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Definitions & Standards


There is a tremendous amount of confusion and misunderstaning that leads to mistakes in buying, tasting and using olive oils. It's important to become familiar with the different types of olive oils that you see on the shelf and the meaning behind the label name. There are two way in which to extract oil from an olive - The Milling process and the Refining process - which results in six categories of olive oil that are suitable (but not all ideal) for human consumption.


6 Classifications of Olive Oil

1. Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)

Oil that is extracted from healthy, fresh olives, purely by mechanican means and without the use of heat or solvents. It must have a free acidity less that .8%. EVOO must meet both chemical and sensory standards in order to classify as EVOO. Chemical standards are very stringent and include such variables as free acidity, peroxide and phenolic values along with a number of other variables. We're sure you've heard the terms "First Pressed", "Cold Pressed", "Fresh Pressed"..these are ALL SYNONYMOUS TERMS. The oil yielded from these processes is called extra virgin olive oil - a natural product that will go rancid after time. Fresh is best!


2. Virgin Olive Oil

Virgin Olive Oil is lower in quality than EVOO and has a free acidity between .8% and 2.0% because it is made with olives that have a specific defect or used after careless processing.  


3. Lampante Oil

Lampante Oil is made from all those olives that don't quite made the grade for extra virgin..basically all of the olives that may have fallen to the ground, gone moldy, fermented or been attacked by pests. The olives are such a low quality that the oil produced from them cannot be used for human consumption and must be refined in order to become edible...thus being called Refined Olive Oil


4. Refined Olive-Pomace Oil

This category comes from the by-product or the waste residue from the milling process which is called pomace. The pomace still contains a small amount of olive oil that is impossible to extract by mechanical means. It can be extracted with heat and solvents. The refined oil derived from pomace is called such.


5. Olive Oil (Composed of Virgin Olive Oils/Refined Oils)

A blend of Refined Olive Oil (from Lampante Oil) with EVOO or Virgin Olive Oil to improve their flavor


6.  Olive Pomace Oil

A blend of Refined Oils (Refined Olive Oil and Refined Olive-Pomace Oil) with EVOO or Virgin Olive Oil to improve their flavor