What's Extra Virgin Olive Oil?
Extra virgin is the highest grade an olive oil can receive. To put it simply, it is free of defects. The fruit was picked from trees, either mechanically or physically, with extreme care and without deteriorating the quality of the fruit. No chemicals or extreme heat were used during the extraction process.
For the California Olive Oil Council’s Standards, extra virgin oil must pass a wide range of chemical tests by approved laboratories (including maximum acidity and peroxide value). It must be tasted in a blind sensory evaluation by a trained panel and be determined as free of defects and contain some olive fruitiness. Oils are certified annually between November and April.
Factors that can affect the fruit/oil and the quality:
- Picking methods
- Storage/time between the picking and milling
- The milling process
- Exposure to heat, air and light
- The color of the bottles
To enjoy the full benefit of extra virgin olive oil, both with its flavor and its health benefits, be sure to purchase within 18 months of the bottling date, and use within a month of opening.
We extend an invitation to each guest to visit our office in Berkeley or sit in on a taste panel session to learn more about the grading of extra virgin oils or the sensory evaluation process. Email Alison@cooc.com to schedule your visit.