Have you ever wondered what it really means when you purchase a bottle of Virgin Olive Oil? Pure? Cold Pressed? Extra Virgin Olive Oil?
“Pure,” explains Dan Flynn of the University of California Davis Olive Center, “which is a great word from a marketing standpoint, indicates to a lot of consumers that they’re buying the very best olive oil. But in fact, it’s a lower grade.”
Extra Virgin is the highest grade for olive oil.
We hear the most about extra virgin olive oil, which is the first pressed oil from freshly picked olives. To be a true extra virgin olive oil, the oil must be mechanically pressed or crushed, with no added heat or chemicals.
Here are some tips to look out for when selecting your olive oil.
Look olive oils that are stored in a dark bottles, covered, or packaged in tins. Dark containers protects the oil from sunlight and heat, which can damage and affect the quality and flavour."Product of Italy" does not necessarily mean the oil's Italian, it could mean it was just packaged there. Good virgin olive oils are grown, pressed and bottled in a single country.
Check to see if the bottle has a "pressing" date (it should be no more than one year old). As olive oils do not age very well, keep your bottle of olive oil away from heat and store in a cool, dark space.
Look olive oils that are stored in a dark bottles, covered, or packaged in tins. Dark containers protects the oil from sunlight and heat, which can damage and affect the quality and flavour.
#4: Cold Pressed
Good olive oils are cold pressed - this refers to a chemical-free process using only pressure and no heat was used to extract the oil from the olives. This results in an olive oil with the highest polyphenol levels (antioxidants that help prevent and reduce the progression of diabetes, cancer, and neurodegenerative and cardiovascular diseases).
Take note virgin olive oil is pressed in a similar manner, but comes from riper olives or a second pressing, and lowers polyphenol content.
#5: "Pure" and "Light" Olive Oils
This oil is typically a blend of virgin olive oil and refined olive oil and are extracted with heat and/or chemicals in the process.
A lower-quality oil than extra-virgin or virgin olive oil, this oil is lighter in colour, has a neutral flavour, and a popular choice for baking and also deep-frying, due to its higher smoking point. It is important to take note that extracting oils using heat and chemicals in the process significantly reduced polyphenol levels.
One of our popular extra virgin olive oils, Papa's Grove recently won the gold medal at Olive Japan 2017. This is their third award this year for the best extra virgin olive oil title.
At Little Farms, we carry the best quality of extra virgin olive oils, sourced from family-grown farms that put much care and passion in growing, harvesting, processing, and bottling their olive oils.
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