The only virgin olive oils are those obtained from the fruit of the olive tree by mechanical processes or physical processes, in conditions that do not cause alterations of the oil, and where the olives have not undergone any treatment other than washing, decanting and centrifugation and filtration (reg. EU 1234/2007). In this way the chemical-physical and organoleptic characteristics are guaranteed.
European legislation defines the standards by which the three types of Virgin Olive Oils are classified:
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil - Acidity < 0.8% - Median defects = 0
- Virgin Olive Oil - Acidity between 0.8% and 2% - Median of the defects <2
- Lampante Oil - Acidity > 2% - It is not marketable for consumption.
Considering that acidity for low values is not perceived on the palate, we must be very careful not to confuse or be confused, an extra virgin olive oil with a virgin or even glaring oil.
There is another category of oils classified as Olive Oil (composed of refined and virgin olive oils) and Olive-Pomace Oil which have little to do with olives and practically nothing with good olives.
Olive Oil is a mixture consisting of lamp oil, after chemical refining to remove defects, and a minimal percentage of Virgin Oil.
The different types of Olive-Pomace oils, which are extracts through chemical solvents from the paste (pomace) which is discarded in the production of virgin oils after spinning.
Having undergone chemical refining or extraction treatments, they present themselves to the taste and smell without defects and, obviously, without aromas and completely lacking in all the beneficial properties of quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
Extra Virgin Olive Oils (also called EVO Oils) are obtained with exclusively mechanical processes (cold pressing or extraction) that maintain the chemical-physical and organoleptic characteristics and the health properties due to polyphenols.
The legislation requires that extra virgin olive oils be given distinctive organoleptic characteristics (sensorial analysis), through the evaluation made with the Panel Test performed by a group of 8/12 expert tasters within a certifying body.
Knowing the differences between the many types of oils on the market is essential to understand what the significant price differences are due to and to have the elements to make an informed purchase consistent with one's lifestyle and food.