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What is extra virgin olive oil: Olive oil vs. extra virgin olive oil?

Posted by Fernanda Catalan on
What is extra virgin olive oil: Olive oil vs. extra virgin olive oil?

An introduction to extra virgin olive oil

Olive oil is the liquid or fluid that is gotten from pressed olive fruits. The botanical name is Olea Europaea from the Oleaceae family. It is a traditional tree crop that started growing in the Mediterranean Basin and can now be found in Chile as well.

Extra virgin olive oil is unrefined, as the name suggests, and is the highest quality of olive oil that can be bought. An olive oil requires strict standards to meet, to earn the 'extra virgin' badge, despite the fact that it is not touched by chemicals or altered by temperature.

The Extra Virgin Olive Oil is a heart-healthy fat which also contains polyphenols that act as antioxidants, reducing the oxidative stress throughout the body, which is why O-Live is often a choice for those looking to eat healthy and stay fit.


Meet the different types of olive oil

The varieties of olive oil are usually described by the type of process used to extract the oil from the olive fruits, additives, and the level of free oleic acid. The differences in the regular olive oil and extra-virgin oil are graded by colors, taste, quality, and ultimately, the level of acidity. The extra virgin olive oil is noticeably darker than the regular olive oil. The intensity of color shade varies from one brand to another, though. Hence, the determination of grade by color is not absolute.

Unrefined olive oils are the traditional olive oils, popular, which are pure and untreated.

The refined olive oils are chemically treated to remove some components from the oil to increase the value for sales purpose. The refined oils are without aroma, flavor, color or bitterness. They are blended with a low percentage of extra virgin oil to get some qualities. Refined olive oils lack core antioxidants and anti-inflammatories that make extra virgin oils unique.

The virgin olive oil goes through almost the same treatment as the extra virgin olive oil, though not as strict. The oleic acid content is slightly higher and with a less intense flavor than the former. There are types of virgin oils, too.

Although The extra virgin and the regular olive oils are often substituted for each other since they are both used in baking and cooking, however, they can be sensitive to some things. This is because of the difference in their smoke points. Hence, if you are particular about some features in your meals or cakes and doughs, you may want to choose the oil by its smoking point. Thanks to it’s low acidity level of 0.2% (compared to the average of 0.8%) O-Live & Co has a higher smoking point than most other extra virgin oils.

Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil

The Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil is usually produced from olives that have been grown and harvested organically. This means that the oil meets or exceeds all tested International Olive Council (IOC) standards for Extra Virgin. What gives it the title of ‘extra’ is the battery of chemical tests required to ensure that it meets the (IOC) standards of free fatty acid percent and peroxide levels. The extra virgin oil is expected to have no more than 0.8 - 1% free acidity (oleic acid) and is usually considered to have a more favorable flavor. 

Aside from the chemical tests, the Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil passes through professional tasters to detect the olive fruitiness, and correct any flaws found in the taste. This is all to ensure that it meets the freshest quality.

The major difference between the Premium Extra Virgin Olive Oil and the Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil is that the growing, harvesting, and oil manufacturing of the Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil has been documented by an organic certifying agency and the Premium Extra Virgin Olive Oil is not documented by an organic certifying agency. Olive trees require little or no pesticide, so it is expected that both Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Premium Extra Virgin Olive Oil come from essentially the same quality of trees. However, if you are looking for a certified organic extra virgin olive oil, O-Live has you covered as well. Check out O-Live’s Organic Edition Extra Virgin Olive Oil.


Is your Italian olive oil really Italian?

Italian extra virgin olive oil is a common type of olive oil and can be found in almost every home. The sad truth is, many of the olive oil bottles that sit in many kitchen's corners are either fake or diluted. Italian extra virgin oil is meant to be olive oils of only Italian origin. Hence the fruits should be gotten, pressed and packaged in Italy. On the contrary, many Italian extra virgin olive oil brands only mix the real Italian olive oil with other ones to give it the right blend they desire. Are you thinking about how to know real Italian olive oil? Watch the label for "produced and "bottled in Italy". "Packaged in Italy" or "Bottled in Italy" and other confusing terms which are not direct about where it is manufactured and processed from are not the true Italian olive oil.

Having become aware that there are fake and adulterated olive oils and brands, it becomes important to know what brands can be trusted and the best organic olive oil brands. 6 out of 11 extra virgin olive oil lying on store shelves in 2015 were found to not meet the requirement from IOC. Way back in 2011, independent quality control analyses showed that about 73% of the olive oil bottles tested from different brands in the US did not have the reputable standard of the extra virgin olive oil.

Getting the Best Extra Virgin Olive Oil

For everyday use, Extra Virgin Olive Oil will be a good go-to choice. With its fruity, grassy flavor, this oil can be used to handle both your cooking and saucing in the kitchen. When it comes to sensitive meals such as vegetable and mushroom dishes, you need to source for the best extra virgin olive oil with the right flavor that will bring out the essence and aroma that you want in those foods, no matter how faint. Experts think the best extra virgin olive oil for this should be buttery, mild-flavored, and have some unique finish. O-Live’s Everyday Extra Virgin Olive Oil was crafted for just this purpose, everyday use, and leaves your tongue delighted with its buttery taste. 

For your fish, white meat, crudos, and vegetables, a lemon-spiced extra virgin olive oil should come first. Try O-Live’s Robust Edition for that extra kick in taste.


Why use extra virgin olive oil instead of cooking?

Quality extra virgin olive oil is exceptionally good because it contains healthy fats that tend to retain its beneficial qualities even during cooking. There are different kinds of fatty acids-saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. Most vegetable oils contain polyunsaturated fats, and some such as soybean and canola oils are sensitive to high heat. Cooking olive oil, on the other hand, contains mostly monounsaturated fats and offers bioactive substances, including powerful antioxidants and vitamin E.

Olive oils are quite resistant to heat and do not oxidize or go rancid during cooking. This is because of the high antioxidants and vitamin E level which provides significant natural protection from oxidative damage. It might be difficult to determine an oil’s exact smoke point, some sources put the range of olive oil at somewhere around 374-405°F (190-207°C), making it a safe choice for most cooking methods. However, heating for too long is not advisable. When oil oxidizes, it reacts with oxygen and forms various harmful compounds, making the oil go rancid and this process can be accelerated when oils are heated. Olive oils, however, hold up well during heating. This makes it not only an excellent cooking choice but also one of the healthiest.  

In conclusion, olive oil has a vast usage with humans. Its heritage with man goes a very long way and has been beneficial in cooking, medicine, beauty, and lifehacks. Extra virgin olive oil is the most quality form of olive oil because it is unrefined and carefully prepared to retain its original essence. To take the headache out of choosing a high-quality extra virgin olive oil, rely on O-Live & Co. We have ensured that our high-quality process, meticulously grown fruit and sustainable practices only give you the best of the best.


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