Different types of olive oils are sold in the market. All of them come from the same fruit, the olive. The composition and the harvesting method determine some of the most important differences between them. Classifying them requires some physiochemical parameters determined by laboratory analysis, and sensory qualities, established by an official tasting panel.
Extra virgin olive oil. It is extracted directly from the olives and by mechanical processes only. To get it, it is necessary to have olives in perfect conditions, grinded the same day they have been picked. The result is flawless pure olive juice with a genuine taste and aroma and sensory qualities of fresh olives. The acidity is 0,8º or less.
Virgin olive oil. It is extracted directly from the olives and by mechanical processes only. It has some small faults in the tasting because the raw material does not have the best conditions or due to a failure in the making process. The acidity is less than 2 °
Lampante virgin olive oil. The making process is the same as the last two types and this is the result from using damaged olives and also from a making process with failures. The organoleptic qualities are poor and the acidity exceeds 2°, which is not suitable for human consumption so it must be refined first by physical and chemical procedures.
Refined olive oil. It is obtained after the lampante virgin olive oil is refined through physical and chemical processes to remove unwanted components. This oil is tasteless, colorless and with no smell, named refined olive oil.
Olive oil. It is a mix of refined olive oil and a small percentage of virgin olive oil. Within this category, there are two types of oil: olive oil with 0,4 º acidity, 'smooth taste'; and olive oil with 1º acidity, ‘intense taste’. The difference between the two of them is that 0,4º olive oil has a lower percentage of virgin olive oil than 1º olive oil.
Pomace olive oil. The pomace is the remains of the grounded and pressed olive. To extract the contained oil, a series of chemical solvents must be added. The result is not suitable for human consumption, so it must be refined and mixed with virgin olive oil. Despite coming from olives and containing olive oil, it is not considered an olive derivative as it is not natural.