Isn't it all just olive oil?
Like wine, no two olive oils are alike. Each has its own personal characteristics and is an unique product of soil, climate, olive varieties, and processing methods. The oils can be fruity or flowery, nutty or spicy, delicate or mild, and can range from clear to pale green to golden to deep olive green in color.
What's the difference between extra virgin olive oil, ordinary olive oil, and "light" olive oils?
Ultra Premium Extra Virgin Olive Oil: "Extra" is the highest grade of olive oil, the best you can buy. The virgin oil produced from the mechanical cold pressing may be called "extra" if it has less than 1% free oleic acid, and if it exhibits superior taste, color and aroma. Thus, the "extra" in extra virgin olive oil means "premium," or simply, "the best."
Ultra Premium Olive Oil is the highest quality standard and the quality leader in the olive oil market. Ultra Premium Olive Oil exceeds world standards for olive oil quality. It is the freshest and finest olive oil in the world today. To learn more about The Olive Twist’s Ultra Premium Olive Oil, please click on the UP logo or contact one of our knowledgeable staff members.
Olive Oil: Ordinary "olive oil" is actually a blended oil product. Olive oil producers start with low quality virgin olive oils. For these oils to be fit for consumption, they must be refined using mechanical, thermal and/orchemical processes. The resulting "refined olive oil" is largely colorless and tasteless. Before the resulting product is sold as "olive oil," the producer blends into the refined olive oil a percentage of quality virgin olive oil to provide color and taste.
"Light" or "Mild" Olive Oil: Light olive oil is a variation on ordinary olive oil. Producers of this product use a highly refined olive oil, and add less quality virgin oil than that typically used to blend olive oil. The only thing "light" about light olive oil is the taste and color; it has the same caloric and fat content as other oils.
What is the difference between infused (flavored) and fused extra virgin olive oil? The flavoring of our olive oils is accomplished by two methods: fused and infused.
Infused Olive Oil is the marrying together of the olive oil and herbs after the crush. The essence of the herbs are blended with the olive oil, to exhibit superb flavor.
Fused Olive Oils are not as common, and have slightly longer shelf-life. A fused olive oil refers to the process of actually pressing the olives and fruit together simultaneously, thus creating a beautiful harmony that will not deteriorate the flavor profile of the oil. Because of this process, many of our fused oils are found in the Specialty Oil Category.
Why Cooking with Extra Virgin is ALWAYS Better For You
There are a few chemical components of Extra-Virgin Olive Oil that make it significantly unique when cooking to remain a healthier oil choice.
The phenols (antioxidants) found in fresh extra virgin olive oil protect the oil from forming aldehydes which are more or less toxic to our cells. This is whether we eat or inhale them while cooking. Aldehydes will begin to form in any type of cooking oil as soon as it begins to oxidize as a result of being heated up, and increase when it is heated for a long duration or at very high temperatures. The phenols unique to fresh, well-made extra virgin olive oil “sacrifice” themselves to this heat oxidation thus preventing the formation of toxic aldehydes. You want HIGH polyphenol counts!
FFA—or Free Fatty Acids measures the acidity in olive oil. It is a direct measure of the quality of the oil. Freshly pressed oil, made carefully, without the use of excessive heat, from healthy, freshly picked olives, normally has a pretty low "acidity", well under 0.5% FFA. Extra virgin olive oils have less than 0.8% FFA. You want a LOW free fatty Acid reading!
For higher heat application, look for high phenol, low FFA extra virgin olive oil above all other cooking oil options available.