OLIVE OIL
Some Considerations

 
According to the guidelines set by CEE 2568/91, so-called "virgin" olive oils are divided into four categories: 
  
Extra virgin olive oil Max acidity 1.0%
Fine virgin olive oil Max acidity 2.0%
Ordinary virgin olive oil Max acidity 3.3% 
"Limpid" virgin olive oil Acidity exceeds 3.3%    
Not for consumption
 
Aside from the acidity, olive oils may be further divided depending on other chemical characteristics as well as organoleptics (i.e., smell and taste), still within the classification standards of the CEE. The regulations of the CEE are valid within the European Community, and form the basis of the International Olive Oil Council Guidelines (IOOC). The IOOC guidelines are valid in all other countries. 

As noted, chemical characteristics are considered with organoleptic traits. For instance, an oil that is chemically of a higher quality may be placed in a lower category as a result of organoleptic considerations. 

Limpid virgin oil is initially not for consumption, needing further refinement. Then, extra virgin olive oil is added and the final product may be sold as "olive oil." After pressing, a paste remains. Using a solvent, an oil can be extracted from this paste, which is then refined and extra virgin olive oil is added. This may be sold as "Oil of Olive Sansa" (olive pulp). 

The oils that receive the label "virgin" are those that have not undergone chemical alterations aside from filtration. The "prime" product is without a doubt extra virgin olive oil.  Even this product, however, demonstrates a full range of organoleptic characteristics: 
 

Organoleptic Strengths 

  • Fruity
  • Fragrant
  • Full bodied
  • Sweet
  • Fruity bitterness
  • Organoleptic Weaknesses

  • Rancid
  • Mold
  • Persistent bitterness
  • These simple terms mask an indescribable depth of variation. 

    Preservation

    Oil preservation is very important because it guarantees a wine's chemical and organoleptic characteristics. To ensure that a wine may retain its characteristics as long as possible, it must be kept away from heat-sources, humidity, and most importantly light. 

    Cooking Use

    Olive oil excels at maintaining its characteristics unaltered in cooking. Use must be limited as the price is 4-5 times that of seed oils. The most often used seed oils are also the cheapest, such as soybean oil and sunflower oil. These have an extremely different composition from olive oil. Of the least treated oils, corn and peanut oil, the latter is the most similar to olive oil of all seed based. 

    Health Benefits

    Recent studies have shown that olive oil has important health benefits for the human body for limiting sickness, reducing cholesterol levels and reducing arterial blockage. Even during infancy, olive oil contributes to bodily growth and increases resistance to illness. It should be noted that olive oil has the same acidic composition as mother's milk. It is rich in vitamin E and therefore has a anti-aging effect for the skin and bones. All of these properties also ensure a diet high in biological value that can also be used for weight-loss. 


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