Olive oils classification

Let’s find out how to distinguish the various product classes

Different types of oil can be obtained from olive pressing ,which are classified according to chemical parameters1.
We will have:

  • Extravirgin Olive oil
  • Virgin Olive oil
  • Glaring Oil
  • Pomace Olive Oil

This kind of classification takes into account acidity, which is expressed in grams of oleic acid over 100 grams of oil.

For example, In extra virgin olive oil acidity should not exceed 0.8%.

ATTENTION: Acidity is not felt in the mouth, but it is only measured by chemical analysis.

Extravirgin Olive Oil

Extravirgin olive oil is the superior category oil and it’s obtained exclusively from olives crushed by non-chemical mechanical processes.
It’s a real olive juice, obtained in conditions that do not alter the natural characteristics of the product.

Olives must be fresh, of good quality and untreated.


The olives: the only ingredient needed for oil production

The organoleptic parameters (C.O.I. method2) are related to sensory characteristics that describe the qualities of the oil in a positive (bitter, spicy, fruity…) or negative (rancid, heated…).
As far as extra virgin olive oil is concerned, the score must not be less than 6,5.

Virgin Olive Oil

Another type of oil is virgin olive oil. It’s also obtained by squeezing the olives but is of inferior quality to the extra virgin olive oil.
Acidity does not exceed 2%. It may have slight defects. The organoleptic score of virgin olive oil ranges from 5,5 to 6,5.

Glaring Olive Oil

Glaring olive oil is an oil that has serious manufacturing defects and it’s so called because it was once intended to power the oil lamps.
This oil can not enter into the market, it’s refined to correct acidity and taste and to be transformed into the Olive Oil Merchandise Class.

Olive Oil

Olive oil is therefore a mixture between a virgin olive oil and a glaring oil that has undergone chemical processes aimed at the elimination of chemical and organoleptic defects.
Since the law does not establish a minimum quantity of virgin oil to be used in the mixture, you’ll usually find a minimum quantity.

Pomace Olive Oil

Another category is pomace olive oil. Olives squeezing residues still contain a percentage of oil (between 3% and 6%) which can be extracted by chemical processes and then mixed with a virgin olive oil.
The acidity degree should not exceed 1.5%.
This way you get the refined olive oil that can also be used for foodstuffs such as preserving canned tuna and preparing pods.

Accumulation of pomace

According to the different types, it is possible to identify different uses: extra virgin olive oil is definitely a basic food that thanks to polyphenols and antioxidants has considerable benefits to the body and keeps it healthy.
Since its properties decay with time, it is good to be consumed when young.



1 Reg. CE 1234/2007 Allegato XVI

2 Reg. CE 640/2008 Panel test


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