The differences between olive, virgin, and extra virgin oil

Olive oil may or may not be termed virgin or virgin extra. These denominations indicate the quality of the product you are purchasing.

Olive oil is the best oil for cooking as it is superior to pomace oil, sunflower oil, and coconut oil. However, not all olive oils are of the same quality as there are important differences.

Extra virgin olive oil

Quality: Maximum

Selection of the fruit: Only olives selected in perfect condition and just harvested.

Type of production: Mechanical extraction. There are no chemical procedures. The olives are pressed until the juice is obtained.

Taste and smell: Without defects and rich in nuances in accordance with the olive type and terrain.

Acidity: This must not exceed 0.8º.

Virgin olive oil

Quality: Average to outstanding

Selection of the fruit: The olives are not selected so carefully. The fruits may have slight defects although these must never be noticeable to the consumer.

Type of production: Mechanical extraction.

Taste and smell: It lacks the quality of virgin extra oil which is why it is placed in a lower category.

Acidity: This must not exceed 2º.

Olive oil

Quality: Acceptable

Selection of the fruit: It is selected with less care than that of virgin olive oil, which means that its general quality is lower.

Type of production: Virgin olive oil and refined olive oil are mixed; the oil is extracted by using chemical products and/or the application of heat, which also has the aim of eliminating the defects of the fruit.

Taste and smell: Its perception in the mouth and nose is much less intense than that of extra virgin olive oil. These oils are generally milder.

Acidity: As it contains a higher percentage of oleic acid its acidity is higher. The defects of the fruits, the transport, and the hot extraction process also lead to higher acidity.

Now you know that extra virgin olive oils are those of the highest quality. But not all of these are exactly alike either. We invite you to discover Fuenquesada, a picual early-harvest extra virgin which stands out and is of very high quality.

Fuenquesada wins 4 new international prizes