Olive Oil is one of the leading products of the Greek agricultural sector. Greek Olive Oil is of superior quality, since almost 80 % of total production is Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
The increasing popularity of the Mediterranean Diet as well as the increasing awareness for the benefits of Olive Oil, has made imperative the need for further clarification regarding the types of Olive Oil someone can find available in the market.
1. Extra Virgin Olive Oil: Olive Oil which has a free acidity, expressed as oleic acid, of not more than 0.8 grams per 100 grams (< 0.8 %). Extra virgin is the highest quality Olive Oil. It must be produced entirely by mechanical means without the use of any solvents and under temperatures that will not degrade the oil (Cold Pressed).
2. Virgin Olive Oil: Olive Oil which has a free acidity, expressed as oleic acid, of not more than 2 grams per 100 grams (< 2 %). Virgin Olive Oil is also an unrefined type of olive oil which means no chemicals or heat are used while extracting the oil. The only difference between Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Virgin Olive Oil is a slightly higher oleic acidity level.
3. Refined Olive Oil: Olive Oil obtained from Virgin Olive Oils by refining methods which do not lead to alterations in the initial glyceridic structure. It has a free acidity, expressed as oleic acid, of not more than 0.3 grams per 100 grams (< 0.3 %). It is cheaper than Virgin & Extra Virgin Olive Oil but it is inferior in terms of vitamins, nutrients and even taste or flavour.
4. Olive Pomace Oil: Olive Oil that is extracted from the olive pit after the first press with the help of solvents (an industrial technique used in the production of most edible oils). It has a free acidity, expressed as oleic acid of not more than 1 gram per 100 grams (< 1 %).
5. Pure Olive Oil: Olive Oil obtained from a blend of Virgin & Refined Olive Oil. It is has lower nutritional value as compared to Extra Virgin & Virgin Olive Oil.
But, what are the 2 most important factors to be aware of before choosing a bottle from the shelf ?
- Best Before Date (or BBD):
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) has shelf life 18 months from the day of packaging/ bottling. The closer to the "expiration date (BBD)", the more the acidity of the olive oil increases. After 18 months from the day of bottling, the olive oil is now considered Virgin.
One of the biggest "enemies" of EVOO is.. "light exposure". Sun or any other source of light can affect the quality of the oil, causing a substantial loss of antioxidants and an increase in rancidity. What is more, light exposure, not only can "destroy" the high nutritional value of EVOO but degrade as well its rich and aromatic taste. This is why olive oil should be packaged in dark bottles that will prevent the light and be kept in a cool, dark place.
Not many oils meet these requirements, which is why KORVEL Extra Virgin Olive Oil is one of the very best olive oils you can find.