Does Olive Oil Contain 100% Olive Oil Or Is It A Blend?

Posted by

Why It’s Important To Choose A High Quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Updated August 16th 2021

Extra Virgin Olive Oil Definition
Extra Virgin Olive Oil Definition

One of the key markers of a high-quality olive oil is knowing that it is from a 100% pure, single source that is not blended with other oils during any stage of production. While there are many types of olive oil available, the International Olive Council sets out some strict criteria for labelling of different grades.

There are different types of olive oil according to its level of acidity, or level of free oleic acid. The amount of free oleic acid in olive oil indicates the extent to which fat has broken down into fatty acids.

The Difference Between Virgin and Refined Olive Oil

Olive oil also falls into two distinct categories: virgin and refined. While virgin or unrefined oils are pure and untreated, refined oil is treated to remove flaws from the oil to make it more sellable.

In summary these are five different types of olive oil:

  1. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  2. Virgin Olive Oil
  3. Refined Olive Oil
  4. Olive Pomace Oil
  5. Lampante Oil

Starting with the highest grade, Extra Virgin Olive Oil – the category to which Morocco Gold belongs, there are several standards that must be met in order to achieve this categorisation.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil must:

  • Come from a single source, it is not mixed / blended with other olive oils, even if they are of Extra Virgin quality
  • Come from the first pressing of fresh, young olives, normally within 24 hours of harvesting
  • Be extracted purely by mechanical means at temperatures specifically below 28C.
  • Have free fatty acid or acidity level (normally measured as oleic acid) of less than 0.8%.
  • Be defect free and have a perfect taste and aroma.

1/ The Best Quality : Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Cooking With Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Morocco Gold Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Extra Virgin olive oil is a wholly natural, unrefined oil and the highest quality olive oil you can buy. Genuine extra virgin olive oil is rare and as a result is slightly more expensive. 

Because of the way Extra Virgin olive oil is made, it retains more true olive taste, and has a lower level of oleic acid (no more than 0.8%) than other olive oil varieties. It also contains more of the natural vitamins and minerals found in olives.

Extra Virgin olive oil is completely natural. It is not treated with chemicals or altered by temperature. It contains typically has a golden-green colour, with a distinctive fresh, green flavour and a light peppery finish.

How the fruit was grown, harvested and transported, how it was pressed into oil, and how the oil was packaged and bottled all contribute to ensure Extra Virgin olive oil like Morocco Gold is the best quality olive oil you can buy.

The definition of Extra Virgin olive oil is very precise regards production methods, taste and chemical composition. To be certified as Extra Virgin, an olive oil must:

  • Come from a single source, it is not mixed / blended with other olive oils, even if they are of Extra Virgin quality
  • Come from the first pressing of fresh, young olives, normally within 24 hours of harvesting
  • Be extracted purely by mechanical means at temperatures specifically below 28C.
  • Have free fatty acid or acidity level (normally measured as oleic acid) of less than 0.8%.
  • Be defect free and have a perfect taste and aroma.

High quality Extra Virgin olive oils like Morocco Gold also contain the antioxidants and polyphenols that give the health enhancing qualities associated with olive oil.

2/ Virgin Olive Oil

Next in quality is virgin olive oil. It’s made using a similar process as extra-virgin olive oil and is also an unrefined oil, meaning chemicals or heat are not used to extract oil from the fruit. Virgin olive oil also maintains the purity and taste of the olive, though production standards are not as rigid.

According to the standards of the International Olive Council, virgin olive oil has a slightly higher level of oleic acid of up to 2%. It also has a slightly less intense flavour than extra-virgin olive oil. Virgin oil is rarely found, if ever, however, in grocery stores; usually your choice will be between extra-virgin, regular, and light olive oils.

3/ Refined Olive Oil

These are olive oils that have been refined by using agents such as acids, alkalis and heat to extract as much oil as possible from the olive pulp that remains after the first pressing. The result is a fattier and more acidic oil which lacks taste, aroma and natural antioxidants found in extra virgin olive oil.

Producers then need to add unrefined extra virgin or virgin olive oil to give refined olive oil some flavour, colour and aroma into the blend. Terms such as “pure” or “100% pure” or “Light” are made up terms used by large producers and supermarkets. If the label states “pure” or “100% pure” or “Light” then the olive oil is a refined oil lacking the taste, aroma and quality of extra virgin olive oil.

4/ Olive Pomace Oil

The lowest grade of olive oil made from the by-products of extra virgin olive oil production. Olive skins, seeds and pulp are heated and the remaining oil is extracted using solvent. The result, pomace oil, is then put through a refining process, similar to pure or light olive oil.

Pomace olive oil is bland and extremely low in antioxidants.

5/ Lampante Oil

Lastly, lampante oil comes from bad fruit or poor processing practices and has severe taste defects. It is not fit for human consumption until it has been refined.

Blending Of Olive Oils

For some producers, blending of olive oils is considered a legitimate means of creating a stable flavour profile. This process seeks to combine oils with high fruitiness and green flavor with those that are more bitter with a cooler body. Blending also provides some manugacturers with flexibility regarding the country of source of their oils.

Indeed in recent years, many European countries who have been badly impacted by the xyella virus have sourced extra virgin olive oil from Morocco to make up the shortfall in supply. Their oil is still labelled for example as ‘Italian’ or ‘Spanish’, when in fact a proportion comes from countries like Morocco. Some olive oils are also labelled as ‘European’ – with no indication at all of the country of source. These should be avoided.

Mixing Olive Oils

There is another form of blending – or rather mixing of oils. Producers who are looking to sell volume over quality may resort to mixing extra virgin olive oil with other vegetable oils like sunflower seed or grapeseed oil. Not only can this be misleading to the consumer, it may also put those with allergies at risk.

If you find a big bottle of olive oil with a low price point, that’s another red flag that it may not contain 100 percent olive oil. Mixed olive oils do not contain the same taste profile or health benefits that a bottle of 100 percent extra virgin olive oil provides.

It is therefore important to closely examine a bottle’s ingredients to confirm that what you’re buying is 100 percent olive oil. When shopping for olive oil, don’t be duped! Blends are an excellent option that represent quality and consistency. Mixes, on the other hand, are a deception.

Morocco Gold Quality Assurence

For health conscious, discerning food lovers across all cultures and culinary backgrounds, Morocco Gold is a natural, unfiltered, ultra-premium, polyphenol rich extra virgin olive oil, whose exquisite taste and health enhancing qualities are guaranteed by our rigorous testing, provenance and authenticity, and strict adherence to single estate sourcing, with no blending or mixing.

Uniquely, we include the results of our chemical analysis for acidity, peroxide and ultra-violet testing on each-and-every bottle of Morocco Gold so that our customers can see at a glance the guarantee of extra virgin olive oil quality.

{"cart_token":"","hash":"","cart_data":""}