How to choose Olive Oil

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Olive oil is the juice obtained from cold-pressing  the fruit of the olive tree, the olive.  
The elaboration process of the oil consists of several phases: 

  • Collection: Collection of the fruit at the right time of maturation.    
  • Sieving and cleaning: Carried out in the mill, at this phase the olives are prepared by removing the twigs or any other impurities that may alter the quality of the oil.   
  • Milling: Grounding through an olive roller to break the tissues that store the oil, making sure not to break the pits.
  • Pressing: It should be performed only by physical or mechanical means.    
  • Storage: the oil obtained is stored in tanks in special conditions of volume, temperature, lighting and possible organoleptic contamination.   
  • Packaging: Regardless of the type of packaging used, oil should be properly labeled, specifying the following data

 

Product Specification:

  • Variety of the grapes.
  • Acidity, expressed in degrees.    
  • Protected Denomination of Origin, if applicable.    
  • Batch number and date of packaging. 
  • To obtain quality oil it is of key importance to limit the time between harvesting and pressing to a maximum of 24 hours.    
  • The optimal consumption period of olive oil is usually one year. After that, it won’t be dangerous for human consumption but it will lose its properties.
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The following are the aromas of the most common varieties of olives.   

  • Arbequina: Almonds.  
  • Cornicabra: Sweet, exotic fruits, avocado.   
  • Hojiblanca: Sweet and fruity, bitter and slightly spicy. 

 

Usage of olive oils depending on the variety.  

  • Arbequina: Cold dishes with predominance of the main ingredient, white garlic, gazpachos.    ⁃ Cornicabra and hojiblanca: Hot dishes with strong flavors. 
  • Picual: Sofritos and vegetable dishes.    
  • Lechin: Game dishes and elaborations with aromatic herbs.

 

The following are the different types of olive oil marketed nowadays:

  • Extra virgin and virgin olive oil. Obtained by either mechanical or physical means at a temperature not higher than  75°F and an acidity degree equal to or less than 1. 
  • Refined virgin olive oil. Obtained from ordinary virgin and lampante oils that go through a refinement process  to make them  suitable for human  consumption.
    They are not marketed directly to consumers.     
  • Fine Virgin olive oil. Same elaboration process as the Virgin, only with an acidity degree equal to or less than 2.   
  • Olive oil. A blend of extra virgin or virgin olive oil and refined olive oil.
  • Raw olive-pomace oil. Obtained from the pomace of olives, it needs organic solvents for its extraction.  Not suitable for human consumption.    
  • Refined olive-pomace oil. Obtained through the refinement process of the olive-pomace oil  to make it suitable for human consumption. Not marketed directly to consumers.
  • Olive-pomace olive oil. Blend of extra virgin or Virgin olive oil and refined olive-pomace oil. Suitable for human consumption and marketed to consumers.

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