VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
OLIVE OIL QUALITY LEVELS
Olive oil is divided into several quality levels in Europe. The European Union has strict regulations in this respect.
The main distinguishing criteria for olive oil are the method of production and the content of free fatty acids.
L 12/14 Official Journal of the European Union 14.1.2012
IMPLEMENTING COMMISSION REGULATION (EU) No 29/2012 of 13 January 2012 on marketing standards for olive oil (Codified text)
In the new generation of mills, the oil is usually extracted by cold extraction. The olives are ground. The oil is then extracted in a purely mechanical process using centrifuges. The maximum temperature in this process must not exceed 27° Celsius.
Depending on the quality of the olives harvested and the care taken in the production process, mechanical processes may produce extra virgin olive oil, virgin olive oil or lampante oil.
Virgin means that nothing is added to it.
Lampant oil is of a lower quality than virgin oil and is not suitable for consumption. It used to be used as fuel for oil lamps and therefore has its name. Today it is refined using chemical processes. After this cleaning, it is often mixed with virgin oil and then placed on the supermarket shelf as “olive oil consisting of refined olive oil and virgin olive oil”.
An important indicator for the individual quality levels is the free fatty acid content. The lower the free fatty acid content, the better the quality of the oil.
Only if an olive oil is obtained directly from olives by mechanical processes and then has a certain free fatty acid content (calculated as oleic acid, of not more than 0,8 g per 100 g and determined in an official chemical analysis of foodstuffs), does the producer obtain the designation ‘extra virgin olive oil’ for his product. The official designation is then “extra virgin olive oil” – first quality class – obtained directly from olives exclusively by mechanical methods.
During the harvest, our olives are “shaken” from the branches into a net that encompasses the tree. They do not come into contact with the ground. This is an important prerequisite for good quality. After each day’s harvest, the olives are transported to a modern mill specialised in the production of extra virgin olive oil.
They are then processed into oil overnight. The night temperatures ensure that the standards of cold extraction can be met.
A high standard of hygiene in and around the oil mill as well as a carefully monitored cold extraction process with a modern plant, such as that available at GOLD OF EXTREMADURA and OLEOSETIN, enable us to produce a very high-quality olive oil.
The extracted oil is immediately stored in stainless steel tanks.
Subsequently, oil samples are sent to a specialised laboratory for food chemical analysis and the quality is checked again.
Only when these high internal and external quality requirements have been met is the oil bottled in our containers so that you can enjoy GOLD OF EXTREMADURA as usual.
Please have a look at the films about the harvesting of GOLD OF EXTREMADURA and the processing in the oil mill of OLEOSETIN in our video library.
Our careful processing methods resulted in the current harvest for our “GOLD OF EXTREMADURA” a content of free fatty acids of less than 0.2g/100g, which is a massive undercutting of the permissible values for extra virgin olive oil. This is a further indication for a high-quality oil of the top class.
THE ROLE OF POLYPHENOLS IN OLIVE OIL
High quality olive oil can be very healthy. To this end, the EU has set strict limits. Only relatively few olive oils comply with these limits.
Mediterranean nutrition, in which olive oil is an important component, is characterized among other things by the use of high-quality olive oils. Our olive oil GOLD OF EXTREMADURA contains valuable polyphenols (307 mg/kg), which help to protect blood lipids from oxidative stress. The positive effect occurs with a daily intake of 20 g olive oil. You can find the specific nutritional information for GOLD OF EXTREMADURA here.
THE ROLE OF FLAVOUR
Good, high-quality extra virgin olive oil is fruity, bitter and pungent in various forms. Each extra virgin olive oil must undergo a sensory test.
It is tasted “blind” by trained experts and classified on the basis of the registration forms. If defects in taste are found during tasting, the highest quality level ” Extra Virgin ” is not awarded.