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Olive Oils

Olive oils are a little bit complicated in their class distribution according to International Oil Council (IOC). We are going to try to make this topic a little bit clearer here. It all starts by making 100% olive juice out of the olives picked from the trees. In this process, we get the juice and the leftovers from the olives (skin, bones and pulp) which are called “alperujo”. This olive juice is obtained in a cool temperature environment and only mechanical processes are allowed to be used (Think about it as getting orange juice out of oranges, but all together. First you have the whole oranges and later you get orange juice and leftovers). This olive juice is then denominated virgin olive oil.

Virgin olive oil is then 100% pure olive juice; This is a product formed out of 96%-98% triglycerides and 2%-4% of small volatiles particles. Triglycerides molecules give the olive oil its healthy nutritional capabilities and happen to be big molecules that give no taste to the oil. The other small volatile particles are the ones that give its taste to this virgin olive oil.

Virgin olive oils can be then separated into three groups according to the IOC Panel Text results:

- EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL(EVOO): 0 defect, >0 fruity flavor and <0,8 acidity. 

- VIRGIN OLIVE OIL: 0 fruity flavor and 3.5 defect or =0 fruity flavor. 

- LAMPANT OLIVE OIL: >3.5 defect or =0 fruity flavor. 

 

The virgin olive oils are also chemically tested and the elements valuations obtained have to adjust to certain regulations, but though they all three may have the same chemical results these three still would be different products just because their flavor. Lampant olive oil can not be commercialized and has to be refined. In this process of refinement this product loses the small volatile particles and what we get is a product of no taste formed mostly of triglycerides. When you add a little bit of EVOO to this refined product, what we get is what we call olive oil. This one has similar amount of triglycerides like the others but lacks the taste. We could think about it as B class group in the olive oils.

And finally, with the “alperujo” (leftovers from the virgin olive oil elaborating process), using it in a stronger refining process, we get the pomace oilve oil (also adding a bit of EVOO), the cheaper and less flavor intensive of them all. We could think about it as C class group in the olive oils.

So, three are then thre main groups in olive oils: virgin olive oil, olive oil and pomace olive oil. Being these three products totally different one to each other. Also the virgin olive oils can be separated into three classes: extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), virgin olive oil and lampant olive oil being in this case case the flavor the main characteristics let along the chemical requirements.