Olive Oil Characteristics

I. Virgin Olive Oil
In general, virgin olive oil is, regardless of its quality level, a natural product, which has not had its characteristics altered, has been extracted naturally, without chemicals or other processing and the heat during pressing which does not exceed 33° Celsius cannot affect its quality., It is the oil used in most olive oil producing areas in Greece and the same referred to by medical studies, which proved that the Cretan diet is the healthiest in the Mediterranean. This oil retains all its natural characteristics which have been pressed out of the olive fruit, including various trace elements and vitamins.


1. Virgin Olive Oil - Extra
Exceptional quality olive oil. Particular natural flavor and taste. Acidity ranges between 0.1-1 (0.1 – 1 grams oleic acid per 100 grams olive oil).

2. Virgin Olive Oil - Fine
Olive oil with excellent smell and taste. Acidity can reach 1.5 grams oleic acid per 100 grams olive oil.

3. Virgin Olive Oil - Semi-fine
A virgin olive oil with a good taste and smell. Acidity can reach 3.3 grams oleic acid per 100 grams olive oil.

4. Virgin Olive Oil - Lampante
Taste and smell are not good. It cannot be consumed without being refined. Acidity can reach 3.3%.

II. Refined Olive Oil
This comes from the industrial type of oil “lampante”. It has a bad smell and taste so it needs to be processed in order to be made edible. The refining eliminates the bad smell and taste so that the oil attains neutral characteristics. The main problem with refined oil is the down-grade of its characteristics and a decrease in its vitamin value as well as other important agents it contains, such as tocopherols and sterols. Refined oil tends to e the same bright color which extra virgin olive oil has. It is light yellow color without smell or taste which would attract interest, in other words, neutral. The production of refined oil is limited in Greece in comparison with other oil producing countries which use this method on the larger part of their production. Greek olive oil is a high quality product and does not need to be processed in order to be consumed. That is why the inhabitants of areas where high quality olive oil is consumed, find it difficult to accept anything less.

III. Pure Olive Oil
It is a product which answer the market’s demands. It is basically a refined olive oil, to which virgin oil is added to improve its character. Unfortunately there are no set levels of blending refined olive oil with virgin olive oil. Thus, there could be 50% virgin oil in a mixture or just 10%. The neutral refined oil can easily attain an improved color, taste and smell. Industries that deal with its promotion have come up with their own levels in a mixture so as to improve the quality but at the same time, keep the price down. The Greek consumer who is used to the taste of good virgin olive oil has difficulty in using it… Acidity level may reach 1.5%.

IV. Olive Residue Oil
Chemical methods (solvents) are used to dissolve oil from the residue. Olive stones are woody and the oil which remains cannot be removed naturally, so it is removed through distillation with the use of solvents. Acidity does not exceed 1.5%.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil Up To 90%
Greek olive oil producers offer extra virgin olive oil at a percentage of 80-85%. In some areas, such as Crete, this figure is greater, as much as 85-90% and tends to increase!



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