Extra virgin olive oil is the purest form of olive oil and therefore the most nutrient-rich.
Substituting 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil per day for saturated fats, such as animal and dairy fats, will improve your health inside and out.
This first pressing of olive oil is called extra virgin olive oil, which is the purest, most nutrient-rich form available, therefore providing the best health benefits.
True extra virgin olive oil can only be produced when the olives are cold pressed to prevent decomposition. It is never heated or infused with other oils.
In 23 countries, the International Olive Oil Council (IOOC) governs the quality and classification of olive oils and only true extra virgin olive oils – defined as containing no more than .8 grams of oleic acid per 100 grams of olive oil – are allowed to be marked as extra virgin olive oil.
Many imported olive oils labeled as extra virgin olive oil are diluted with safflower, canola, soy, hazelnut and other oils to extend the supply and reduce the cost, allowing for mass production.
99% of olive oil sold in the United States is imported, and the USDA does not require its standards to be met before a producer labels olive oil as extra virgin. Therefore, you may be getting a an inferior, diluted version when you buy olive oil.
Extra virgin olive oils are judged by the IOOC not by color or scent, but by taste. They are sipped from dark blue glasses that are tapered at the top, so color cannot be determined. They must have noticeable levels of fruitiness, bitterness and pepperiness and not any level of sixteen officially-defined taste flaws.
Enemies of olive oil are heat, air, light, and age.