and in the dark. As for the conservation time, it depends a lot on the quality of the oil. Low-quality olive oils are usually made from olives in fairly poor condition, so the oil turns rancid relatively quickly.
Is the color of extra virgin olive oils important?
The color of the extra virgin olive oil has no importance on its quality. Consequently, oil of any color from green to golden yellow can have similar qualities.
Does the oil expire?
All olive oils, from extra virgin to olive oil, change over time, mainly oxidizing, and can reach rancidity in prolonged conservation. The time of use depends on several factors, the variety, the type of oil, the extra virgin are, in general, more resistant than olive oils, the way of conservation in establishments and later in homes, etc. For this reason, all oils must be marked with a date with the indication “preferably consume before …” The oils must be consumed within the period set by the packer, as this is when their good condition is guaranteed.
What is the acidity of oils?
Acidity, measured in oleic acid, is the amount of free fatty acids, expressed in this acid. It is the measure of an alteration, by hydrolysis, of the triglycerides of the oil. It is an expression, but not the only one, nor even the most important, of an alteration in the quality of the oil. It serves, along with other parameters, to classify virgin oils in the three categories: Extra, Virgin and Lampante.
What is the meaning of cold pressing?
The concept of cold pressing has been extended as a quality factor “beyond extra virgin”. But these two aspects must be qualified: Pressure and Cold.
The extraction by pressure is practically totally obsolete. This technique, when using esparto and plastic baskets and the oil being in contact with the environment, usually give organoleptic defects. Most would not pass a tasting test to be extra virgin.
Cold is the temperature of the olive mass in the mixers prior to separating the oil. Cold means temperatures below 28ºC. At these temperatures it is understood that the oil does not undergo physical-chemical alterations. If the oils pass these temperatures, double and triple bond breaks will occur in the fatty acids and this has an impact on their quality. For this reason, a cold extracted oil will retain its properties and will be, if the olive is of good quality, in extra virgin oil. If olives in bad conditions are extracted cold, they will have higher acidity.
Today it is taken as a “differentiating” claim. But the only differentiating value is that it is extra virgin olive oil. From there, the variety will also give different aromas, flavors where the consumer will have a wide range to choose from, extra virgin olive oils (maximum quality) of different aromas and flavors.