Discover the different types of olive oils
We start our blog by answering a question that is always on everyone’s lips: What types of olive oils exist?
As not all oils are of the same type or of the same quality, in ALEVOO we want to explain the types of olive oil that exist and their main differences.
Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
Extra virgin olive oil is 100% olive juice. It is the top-quality oil, with no flaws, it has fruity flavour and aroma, and its organoleptic and nutritional properties remain intact. It is obtained solely by mechanical means, in cold, and its acidity levels are below 0.8°.
EVOO is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids (mainly oleic acid), antioxidants, polyphenols, vitamins such as A, D, E and K, and other anti-inflammatory phenolic compounds.
Not all EVOOs are the same. To be one of the most elite extra virgin olive oils EVOOs, other factors are considered:
Optimum time for olive harvest
Early harvest EVOOs have organoleptic and physicochemical qualities superior to those of other later harvest EVOOs obtained from ripe olives which have already reached their fullness. Early harvesting increases the intensity and freshness of the juice, resulting in an EVOO with stronger aroma and flavours, higher content of natural antioxidants, vitamins and polyphenols, lower acidity and also lower oxidation.
Monovarietal EVOOs are made of only one variety of olives. They are pure, high quality and have unique organoleptic characteristics with much more defined flavour.
On the other hand, the coupages are made of a mixture of different types of olives, resulting in an olive oil with an unknown composition and losing the full range of aromas and flavours of their specific variety.
Protected Designation of Origin (PDO)
EVOOs with PDO are made following the guidelines of its Regulatory Council and obtain the recognition of quality and origin based on their local characteristics. That makes them differ from others as a PDO is based on unique and genuine characteristic of a specific region, such as production, processing and preparation techniques, tradition, soil conditions and geographical location.
Organic EVOOs are obtained by applying the best environmental practices to cultivate and manage the olive grove, without the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, or other artificial agents, and always following the guidelines of the regulatory framework. Organic EVOOs are documented by an accredited organic certifying agency.
ALEVOO oils are extra virgin olive oils, early harvest, monovarietal, with Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) Sierra de Cazorla and organic certification by the Andalusian Committee of Organic Agriculture (CAAE), guaranteeing their quality and origin.
Virgin olive oil
Virgin olive oils are obtained from olives of lower quality, have some defects in their flavour aroma and undergo some degradation in the obtaining process. They have acidity levels between 0.8% and 2%, which are higher than those of Extra virgin. Having just a minimal sensory defect, an extra virgin olive oil is they are automatically removed from the highest category ‘extra’ and becomes only ‘virgin’.
These oils are completely suitable for consumption, although they are usually used for frying (cooking) instead of eating it raw
When we find a product classified as ‘olive oil’, we must know that it is a mixture of refined olive oil (obtained from defective oil) and extra virgin or virgin oil. The proportion of this mixture is usually 95% refined oils and 5% virgin oil. It is an oil that loses a great part of the healthy properties of virgin olive oils in the refining process
Pomace Olive Oil
Pomace Oils are a mixture of refined pomace (obtained via chemical process of the solid olive waste) and virgin or virgin extra oil. Despite not having healthy benefits, they are suitable for human consumption
Lampante olive oil
Lampante olive oils are defective oils with very unpleasant odour and flavour. Their acidity exceeds 2% and they have several defects, reason why they are not suitable for human consumption. These oils are used to prepare other kinds of oils or derivatives once they have been refined.
Did you know those differences? What oil do you prefer? Which one do you use daily? Tell us more about your experiences in the comments below.