Olive oil is an oil which is obtained from the fruit of the olive tree. The fruit is passed through many process under various condition and then only the oil is extracted from the fruit.
If you ever go for a shopping in a supermarket and browse through the cooking oil section, you will see that there is at least 3 or 4 types of olive oil for sale, such as Virgin Olive Oil, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Light Olive Oil and Pomace Olive Oil.
Have you ever wondered what does this terminology means or what are their significance and how to use them?
The oil gets its name by the process it was manufactured, if it is pressed once or twice, whether it is refined or not, etc. Below I have defined some of the common terminology associated with olive oil.
Olive Oil Terms
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
It is the finest of all olive oils, produced from first pressing of perfectly fresh olives without the use of excessive heat, also termed as cold pressing. It is the only cooking oil that is made without the use of chemical and industrial refining. It has excellent fruity flavor, aroma and perfectly good for health. The free acidity level expressed as oleic acid (free fatty acid) of this oil is 0.8% per 100 grams. and cannot exceed this if the oil has to stay in extra virgin olive oil category.
Virgin Olive Oil
Slightly lower than extra virgin olive oil, it is still natural and nothing artificial is used in the making, the flavor and the taste of this oil is significantly good. The free acidity level of this oil should not be more than 2% per 100 grams.
Lampante Virgin Olive Oil
Virgin olive oil that has free acidity level of not more than 3.3% per 100 grams. This oil is not fit for consumption and can only be brought into cooking use only after further refining or it can be used as a fuel for lamp.
Refined Olive Oil
It is an olive oil which is made by using refining methods on virgin olive oil without altering glyceridic structure of the oil. It has a free acidity, expressed as oleic acid, of not more than 0.3 grams per 100 grams. This is obtained by refining virgin oils that have a high acidity level and/or organoleptic defects that are eliminated after refining. No solvents have been used to extract the oil but it has been refined with the use of charcoal and other chemical or physical filters
Olive Oil or Pure Olive Oil
This is obtained when refined olive oil is blended with virgin or extra virgin olive oil, virgin oil is added to give some character to the almost flavorless refined olive oil. The “pure” word is just a marketing term. It has a free acidity, expressed as oleic acid, of not more than 1 gram per 100 grams
Light or Extra Light Olive Oil
Chemically refined olive oil are called as light or extra light olive oil, they are termed so because they are light in flavor and aroma only and not to be related with calories. In fact all olive oil are almost cholesterol free.
Low grade oil obtained from the final waste of olives pulp (pomace) after extracting the virgin oils, extracted with the use of solvents and other physical treatments. Used for making of soap and other industrial use, can be used in cooking only when refined pomace oil is blended with virgin olive oil. In fact in Italy this oil is not at all termed as olive oil but only as pomace oil.
Crude Olive Pomace Oil
Pomace oil which will be further refined to make refined pomace oil which will be blended with virgin olive oil for human consumption or for other purpose of food use.
Refined Pomace Oil
This oil is obtained from crude pomace oil after refining it further without altering the initial glyceridic structure, it has a free acidity, expressed as oleic acid, of not more than 0.3 grams per 100 grams. This oil is blended with virgin olive oil to make pomace olive oil.
Olive Pomace Oil
This oil is obtained after blending refined pomace oil and virgin olive oil for human consumption. It has a free acidity of not more than 1 gram per 100 grams. This oil is used in cooking.
Technical Terms Commonly used with Olives
The stirring process of the olive paste after it is washed, crushed or cut to release the oil droplet along with water droplet is called maceraction, then this droplets are spun by a centrifugal force in order to separate the oil droplets and water droplets. Once the oil is obtained it is further followed by the process of decantation and filtration before the final product is extracted.
A natural process of extracting olive oil by applying mechanical pressure to olive paste at a temperature less than 32 degrees Celsius. Thus getting less oil than if you were to press the oil at higher temperatures, but getting better quality oil and not harming any natural nutrients and vitamins in the oil.