29-Nov-2009

What does "Extra Virgin" really mean?



Olives are the only fruit that you can squeeze and the oil just comes out.  It’s held in tiny bubble-wrap like pockets within the fleshy fruit.  When you squeeze or press the fruit, the oil simply comes out.  Just like that.  We planted 1000 olive trees on our farm over ten years ago and now we produce the most delicious Margaret River olive oil under the Mt of Olives brand.

Most other fruits and nuts need heat and sometimes solvents.  Getting oil out of some products is as hard as getting oil off your driveway and the same solvents you use as degreasers, like Hexane are used to extract oil and then distilled off later. That’s why it’s so important to get cold-pressed oil.  Oil that’s been pressed at normal room temperature so the natural oil just presses out.  This first pressing from whole olives produces Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

So what does “Extra” mean?  “Extra” really means “Extra-good”, and it’s not decided by chance.  The International Olive Oil Federation requires all oil labeled “Extra” (Extra-good) to have an acidity of less than 1%. And this has to be proven by a certificate from a testing laboratory.

If its acidity is above 1% then it’s “Virgin olive Oil” .  After the first pressing the leftover pulp is heated and sometimes solvents are used and it’s pressed again.  This is “Olive Oil”

The term “Extra” is used to identify taste. It really means "Extra Good".  Taste is measured by lack of acid and certified by chemical testing.  Always ask for Cold Pressed Extra Virgin Olive Oil.  Click here for more details.


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