What Is True Extra Virgin Olive Oil?

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Extra Virgin Olive Oil is quite literally the freshly-squeezed juice of the olive fruit. When handled with care from grove to mill to bottle, a producer is capable of creating a truly outstanding olive oil: one that is rich in flavor and aromas, balanced in fruitiness, bitterness and pungency, and high in healthy antioxidants, known as polyphenols.

What are the standards required for an oil to be labeled Extra Virgin?

The oil must be produced from healthy, sound olives, must be totally unprocessed with the temperature kept below 75 degrees Fahrenheit at all times during the mechanical extraction process.

For an oil to be labeled extra virgin, it not only must meet strict chemical criteria as defined by the International Olive Oil Council and adopted by the European Union and USDA, but must also have perfect flavor and aroma, without defects, as determined by a certified tasting panel.

What is involved in producing an oil that is Extra Virgin?

In order for an olive oil to meet the requirements of Extra Virgin, it is crucial that the olives are from groves that are well-cared for, are picked at the optimum ripeness, and are transported immediately to a local mill that uses the most modern equipment. It is also essential that once the oil is extracted, it is stored under optimum conditions without exposure to light, heat and oxygen, thus ensuring quality is maintained once bottled.