Olive Oil Classification
When olive oil carries the adjective virgin, this means that it is a juice obtained from the extrusion of the olive, solely by means of a mechanical procedure, almost in the same way that we get fruit juice in our homes. No chemical solvent of any kind is used, unlike when obtaining any other type of oil or grease.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil:
Virgin olive oil with an absolutely impeccable flavour and aroma, whose acidity expressed in free fatty acids cannot exceed 0.8% and whose organoleptic category must be higher than 6.5 points obtained in the panel tasting test.
Virgin Olive Oil:
Virgin olive oil with an impeccable flavour and aroma, whose acidity expressed in free fatty acids cannot exceed 2%. It is common to find the term 'fino' to distinguish this category. It must obtain more than 5.5 points in the panel tasting test.
"Lampante" Olive Oil: (i.e., Lamp Olive Oil , a term of Roman origin)
Virgin olive oil with a defective flavour and aroma, whose acidity expressed in free fatty acids exceeds 2%. As it is not apt for direct consumption, it must be sent to a refinery to be refined or corrected.
Refined Olive Oil:
Refined olive oils come from defective olive oils which have an unacceptable flavour and aroma and which must be put through a correction process to make them apt for consumption. This process involves techniques to neutralise, wash, decolourise, and deodorise, thus correcting and eliminating its defects.
Olive oils are a blend of virgin olive oil, generally of a very high quality, and refined olive oil. Blends may have different proportions of virgin and refined oil depending on the characteristics of the oil one wishes to achieve.
Refined olive pomace oil
Olive pomace oil comes from the pomace from the olive, which is what is left of the olive after the oil is extracted. As the extraction method is completely mechanical, with no use of any type of solvent, there is always a small portion of oil left in the pomace, which is extracted this time using solvents by specialist companies called pomace refineries. The oil obtained is then refined in the same way as the refined olive oil.
Olive Pomace oil
They are a blend of virgin olive oil, generally of high quality, and refined olive pomace oil. This blend is usually made with different proportions of virgin and refined pomace according to the characteristics of the resulting oil that we want to obtain.
THE ONLY OILS SUITABLE FOR SALE ARE EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL, VIRGIN OLIVE OIL, OLIVE OIL AND OLIVE POMACE OIL.
Organoleptic Assessment of Olive Oil: Oil Tasting
The procedure called "oil tasting" establishes the criteria to assess the characteristics of virgin olive oil. This assessment is based on a numerical points scale that classifies oils according to its attributes and according to carefully chosen experienced tasters who form the "tasting panel".
Oil tasting is regulated by established norms with which it is possible to distinguish positive attributes (bitter, spicy, fruity,.) and negative (musty, fusty, muddy sediment,.). These norms specify the guidelines for awarding points and regulate the use of specific terms, standardised utensils and methodology: test temperature (28º C + 2º C), sample size (15ml), test time (preferably in the morning), characteristics of the tasting glass, characteristics and equipment of the room where the tasting takes place, etc.
Proccess of Olive Oil Tasting
It is important to point out that colour or cloudiness are not characteristics to be taken into account, and to avoid these factors from influencing the tasters, blue coloured glasses are used.
Tasters are handed a profile sheet where they note down smell and taste characteristics and attributes. Once the sheet is filled in, points assessment takes place.
Points are awarded on a scale of 1 to 9 according to defects and characteristics: important or serious even noticeable defects are given between 1 and 5 points; for slight almost unnoticeable defects 6 points; when there are no defects and depending on how good its characteristics are, the points range from 7 to 9. Therefore, the best quality virgin olive oils and those classified as "extra" are in the 6 to 9 band.