WHAT DOES EXTRA VIRGIN MEAN TO YOU AS A CONSUMER?

O-live April 3, 2018

Extra virgin is the highest grade of olive oil. As with all virgin olive oils, it is made mechanically, without the use of chemicals or excessive heat and meets some chemical and organoleptic standards.

 

The chemical characteristics of extra virgin olive oil (as with all vegetable oils) give an indication of the care with which it was made and stored: how the fruit was grown, transported and harvested, how it was milled into oil, and how the oil was packaged and bottled. Chemical testing can also help determine if the oil is adulterated. The chemical standards for extra virgin olive oil are the highest of all the grades and, as such, offer a minimum guarantee of quality.

 

In addition to chemical characteristics, extra virgin olive oil also has certain organoleptic characteristics: it does not have taste defects yet is not totally flavorless. This does not guarantee it will taste good to you, however.

 

Having said all that, it is important to recognize that there are huge differences among extra virgin olive oils in terms of their quality, taste, aroma, color, health benefits, shelf life, presentation, and or course their price. Extra virgin olive oils can be anything from very delicate and mellow to quite bitter and pungent. Their anti-oxidant content varies considerably.

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