Classification of olive oils Clasificación de los aceites de oliva

Different types of olive oil

 

The International Olive Oil Convention reserved in 1986 the term "olive oil" for only the oil from the olive fruit, with the exclusion of those obtained by solvents, esterification and blending with other oils. It is not applicable either to the olive-pomace oils.

 

Olive oil from Lower Aragón is mainly made with 'empeltre' olives

 

Olive oil from Lower Aragon. A Spanish olive oil of great quality.

 

 

Amongst these olive oils they are different types that can be distinguished:

        -Virgin Olive Oil: This is the oil obtained solely by mechanical or other physical means, that do not lead to deterioration of oil. Extra virgin olive oil has not undergone any treatment other than washing, decantation, centrifugation and filtration. It is a natural product that preserves the flavor, aroma and vitamins of the fruit. And it contains the unique characterisitics of the production area where applicable. In turn they can be classified further as:

                            - Extra: absolutely impeccable taste and acidity (expressed as oleic acid), available in no more than 1º. The two parameters, by which we can distinguish between different extra virgin olive oils are the acidity, ie the level of deterioration suffered by the oil and its organoleptic score, ie the degree of palatability to the consumer perceives on consuming olive oil.

The extra virgin olive oil may not contain any negative property, and must have the maximum positive properties. This oil must provide the smell and taste of fresh olives, harvested at their optimum time of harvest  The bitter and pungent properties are also considered positive.

                            - Virgin: impeccable taste and acidity of no more than 2º. (Also called 'fine' in the stages of production and wholesale trade). It differs from the extra virgin olive oil especially in the smell and taste.

Among the most frequent defects found in virgin olive oil are the winey, the sour and acid, as well as metallic, musty-humidity and earthy taste.

                            - Ordinary: good taste and acidity of no more than 3.3º. This type of designation is rarely used.

                            - Unrefined: bad taste and an acidity greater than 3.3º. This type of oil must be refined for direct consumption, due to its high level of acidity.

        -Refined Olive Oil: This is obtained by refining virgin olive oils with acidity not exceeding 0.5 º, by refining methods which do not produce changes in the initial glyceride structure.(They usually use Unrefined olive oil, reducing the acidity by refining and neutralizing the flavor).

        -Olive Oil: Mixture of virgin olive oils other than unrefined and refined, with acidity not exceeding 1.5 º. (This is the most consumed in Spain).

From the olives we also obtain Pomace Olive Oil, this oil does not feature within the 'Olive Oil' denomination , since it is not made from the olive itself, but is made with the pomace extracted from the olive.  Within the classification of Pomace Olive Oil, we find:

                -Crude Pomace Oil: this is obtained by means of solvents from pomace, a byproduct of the olive, with the exclusion of oils obtained by re-esterification processes and any mixture of oils of other natures.

                -Refined Pomace Oil: this is obtained by refining the crude pomace oil, with acidity not exceeding 0.5 º.

                - Olive-Pomace Oil: a mixture of refined pomace olive oil and virgin olive oil (other than unrefined) with an acidity not exceeding 1.5 º.

Regulation of the European Economic Community No. 2568/91 of 11 July 1991, relating to the characteristics of olive oils and pomace olive oil, we extract the most important relations to the quality of the oils that can help us to classify them better.
     

CATEGORY

Acidity %

Peroxide Content     meq O2/kg

Cholesterol

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

M 1,0

M 20

M 0,5

Virgin Olive Oil

M 2,0

M 20

M 0,5

Ordinary Virgin Olive Oil

M 3,3

M 20

M 0,5

Unrefined Olive Oil

> 3,3

> 20

M 0,5

Refined Olive Oil

M 0,5

M 10

M 0,5

Olive Oil

M 1,5

M 15

M 0,5

Crude Pomace Oil

m 2,0

--

M 0,5

Refined Pomace Oil

M 0,5

M 10

M 0,5

Olive-Pomace Oil

M 1,5

M 15

M 0,5

M = maximum, m = minimum

 

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