Grades of Olive Oil
Extra Virgin Olive Oil:
‘Extra’ is the highest grade for olive oil and is the most versatile due to the broad range of flavor profiles you can find. Virgin oil may be called ‘extra’ if it has less than 0.8% free oleic acid, and if it exhibits superior taste and aroma, and is an unrefined oil. Thus, the ‘extra’ in extra virgin olive oil means ‘premium’ or simply, ‘the best’ and the healthiest.
Virgin Olive Oil:
Virgin olive oil has a slightly higher level of oleic acid and slightly less intense flavor than extra virgin olive oil and is made in a similar process. Virgin olive oil is rare but provides a good flavor profile for sautéing, roasting and grilling.
Also known as a ‘regular’ olive oil, which is typically a blend of virgin olive oil and refined olive oil, meaning that heat and/or chemicals are used in the process of extracting oil and removing flaws from the fruit. Olive oil contains less than 1% of oleic acid and is a household all-purpose cooking oil used commonly for grilling and baking.
Olive Pomace Oil:
Olive pomace oil is a lesser quality of olive oil, graded from a blend of refined pomace oil and virgin olive oil used for frying and consumption in foods. Its mild taste is the result of a refining process made with chemicals.
Refined olive oil is olive oil obtained from refining virgin olive oils that have a high acidity level to eliminated organoleptic defects that are found. It is equivocal to olive oil and is generally tasteless, colorless, and has no odor.