Types of Olive Oil

There are four main types of olive oil: extra virgin olive oil, virgin olive oil, pure olive oil and extra light olive oil.  Extra virgin olive oil is said the best of the four.

Extra virgin olive oil is the most beneficial of the four main types of olive oils.  There are 4 main criteria for olive oil to be classified as being an extra virgin olive oil. The oil must be produced by mechanical extraction methods with no chemicals or hot water used during the extraction process. The oil comes from the first cold pressing. Virgin olive oil must have an oleic acidity level of less than 1 percent. Though subjective, taste is important when classifying extra virgin olive oil

When it comes to determining the grade of extra virgin olive oil, the acidity level is by far the most important factor with the lowest acidity level being the best.  Another important factor in determining the grade of the oil is also taste and smell.

Extra virgin olive oil is beneficial because of it’s purity and also because of it’s high content of important vitamins and nutrients.

Extra virgin olive oil is perfect for dressings. It is also used in cooking and especially when frying foods such as chicken and fish.  Choosing the right olive oil can be made easier and cheaper by splitting different brands of olive oil with family members or friends.

Virgin olive oil is also produced from the first pressing and without and refining.  The flavour and odour of virgin olive oil is much milder than the flavour of extra virgin olive oil.  Many believe that virgin olive oil has a much falvourble taste than extra virgin olive oil.  Most countries and producers of olive oil aim to produce virgin olive oil with an acidic level of less than 2%.

Similar to extra virgin olive oil, virgin olive oil has more monounsaturated fatty acids than regular olive oils. Because of this, these 2 types of olive oils contain more polyphenols, which are believed to be very beneficial for the heart.

Pure olive oil or simply olive oil is a combination of both virgin olive oil and refined olive oil. Unrefined olive oil is added to pure olive oil to give it flavour, colour as well as aroma.

Pure olive oil contains very low levels of vitamin E content and is less expensive than extra virgin olive oil.  This type of olive oil has similar acidic levels as virgin olive oil.  Because of this, pure olive oil is well suited for frying fish or chicken or for cooking foods that requires a high temperature.

Extra light olive oil is olive oil that has been refined. This type of oil is light in colour as well as taste. Extra light olive oil is preferred for cooking because of its high smoking point however, since this type of oil offers very little taste, it is often common to add extra virgin right before your feed is fully cooked to add some extra flavour.