Descriptions and Definitions of Olive Oil and Pomace Oils

 

Virgin olive oils are the oils obtained from the fruit of the olive tree (Olea europaea L. )solely by mechanical or other physical means under conditions, particularly thermal conditions, that do not lead to alterations in the oil, and which have not undergone any treatment other than washing, decantation, centrifugation and filtration. Virgin olive oils fit for consumption as they are include:

 

Extra virgin olive oil: virgin olive oil which has a free acidity, expressed as oleic acid, of not more than 0.8 grams per 100 grams, and the other characteristics of which correspond to those fixed for this category in the IOC standard.


Virgin olive oil: virgin olive oil which has a free acidity, expressed as oleic acid, of not more than 2 grams per 100 grams and the other characteristics of which correspond to those fixed for this category in the IOC standard.


Ordinary virgin olive oil: virgin olive oil which has a free acidity, expressed as oleic acid, of not more than 3.3 grams per 100 grams and the other characteristics of which correspond to those fixed for this category in the IOC standard.This designation may only be sold direct to the consumer if permitted in the country of retail sale. If not permitted, the designation of this product has to comply with the legal provisions of the country concerned.


Virgin olive oil not fit for consumption as it is, designated lampante virgin olive oil, is virgin olive oil which has a free acidity, expressed as oleic acid, of more than 3.3 grams per 100 grams and/or the organoleptic characteristics and other characteristics of which correspond to those fixed for this category in the IOC standard. It is intended for refining or for technical use.

 

Refined olive oil is the olive oil obtained from virgin olive oils by refining methods which do not lead to alterations in the initial glyceridic structure.It has a free acidity, expressed as oleic acid, of not more than 0.3 grams per 100 grams and its other characteristics correspond to those fixed for this category in the IOC standard. This designation may only be sold direct to the consumer if permitted in the country of retail sale.

 

Olive oil is the oil consisting of a blend of refined olive oil and virgin olive oils fit for consumption as they are. It has a free acidity, expressed as oleic acid, of not more than 1 gram per 100 grams and its other characteristics correspond to those fixed for this category in the IOC standard.The country of retail sale may require a more specific designation.

 

Olive pomace oil is the oil obtained by treating olive pomace with solvents or other physical treatments, to the exclusion of oils obtained by re esterification processes and of any mixture with oils of other kinds. It is marketed in accordance with the following designations and definitions:

 

Crude olive pomace oil is olive pomace oil whose characteristics correspond to those fixed for this category in the IOC standard. It is intended for refining for use for human consumption, or it is intended for technical use.

 

Refined olive pomace oil is the oil obtained from crude olive pomace oil by refining methods which do not lead to alterations in the initial glyceridic structure. It has a free acidity, expressed as oleic acid, of not more than 0.3 grams per 100 grams and its other characteristics correspond to those fixed for this category in the IOC standard.This product may only be sold direct to the consumer if permitted in the country of retail sale.

 

Olive pomace oil is the oil comprising the blend of refined olive pomace oil and virgin olive oils fit for consumption as they are. It has a free acidity of not more than 1 gram per 100 grams and its other characteristics correspond to those fixed for this category in the IOC standard. The country of retail sale may require a more specific designation.

  

Note re: Pomace Oil

 

*Pomace oil is the oil that is extracted from the olive pulp after the first press. Once the mechanical oil extraction of olive oil is complete approximately 5-8% of the oil remains in the pulp, which then needs to be extracted with the help of solvents, an industrial technique used in the production of most other edible oils including canola, peanut, sunflower, etc. Although the oil extracted in this manner is still olive oil, at retail it may not be simply called “olive oil”. This is because the International Olive Oil Council defines olive oil as “the oil obtained solely from the fruit of the olive tree, to the exclusion of oils obtained using solvents or re-esterification processes”


The amount of oil contained in the leftover pomace, which consists of the solid remains of the olive including skins, pulp, seeds, and stems, is so minimal that it cannot be extracted by pressing, but only through the combined use of chemical solvents (like Hexane) and extremely high heat.


The resulting oil comes with a definite health risk for consumers which depends entirely on the aggressiveness of the heat treatment as well as the amount and frequency of the pomace oil consumed. Because the degree of contamination depends on the type of treatment used, it is necessary for health authorities to clarify what kind of treatment has been applied to produce particular pomace oils and to establish a permissible limit of the amount of benzopyrenes present.


With all of the available olive oils on the market today and with world prices at an all time low, it’s in your best interest from both a health and culinary standpoint to stick to extra virgin olive oil.

 


 

 

 

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