EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil) is made from pure, cold-pressed olives, whereas regular olive oil is a blend, including both cold-pressed and processed oils. EVOO is made by grinding olives into a paste, then pressing them to extract the oil. These factors contribute to the oil’s higher price.
When it comes to describing extra virgin olive oil, it’s all about high quality, as the “Extra Virgin” description comes from the quality of the olives and the process in which it was produced.
Oil is classified as “Extra Virgin” when the oil is extracted during the first pressing of olives, whereas regular olive oil is made from a blend of processed oils. That means that one of the key distinctions is the absence of processed chemicals. Therefore, EVOO represents the absolute highest grade of olive oil.
How is EVOO made?
The EVOO classification stems from how the oil was processed, so Extra virgin olive oil must be free from any alterations in color, taste, nutrients or vitamins.
EVOO is also made when olives are crushed into a pulp using only force, rather than heat or chemicals. Once the pulp creates a paste, it is kneaded to release the liquid from the pulp, made up of oil, water and olive residue.
That liquid goes then to a centrifuge which separates the oil from the rest of the olive material. This oil must also not exceed 0.8% of oleic acid content in order to be considered EVOO. So, at the end, the pure, flavorful oil is then filtered and bottled as Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
And to get the best flavor and nutritional quality, the oil must be the first, cold extraction of the olives.
True olive oil should smell fresh, like grass or something fruity, avoid something that smells musty or rancid, or even odorless. In addition to smell, when you’re tasting olive oils, you should recognize hints of grass, fruit, and almond.
The Fake Oils
Many brands have discovered methods to generate greater profits by skimping on quality standards for EVOO. In fact, researchers found that some 70% of imported oils labeled as extra virgin did not meet the IOC (International Olive Council) quality standards.
As a result, some cheap brands are taking advantage of it, using diluted oils, synthetic compounds and fake fragrance oil additives.
Actually, two major reasons for the ongoing fakery: low availability of high-quality olive oil and soaring demand.
Of course, all-natural Extra Virgin olive oil involves much more care, time, and effort to produce, and are much more valuable and beneficial than other vegetable and seed oils,
- Buy only olive oil labeled “Extra Virgin”
- Pay attention to the harvest date
- Buy oil bottled in UV-resistant, opaque glass
- Look for a seal from a third-party certifier, such as the International Olive Council (IOC)
Why is EVOO so amazing?
EVOO allows you to maintain the health benefits and purity of product that olive oil is intended to have. So what are some of these benefits?
EVOO has remarkably better taste than other vegetable oils or other olive oils.
EVOO also beats out other oils in vitamins and nutrients it holds, as other oils are extracted using chemical solvents and are highly refined. We must know that in this process, much of the taste, color and nutrients are dramatically removed. Since EVOO is not processed or refined, all the color, taste, vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants remain.
A research team led by Hunter College has shown that certain extra virgin olive oils kill human cancer cells with no obvious effect on normal cells. Previous studies demonstrated that Oleocanthal (a component found in some olive oils) has this cancer-killing power. (Source)
Olive oil has also been found to significantly reduce the risk of skin cancer in mice when applied topically after exposure to UV rays. This is thought to be due to the powerful antioxidants in olive oil which have anti-inflammatory action and also reduce DNA damage. (Source)
Also, results of a 2017 study suggested that the polyphenols in extra virgin olive oil may offer protection from cardiovascular disease, atherosclerosis, stroke, brain dysfunction, and cancer. Polyphenols are a type of antioxidant. (Source)
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