Only mechanical pressing, collection and processing of raw materials within 24 hours, preservation of nutritional value up to 2 years, maximum acidity – 0.8%, ideal for salads and sauces, taste with bitterness – you have already guessed that this is a verbal portrait of Extra Virgin olive oil.
Fresh olives from the tree are bitter. Therefore, extra virgin olive oil is also bitter, although many people think that this is a marriage and overdue.
Only this oil, unlike refined, contains all the useful substances and only by pressing them can be stored for a period of 18-24 months. This is one of the main values of Extra Virgin oil.
If you took refined olive oil, and it does not have a neutral, but bitter taste – this is not a quality product.
The lower the acidity of the oil, the better it is, and therefore more useful. This is the main indicator of its quality. The acidity is the percentage of oleic acid in 100 grams of the product. According to the European standard, 0.8% is the maximum allowable acidity for Virgin and Extra Virgin oils. Oil with an acidity of 0.5 or 0.3% is already considered curative.
This parameter can only be determined by laboratory testing, it has no smell or taste, so you can’t perceive it by taste. Don’t confuse the acidity and bitterness of olive oil. The bitter taste and stinging sensations that are the hallmarks of a good EVOO. In most cases, the more these signs are expressed, the lower the acidity.
Sharpness and bitterness are produced by phenolic compounds responsible for the extraordinary beneficial properties of extra virgin olive oil, such as oleocanthal – an anti-inflammatory and antitumor substance (oleo=olive, canth=sting, al=aldehyde).
Extra Virgin oil is pressed from fresh fruit without the use of chemicals and without heat treatment. This is the traditional and most expensive method of extraction that makes olive oil so valuable. But if you have olive oil with a BIO and/or Organic certificate in your hands, this applies to raw materials, not production. In other words, it is an organic product made from olives grown without the use of pesticides, fertilizers and growth promoters.