Go to the supermarket for olive oil nowadays and you’ll most likely find there’s a confusing array of choices, and prices. So, what’s the best type of olive oil to buy? It depends, to a degree, on what you’re going to use it for.
You may have heard that olive oil is good for your health, that it lowers your ‘bad’ cholesterol levels and cuts your risk of heart disease. The benefits of olive oil go way beyond heart health. But did you know that not all types of olive oil are good for you? Do you want to know the difference between the different types of olive oil and, find out which types to avoid?
Green olives produce the olive oil that has been making headlines as a healthy addition to cooking. Depending on the type of olive oil you bring home, you will encounter a wide-range of flavors, colors, and consistencies. This is because the climate, location, and specific varieties of olives play an important role in the characteristics of the oil.
If you have ever wondered what the difference between extra-virgin and just plain â€˜ol virgin was in the world of olive oils, consider the following information that will help you know the difference next time you go shopping:
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
In order to gain the distinction of extra-virgin olive oil, the oil should possess less than 1% acidity and have been produced by an initial press of the olive fruit that has gone through what is known as the cold pressing process. While there are a lot of olive oils that claim an extra-virgin status, the majority actually meets the very minimum requirement. Extra virgin denotes a chemical requirement that should not be used as an accurate measure of quality and taste.
Virgin Olive Oil
Virgin olive oil is made from olives that are slightly riper than the ones generated for extra-virgin oil. While virgin olive oil is made in the same manner, it is considered a lower quality of virgin oil. The acidity associated with virgin olive oil is slightly higher than the 1% level of extra-virgin olive oil.
Refined Olive Oil
This type of oil is nearly tasteless and has been refined. The acidity level is more than 3.3%, which contributes to an unpleasant flavor and not so attractive scent.
Pure Olive Oil
Pure olive oil is often referred to as olive oil and usually is made through a second cold pressing process or undergoes chemical extraction of olives left behind after the first pressing. Pure olive oil (also known as commercial grade oil) is lighter in color and tastes blander than virgin olive oil. When you need general-purpose oil, this is the type of olive oil to seek out.
Refined Olive-Pomace Oil
Avoid this type of oil, as it has been tainted by olive pomace treated with solvents. Actually, this grade is not good for your health.
Once again, this olive oil supplies a combination of refined olive-pomace oil and virgin olive oil, and is not good for you to consume.
Light & Extra Light Olive Oil
Some grocery stores carry olive oil that states it is â€œlightâ€ or â€œextra light,â€ which shows no calorie differentiation but is also viewed as one of the lowest quality of olive oils on the market because it has been mixed with refined olive oils.