What is the difference between olive oil and extra virgin olive oil?
The gastronomic jewel of the Mediterranean diet is olive oil. Whether it is olive oil or extra virgin olive oil, several investigations carried out by the WHO (World Health Organization) affirm that consuming olive oil on daily basis constitutes the majority of benefits of this type of diet.
When you are facing a supermarket shelf, and we see Olive Oil and Extra Virgin Olive Oil, do you know how they are different from one another? We will try to clarify this point (olive oil vs. extra virgin olive oil) below.
Olive oil vs. extra virgin olive oil
- Olive oil: it is also known as regular olive oil, which blends oil and made with cold-pressed and processed oils. You don’t consider it as pure oil, but it can be consumed. It is an oil whose free acidity must be less than or equal to 1º. If the oil meets this parameter, it is classified in the category of regular olive oil.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil: it is an oil whose free acidity is less than 0.8º and which, from an organoleptic point of view, has no defects. It must have these two characteristics to be classified as Extra Virgin. It is, without a doubt, the best oil, since its nutritional properties remain intact.
Basically, it is 100% olive juice obtained through physical processes and at a moderate to low temperature. This translates into a product without additives or preservatives. It has an excellent aroma and flavor approved by tasting, as well as other characteristics established by the IOC or International Olive Council.
It is a product made of 100% olive juice obtained through mechanical processes, to which no type of additive or preservative is added. As we have already mentioned, acidity must be below 0.8º and must be accompanied by sensory characteristics that confirm its quality.
As a result, we obtain an EVOO with a very high oleic acid content, considered an essential fatty acid for our health. Another of the determining points is the choice of the olive harvest time so that they are at an optimal ripening point.
Properties of Extra virgin oil:
Experts affirm that extra virgin olive oil is the best that can be consumed and this is demonstrated by the amazing properties attributed to the highest quality olive oil:
- Extra virgin olive oil contains a high resistance to oxidation due to its low content of polyunsaturated fatty acids and, therefore, reduces the possibility of producing substances dangerous to health.
- It is considered the best olive oil for human consumption due to its nutritional composition and is considered essential in a healthy and balanced diet.
- It helps decrease cardiovascular risk, since it increases the level of good cholesterol and decreases the bad, balancing the total cholesterol level due to its high content of oleic acid and antioxidants.
- Although the oil contains fats, they have an anti-inflammatory effect on our body, which is why extra virgin olive oil is recommended to reduce pain.
- Its texture allows it to be used as a lubricant on the intestinal mucosa, helping to prevent constipation.
- Extra virgin olive oil contains healthy fats that counteract other more harmful fats, and therefore beneficial in all types of diets, even in people at risk of obesity and type II diabetes.
- EVOO has more omega – 3 essential fatty acids or polyunsaturated, i.e., fats that our body does not produce, and we add them to the diet by what we eat.
In olive oil, the main ingredient is olive fruit like extra virgin olive oil, but the main difference is the process that is used to extract it. Moreover, the additives and level of free oleic acid in the oil are also the main factors that distinguish it from extra virgin oil. Intense and soft olive oils are based on lampante oils, not suitable for human consumption, whose acidity is greater than 3º.
These oils undergo a refining process, after which the result is a liquid without odor or taste that is mixed with extra virgin olive oil. Depending on the proportions of this mixture, it will be intense (more amount of extra virgin) or soft (less amount of extra virgin). The result is also very healthy oil, essential in the usual diet, with a high proportion of antioxidants.
According to the Regulation, its acidity must be equal to or less than 1% and may include a higher proportion of trans-fatty acids. Unlike extra virgin olive oil, it is of lower quality since a refining system is applied to it through heat, eliminating all the negative organoleptic properties. Despite being still suitable for human consumption, this technique causes it to lose many of its properties, and therefore it is no longer pure oil.
Properties of olive oil:
- It increases the PH of the organism because it favors the absorption of calcium and magnesium.
- Olive oil is rich in antioxidants; it helps to strengthen this system by preventing oxidation of the cells and tissues of our body.
- One of the components of the oil, oleocanthal, is a powerful anti-inflammatory. So it helps reduce pain associated with joints and muscles.
- Olive oil contains healthy fats that help regulate blood sugar levels and insulin production.
- The monounsaturated fats present in olive oil increase the levels of good cholesterol, which reduces the excesses of bad cholesterol.
There is no doubt that the health benefits of olive oil are numerous. But the medicinal and organoleptic properties of extra virgin olive oil make this type of oil an excellent ally for human health.
However, the refining process of olive oil destroys all its beneficial properties here are some nutritional values of olive oil. All these properties and characteristics of extra virgin olive oil make it our perfect health ally, and that refinement is a key factor of choice. Check our website and discover a lot of varieties of extra virgin olive oil that we have available for you and buy olive oil online.