The classification of olive oil

The classification of olive oil

Virgin, extra virgin, refined … Olive oils are not all the same! To help you orient yourself in the wide range of oils on the market and increase your understanding of the subject, here we present the names and official  definitions used by the European Community legislation:

Olive oils

These are the oils obtained from the fruit of the olive tree by mechanical or other physical processes, in conditions (in particular thermal) that do not cause alterations of the oil, and that have not undergone any treatment other than washing, decanting, centrifugation and from filtration, excluding oils obtained by solvent or re-esterification processes and any mixture with oils of another nature.

These oils are classified as follows:

  • Extra virgin olive oil: virgin olive oil whose free acidity expressed in oleic acid cannot exceed 1g per 100g and hold the other characteristics that comply with those provided for this category.
  • Virgin olive oil: virgin olive oil whose free acidity expressed in oleic acid cannot exceed 2g per 100g and hold other the characteristics that comply with those provided for this category.
  • Current virgin olive oil: olive oil whose free acidity expressed in oleic acid cannot exceed 3.3g per 100g and hold the other characteristics that comply with those provided for this category.
  • Lamp virgin olive oil: virgin olive oil whose free acidity expressed in oleic acid is greater than 3.3 g per 100g and/or hold the other characteristics that comply with those provided for this category.

Refined olive oil

It is an olive oil obtained from the refining of virgin olive oils, whose acidity expressed in oleic acid cannot exceed 0.5 per 100g.

Virgin olive oil

It is an olive oil obtained from a blend of refined olive oil and virgin olive oils other than lamp oil, whose acidity expressed in oleic acid cannot exceed 1.5 g per 100g.

Crude olive pomace oil

It is an oil obtained by solvent treatment of olive pomace, excluding oils obtained with re-esterification processes and any mixture of oils of another nature. The pomace are the solid residues of the pressing of the olives (stones, skins, …).

Refined olive pomace oil

It is an oil obtained from the refining of crude olive pomace oil, whose acidity expressed in oleic acid cannot exceed 0.5g per 100g.

Olive-pomace oil

Oil obtained from a blend of refined olive pomace oil and virgin olive oils other than lamp oil, whose acidity expressed in oleic acid cannot exceed 1.5g per 100g.