Quality of olive oil Calidad de aceite de oliva



The quality of a product can be defined  by the set of characteristics that it possesses and allow it to be considered as better, similar or worse than others of its kind.

The criteria of quality that is normally applied to virgin olive oil are defined by:
  • Chemical parameters: acidity, oxidation state, abnormal components.
  • Sensory analysis of organoleptic characteristics (odor and flavor), defined by the experts through a tasting.

Regarding the acidity it is important to know that the level of acidity does not refer exactly to what the word 'acid' usually means. As a chemical parameter, acidity refers to the proportion of free fatty acids that the oil contains, expressed in degrees. These degrees have no relation to the intensity of the flavour.

An extra virgin olive oil of low acidity is not an oil with little falvour. It acts as a guarantee of a healthy fruit, and an oil made in optimum conditions throughout the production process.
It is therefore clear that the degree of acidity of olive oil is a guideline for cataloging, but not related to the taste.

The quality of an olive oil is born in the olive grove by a combination of environmental factors (climate and soil), genetics (variety of olives) and agronomy (cultivation techniques) and continues in the follwing operations from the harvesting up until the packaging of the oil. 


The organoleptic characteristics of olive oil (taste, smell and colour) depend substantially on the components present in the flesh of the fruit and those that are extracted in the oil that it contains.


Oils are valued as good or normal are those that dislay a clean, filtered appearance  and a clean decantation (no sediments). They are considered defective if they have a cloudy, dark and dirty appearance.

The range of normal colours includes the following colours:
straw yellow, golden yellow, yellow green, green and bright green.
They are considered defective if the oils are of atypical and unusual colors: red, white, brown and dark.

Generally, yellow-gold shades correspond to fresh olive oils extracted from ripe olives from a late harvest.

Yellow-green tones are unique to fruity olive oil, slightly bitter, from olives that have not yet completed their process of maturation.

Flavour (smell/taste test)
Aromatic sensations are valued on being pleasant and unpleasant.
Pleasant: scents of ripe fruit, unripe fruit, olive fruit, apple, leaves and grass.
Unpleasant: vinegary flavors, winey, tart, olive-mill wastewater (alpechin), humidity, metallic, sediment, dregs and rancid.

 Source: www.aceitedeoliva.com




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