Olive oils are graded by production method, acidity content, and flavor. The International Olive Oil Council (IOOC) sets quality standards that most olive-oil-producing countries use.
There are three basic grades of edible olive oils: Extra virgin olive oil, Virgin olive oil, and Olive Oil and several types within each grade.
Then … WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN VIRGIN OLIVE OIL AND EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL?
Olive Oils differ from each other for several reasons: First the way of obtaining it. Virgins Oils are obtained solely by physical processes, without the intervention of chemical solvents.
Within these virgin oils,they are classified and differentiated by their quality parameters.
EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL. It should be considered the best olive oil. It has some sensory characteristics that reproduce the smells and flavors of the fruit from which it comes. It is the juice of olives harvested at their best maturity, health and properly processed. It contains all the elements of nutritional interest. No, therefore, any alteration in their physical-chemical indices or sensory.
VIRGIN OLIVE OIL. Virgin Olive Oil may have slight alterations in their sensory or analytical indices.
Finally, as we are often asked for a sound bite description of what extra virgin means, we would say that Extra Virgin = High-Quality Olive Juice + Good Taste.
Just Virgin is also good in general, but a bit less good.
and… WHAT ABOUT OLIVE OIL?
OLIVE OIL is a blend of virgin oil and refined virgin oil. Then it is obtained by refining virgin olive oils with a high acidity level or organoleptic defects that are eliminated. After refining it, a small amount of virgin-production it is added to give taste. Note that no solvents have been used to extract the oil, but it has been refined with the use of chemical and physical filters.
In the process of refining, this oil loses the natural antioxidant compounds. However the composition of monounsaturated fatty acids is similar, it is still healthy for the heart and better than seeds or animals fats.
The last edible olive oil it is called: OLIVE-POMACE OIL. Once the typical, mechanized extraction of olive oil from the olive fruit is complete, some 5 to 8 percent of the oil still remains in the leftover olive pulp or “pomace.” The pomace oil that is extracted is technically oil that comes from olives but this is done via the use of chemical solvents.