A major point to know is that the colour of olive oil has no bearing or indication of the quality of the product. Good oil can range from green to golden yellow. If it has not been filtered or settled it may even be cloudy. Colour is dependant upon the chlorophyll and carotene in the olives at the time of harvesting. More chlorophyll will produce a greener product.
Taste and smell are the true ways to test an olive oil. A rich fruit scent from the olives or if the oil was freshly pressed is a perfect indication of good oil. A bitter or even slightly bitter taste is a sign the olives used were not ripe at the time of picking. Smell of soil or mould will also down grade a product. A pleasant smell and taste can be a good indication and put down to the area, cultivation, harvesting and production of the olive oil. Olive oil, like wine, is normally assessed by a trained palate.
The degree of acidity in olive oil indicates the free oleic acid content measured as grams per 100 grams of olive oil. This should never be more than 3.3 degrees, i.e., free oleic acid content of 3.3%. The lower the better and it is a good indication of the standard of the olive oil. The best olive oils have an acidity level below 0.8 degrees. The acidity is also indicated in the types or categories of olive oil.
A. VIRGIN OLIVE OIL:
B. REFINED OLIVE OIL:
C. PURE OLIVE OIL:
HARVEST AND PRESSING
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