Grades of Olive Oil

Grades of Olive Oil

There is a lot of misunderstanding about olive oil and the different grades.  In total there are five different grades. The grades are defined by the International Olive Oil Council and each grade has precise production methods, taste and chemical composition.

Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Extracted juice from the first pressing of fresh olives that have been grown using organic farming methods and certified by the USDA. The olives are pressed without the use of heat or chemicals with an acidity value of less than 0.3% and is high in antioxidants. Overall it must be defect free in aroma and taste.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Extracted juice from the first pressing of fresh olives that are pressed without the use of heat or chemicals with an acidity value of less than 0.8% and is high in antioxidants. Overall it must be defect free in aroma and taste.

Virgin Olive Oil

Virgin olive oil also comes from the first pressing of fresh olives, but it does not meet the sensory or chemical standards of extra virgin olive oil. Virgin olive oil usually has an acidity value of more than 0.8% but less than 2.0% as compared to extra virgin olive oil. It does not contain a high percentage of antioxidants. The flavor can vary, and its taste is milder than extra virgin olive oil

Pure Olive Oil

Pure olive oil, sometimes labeled as olive oil, contains refined olive oil with a small percentage, typically 5% of Extra Virgin Olive Oil.  The addition of extra virgin olive oil gives this grade the color, flavor and aroma that refined olive oil does not have.

Refined Olive Oil

Olive oils that have been refined using chemicals and heat to extract as much of the oil as possible from the olive pulp that is left over from first pressing. This olive oil is fattier, more acidic and has no taste, aroma or antioxidants. The lack of color is why can be labeled as Extra Light.

Olive Pomace Oil

Olive oil that is created by mixing solvents and heating the olive pulp, olive skins, and seeds. The pomace oil is then refined like pure olive oil. Pomace oils is tasteless and has no antioxidants.

Chemical Standards for Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Chemical Parameters Origin 846 IOOC Extra Virgin Olive Oil USDA Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Free Fatty Acids ≤ 0.8 ≤ 0.8
Peroxide Value ≤ 20 ≤ 20
Phenolic Content N/A N/A
K232 ≤ 2.50 ≤ 2.50
K270 ≤ 0.22 ≤ 0.22
AK ≤ 0.01 ≤ 0.01
Oleic Acid (C18:1) 55.0 – 83.0 55.0 – 83.0

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