Olive oil is the juice of a fruit. And fruits are very fragile and oxidize. Haven't you noticed that an avocado turns dark in minutes or that an apple turns brown? The same thing happens with oil. But why does it matter? Is extra virgin olive oil better?
The key to this oil is to understand that since olive is a fruit, it must be treated with great care. When it is harvested, the olives fall to the ground and touch the earth. That is when they can become damaged and oxidized.
For the olive oil to be extra virgin its harvest must have been perfect:
Olives must be well treated, transported to be pressed within eight hours of harvesting and if possible without too much contact with the ground.
If the oil is not extra virgin, it can be simply olive oil or even lower quality products such as pomace oil or lamp oil, which can be used as fuel.
Here are three keys you should know to distinguish Extra Virgin Olive Oil from other olive oils.
This is the fundamental point. If the oil is high quality, it will be on the label of the bottle. A good Extra Virgin has less than 0.5% acidity
2. Cold pressing
This is an aspect you can also find on the label, in good oils. The pressing of the olive must be cold and by mechanical processes. Some manufacturers "heat up" the olives so that the heat helps them to give more oil. This is not good practice.
3. Extra Virgin
The denomination "Extra Virgin" is certified in oficial food laboratories so that oil meets certain standards. If it says Extra Virgin on the label, it is almost certainly so and has passed the quality controls. If it doesn't, be suspicious.