The International Olive Oil Council (IOOC) has established the following classifications in order to help consumers distinguish the major differences in flavors, colors and aromas of olive oil available on the market today.
Extra-virgin olive oil comes from virgin oil production only. Extra virgin olive oil is valued for its perfect balance in terms of flavor, aroma, color, and acidity level which does not exceed 0.8g per 100g.
Virgin olive oil has a free acidity, expressed as oleic acid, of not more than 2 grams per 100 grams and its other characteristics correspond to those fixed for this category in this standard.
Usually described as “pure” or “100 percent pure,” Olive Oil is a blend of refined olive oil and extra virgin or virgin olive oil. Because the refined oil is neutral, it must be blended with extra virgin or virgin olive oil to enhance its flavor. Olive oil has an acidity level of less than 1,5 percent. It has good resistance to high temperatures and is better suited for heavy-duty, high-heat cooking.
Olive Pomace Oil is a blend of refined olive pomace oil and virgin olive oil. Pomace is the crushed olive material that remains after pressing. Oil is extracted with the use of solvents. After refining, the oil is blended with virgin olive oil to produce olive pomace oil. It has a more neutral flavor than pure olive oil and it’s suitable for use only in high-heat cooking.