Choosing olive oil at the supermarket may be daunting, but by following a few basic rules, you can choose the freshest and highest-quality options available. Extra virgin olive oil is one of the most nutrient-dense oils. Its bioactive elements have been linked to well-being, and it plays an important role in the Mediterranean lifestyle, which is often regarded as the healthiest way of living and eating.
With a wide variety of olive oils available on the shelves, how do you choose the greatest quality olive oil? Here are five different grades of olive oil, each with clearly defined standards.
1.Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
EVOO is the purest olive oil, it is not processed or refined. Here are some important things to know about EVOO:
- It is derived from the first pressing of young, newly harvested olives, which is usually completed within 24 hours from harvesting.
- Obtained entirely through mechanical means, all temperatures are carefully kept below 28°C.
- A low level of free fatty acid or oleic acid, often less than 0.8%, is maintained.
- Exhibits exquisite quality, is defect-free, and has an outstanding flavour and fragrance character.¹
2.Virgin Olive Oil
Just like extra virgin olive oil it originates from the initial pressing but must adhere to a strict acidity level of under 2%. It consequently falls short in quality compared to extra virgin olive oil. Its flavour intensity can fluctuate and possesses a milder taste than extra virgin olive oil. Its elevated acidity level translates to a shorter shelf-life when compared to extra virgin olive oil.¹
3.Refined Olive Oil
Refines olive oil undergo a refinement process involving agents like acids, alkalis, and heat to extract the maximum oil content from the residual olive pulp following the initial pressing. This process yields a higher-fat and more acidic oil that lacks the taste, aroma, and natural antioxidants characteristic of extra virgin olive oil.¹
4.Olive Pomace Oil
This is the lowest-quality olive oil, produced from the by-products of extra virgin olive oil production. Olive skins, seeds, and pulp are subjected to heat, and the residual oil is extracted using solvents. The end product, known as pomace oil, undergoes a refining process to produce a light olive oil.¹
RefreWhy is Liviana TM CBD-Infused Extra Virgin Olive Oil a great EVOO choice
The olives are carefully handpicked in our grove, which is located in a beautiful valley tucked in the slopes of the Stellenbosch Mountains. The EVOO is prepared using a delicate, cold extraction procedure, which is what makes it so distinct. The purest, best organic CBD from the USA are incorporated for an exceptional and unique product.
Liviana TM is dedication to provide the very best. That’s why we’re proud to offer you this exquisite, organic extra virgin olive oil. Not only will you savour its delicious taste, but you’ll also benefit from the wonderful health advantages that both CBD and extra virgin olive oil bring to your life. It’s a fusion of nature’s goodness, and we can’t wait for you to experience it.
What makes a good EVOO
- Cold Pressed Extra Virgin Olive Oil – no heat was applied to the olives in order to extract the oil. Producers can extract more oil from the olives by heating them, but doing so also destroys the delicate flavours and smells that make good extra virgin olive oil so desirable. It should be remembered that “cold pressed” does not literally mean “cold,” but rather at a temperature not to exceed 26°C.²
- A single region of origin – Olive oils of the highest quality are often produced in a single region. The rear label, which is frequently marked with initials like IT for Italy, ES for Spain, GR for Greece, PT for Portugal, should always be read because front labels might be deceptive. There is a greater chance that the product is a generic oil produced by a company that isn’t an actual olive oil manufacturer if there are many countries listed. Read the label before making a purchase because many brands might not be as reliable as they seem to be.³
- Manufacturing and Best Before dates – A quality bottle of EVOO will feature a “pressing” date or a sell-by date (typically one year from the pressing date) on the label. This information allows you to gauge the product’s age. Unlike wine, olive oil doesn’t improve with age. By storing it correctly, away from constant light and heat (avoid leaving it on the back of the stove), you can ensure that your premium olive oil maintains its freshness.²
- No matter how attractive and alluring the label may be, avoid anything that is in a clear glass bottle. The primary adversary of EVOO is light, and if it’s stored in transparent bottles, it’s likely to have lost a significant portion of its flavour and fragrance. For optimal preservation, EVOO should be packaged in dark glass bottles or, even better, opaque tins.⁴
EVOO is both delectable and superior to other oils, making it the perfect cooking companion. Knowing how EVOO is processed gives a much appreciated respect to the ingredient itself as well as the benefits offered by the product. Choosing the right product to benefit your health just got a bit easier. Knowledge is powerful and very helpful to simplify day-to-day choices.
- Morocco Gold. 2022. How To Choose The Right Type Of Olive Oil. Available at: https://morocco-gold.com/about/types-of-olive-oil/. Date Accessed September 19th, 2023.
- Dellalo. How To Choose Olive Oil. Available at: https://www.delallo.com/blog/how-to-choose-olive-oil/. Date Accessed September 19th, 2023.
- Olive Oil. How to Choose the Best Olive Oil: Expert Tips. Available at: https://www.oliveoil.com/how-to-choose-best-olive-oil-expert-tips/ Date Accessed September 19th, 2023.
- Tina. U. 9 Pro Tips on How to Buy and Use Good Olive Oil. Available at: https://www.foodandwine.com/lifestyle/9-pro-tips-how-buy-and-use-good-olive-oil. Date Accessed September 19th, 2023.
By Sylvia Jemutai