Grades of Olive Oil
oil is graded, the distinction being based on the content of free fatty
The highest grade of olive oil. Oil from the first pressing has to have
less than 0.8% acidity and be free form any faults. This is usually used
in salads or as a substitute for butter or margarine, and in much prized
for the individual flavours of various oils. Best enjoyed in the first
6 months after pressing before the flavour fades.
Usually a golden green in colour these oils are said to be “cold
Oil which didn’t quite make it into extra virgin, having an acidity
of greater than 0.8%, but less than 1.5%. This is still excellent oil,
but less intense in colour and flavour than extra virgin and unlikely
to be outstanding.
Sometimes also known as “regular” or just “olive oil”
this is a good standard of oil for cooking and baking. Acid levels are
greater than 1.5% but less than 3%.
Lite, Light, Extra Light
Lower grades of oils extracted using solvents, bleached and often with
a small amount of extra virgin added.
These oils are not lighter in calories or cholesterol, just in colour.
Not really edible, this oil is usually used for the manufacture of candles,
soap etc. Traditionally used as lamp oil, it is recovered from the
waste material by chemical solvents.
Olive oil needs to be stored out of the light and heat and is best if
used within six months of bottling. It is best stored in dark bottles.
of olive oil evaluate the product by organoleptic or sensory assessment,
a method developed by the International Olive Oil Council in 1994.
- Around 250,000 trees covering 20 varieties are already planted throughout all
parts of the Hunter Valley
Due to the misleading
nature of the terms "Pure" and "Lite" - Pure Olive
Oil has been purified or refined and has been stripped of all healthy
components in the process, Lite is not lighter in calories, just in
colour - the Australian Olive Association are pushing for these names
to be phased out.