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Types of Olive Oils

Updated on June 24, 2011
Healthy olive oil photo: 96dpi
Healthy olive oil photo: 96dpi

Factors Which Affect the Qualities and Types of Olive Oils

Environment, terrain, selection of trees, the moment of harvesting, as well as manufacturing techniques all contribute to the various traits, as well as the quality and amount of healthy components within different olive oils.

Early harvest olive oil, for example olives which are gathered while not completely ripe, provides greater healthy antioxidant amounts within the oil. This also causes an extended shelf life, along with the better nutritional benefit. Hand selected olives may possibly be better quality olive oils simply because the olives aren't too ripe or split when harvested, which could trigger oxidation.

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Types of Olive Oil Classifications

Usage of olive oil within the U.S. is at a record high, but a lot of us are still puzzled by the particular variations among olive oils: pure olive oil, olive oil which is labeled as virgin, extra virgin, and cold pressed. Therefore, here is some simple information about the various kinds of olive oil.

Generally, the types of olive oil categories will be based on the qualities of oil removed from the olive. The categories are rigorously controlled. The rules will be a bit different based on where the olive oil originated. The International Olive Oil Council classifies olive oil into the varieties listed below. The USA is not a member of the council, and so does not officially certify between these types.

Wanna Be an Olive Oil Presser? Find Out How Olive Oil Is Made

Types of Olive Oils- Regular, Virgin, Extra Virgin, and Cold Pressed Olive Oil

Pure or Regular Olive Oil

Pure or regular olive oil is chemically processed and filtered. This reduces the effects of both unfavorable strong flavors as well as acidic content. It is usually has less than 1.5% acidity level. This kind of olive oil will be of reduced quality, but most likely the lowest priced.

Virgin Olive Oil

Virgin term describes the fact that the olive oil is less treated or altered throughout processing. Virgin indicates that this particular olive oil has been made with no chemical ingredients, therefore it has absolutely no refined oil. It features a level of acidity which is under 2%, so that it tastes far better.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Extra virgin olive oil originates from the very first press exclusively and it is the best quality olive oil with ideal taste, fragrance, as well as having a well balanced level of acidity. It is usually no higher than .8% acidic. This particular olive oil is actually less refined than virgin olive oil. Extra virgin olive oil is quite subtle in taste. It is excellent with breads for dipping and in salad dressings.

Cold Pressed Olive Oil

Cold pressed olive oil is an unregulated content label description. When olive oil is pressed again with heavy steam to draw out the final drop, heat in the second pressing takes out the fragile tastes. Cold press and first press from the olives, meaning olives are just pressed once without using heat, cause a far more healthy and better tasting olive oil. Regrettably these techniques are uncommon in massive manufacturing. However, high quality olive oil is cold pressed to prevent sacrificing flavor and nutrition. Pressing is completed during winter months, while it’s still cold outside, to help maintain taste.

Uncommon Types of Olive Oil

A couple of types of olive oil that you may not be aware of are:

Olive pomace is a mixture of a bit of virgin olive oil and refined pomace olive oil.

Lampante is olive oil that is used for industrial purposes.

Olive Oil in Mediterranean Diet

Olive oil is a main ingredient in the Mediterranean diet. People of the Mediterranean region tend to be healthier, live longer, and have lower risks of certain diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. For more information, see Mediterranean Diet.

Types of Olive Oil

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    • John B Badd profile image

      John B Badd 

      8 years ago from Saint Louis, MO

      I wondered what the diffrences in the types were. Thank you for the information.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      8 years ago from London, UK

      Your hub explained a lot of the myth of various olive oils. Thank you.

    • crazykhan profile image


      8 years ago from Lahore

      thx for the guidance about olive oil


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