Olive Oil, what’s the difference?
It might seem as if olive oil is just that. However, there are a number of different quality grades that warrant a bit of explanation to help you navigate labels and make the best choices.
The market for Olive Oil is vast – in Italy domestic demand outstrips supply and so you can imagine how much oil needs to be sourced from outside to fulfil the volume demands of large companies who supply supermarkets around the globe. You can find an incredibly broad range of quality in the bottle therefore.
Here are the main three quality grades that you can find on the label.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO):
EVOO stands as the highest quality grade of olive oil, representing the purest and freshest form of olive juice. It maintains exceptional quality with low free acidity, not exceeding 0.8 grams per 100 grams, and no sensory defects. This superior grade retains the olive’s natural antioxidants for the longest time, as well as vitamin E, and phytosterols due to minimal processing.
Virgin Olive Oil (VOO):
VOO is of a slightly low quality compared to EVOO. It is produced through a similar natural process and may have a free acidity of up to 2.0 grams per 100 grams. Minor organoleptic imperfections may be present, but it retains the fundamental characteristics of olive oil so it makes a good and more economical option for larger scale cooking.
Olive Oil (OO):
OO, is often a blend of refined and natural olive oils, with a free acidity typically not exceeding 1.0 grams per 100 grams. However, the refining process it undergoes may result in a reduction of natural antioxidants and potentially higher levels of trans fats compared to unrefined olls.
If you want to be sure that your EVOO is indeed what it says it is then the best way is to source directly from the press house – which Frantoi does for you!