The difference between olive oil and extravirigin olive oil

difference between olive oil and extravirigin olive oil


Italy is one of the main producer of extra vergin olive oil in the world. The delicacy of this product makes it a premium food that has characterised the Mediterranean diet for centuries. Let’s discover together the difference between olive oil and extra virgin olive oil and the derived products


What is extra virgin olive oil?


Extra virgin olive oil is a pure oil obtained from the first direct and mechanical pressing of the harvested olives, without the use of chemical compounds during extraction and pesticides or fertilisers in the growth of the plant.


Rich in polyphenols, extra virgin oil has to meet acidity parameters in order to be considered as such. This gives the organoleptic properties, spiciness and cloudiness that are typical of this virgin oil, given by the purity and simplicity of the oil extraction process.


All these characteristics benefit the body, making extra virgin oil a product rich in antioxidants that are indispensable for our body’s metabolism.


Difference between olive oil and extra virgin olive oil


Extra virgin oil must respect organoleptic qualities conferred by the extraction process. In fact, the substantial difference between extra virgin olive oil and olive oil lies precisely in this. Extra virgin oil is obtained by cold mechanical pressing of olives without the use of chemical solvents to clarify the product. Olive oil, on the other hand, is a refined oil, i.e. treated with chemical compounds and solvents to clarify and make the final product less acidic and more crystalline.

difference between olive oil and extravirigin olive oil

Classification of olive oil


There are several edible olive oils and their classification is based on the degree of free acidity of the oil, expressed as oleic acid. Let’s dive in!


Extra virgin olive oil 


Oleic acid must remain below 0.8 grams per 100 grams in extra virgin oil. For this reason, it is the most valuable; the pressing is cold mechanical and the oil obtained is from the first pressing of the olives without the use of solvents that alter its characteristics.


Virgin olive oil


Virgin olive oil, also obtained by first mechanical pressing and without solvents, can reach a maximum acidity of 2 grams per 100 grams. The organoleptic properties will therefore be different from extra virgin. Usually, second choice olives are used to produce this oil.


Olive oil


It is a mixture of refined oils, i.e. clarified with chemicals, and virgin oils, whose acidity level is less than 1%. This oil is low-value and cheap.


In order to produce a high-quality oil, it must be stored following certain parameters and the bottling phase, for both small and large businesses, is a crucial process for obtaining a rich extra virgin oil with preserved organoleptic properties.