Discover the Ultimate Guide to Olive Oil:
Understanding the Different Categories

When it comes to olive oil, there are different grades that classify its quality and purity. The European Commission has set standards for categorizing olive oil based on the methods used to produce it. Here are the main categories:

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

This is the highest quality of olive oil and is made from pure, cold-pressed olives without any defects or chemical treatments. It has a fruity, slightly bitter taste and is rich in polyphenols, which are antioxidants with many health benefits. Extra Virgin acidity less than 0.8%
Virgin Olive Oil
This category is also made from cold-pressed olives, but it may have some defects or impurities. Its taste is not as strong as extra virgin olive oil and it has a lower polyphenol content. Less than 2% acidity. Usually, producers mix this oil with Extra virgin to keep the quality of the olive oil stable and sell it as Extra virgin olive oil.
Refined Olive Oil
This oil is made from lower quality oils that have been treated to remove any defects or impurities. The taste is mild and it has a lower polyphenol content compared to extra virgin or virgin olive oil.
Olive Pomace Oil
This is made from the leftovers of the olive oil production process, and it is treated with chemicals and heat to extract the remaining oil. It has a mild, neutral taste and is the least expensive of the olive oil categories.

Be careful, it is not unusual to see it written Extra Virgin pomace olive oil. But it doesn't fall into the Extra Virgin category.
This olive oil has no health benefits. It is used exclusively for frying, because it has a high temperature stability (230-240ºC / 446 - 464 °F ).
It's important to note that the quality of olive oil can vary, even within the same category, depending on factors such as the type of olive, the region, and the way the olives are grown and processed. When choosing olive oil, look for the "extra virgin" label to ensure you're getting the highest quality and healthiest option.