The definition of extra virgin olive oil was created to differentiate between two types of quality oils that can be obtained from the olives transformation at the mill, Virgin and Extra Virgin, with the latter indicating the highest quality.
Both types of oil oils are obtained from the fruit, or drupe of the olive tree (Olea Europaea) through a mechanical process (pressing of the olives) and other physical processes (decanting, centrifugation and filtration) in thermally controlled conditions.
Virgin and extra virgin olive oil are the only vegetable oils that can be fully qualified as Natural Products, as they are not treated with any refining or chemical extraction processes.
According to EU regulations, the organoleptic evaluation for virgin oil must take into account the median of defective product and fruitiness. For regular olive oil, the level of acidity must be equal to or lower than 2%, which helps determine the product’s overall “fruitiness.” For extra virgin oil, which stands out due to its totally flawless taste and smell, the acidity must be equal to or lower than 0.8%.
According to the classification of the European Regulation 2568/1991 and subsequent modifications, extra virgin olive oil is: “Olive oil whose organoleptic rating has a fruity median (Mf)>0 and a median defect (Md) =0, whose free acidity expressed as oleic acid is no higher than 0.8% and which possesses characteristics conforming to those set out for the category”.