olive oil grades
The health regulations in Spain define seven
distinct classes of olive oil:
Virgin Olive Oil (Aceite
de Oliva virgen)
Oil extracted from olives by mechanical or other
methods which do not modify it's basic properties. This results
in a completely natural product which maintains the taste plus chemical
and biological characteristics of the olive. Within the Virgin grade,
there are actully three recognised quality levels:
Oil of the best taste characteristics, and with
an acidity level not exceeding 1%
Oil with a good taste, and acidity levels not
Inadequate taste or acidity levels above 3.3%
Refined Olive Oil (Aceite
de Oliva refinado)
Oil obtained by refining virgin oil whose taste
and/or acidity levels make it unsatisfactory for direct consumption.
This is a healthy and perfectly acceptable food product, but it
does not have the full taste of virgin olive oil.
Olive Oil (Aceite de Oliva)
This is made by blending both refined and virgin
olive oil. This is very much a standard in the marketplace - its
properties are somewhere between the previous two.
Pomace Oil (Aceite de
Made by refining/processing olive oil pressings
[pomace/marc/orujo]. The least expensive type, no real taste and
used primarily for deep frying.
Spanish olive oil links: Spanish
olive oil production