Taste, aroma and color are all indications of the quality of olive oil.
Olive oil, the blessed product extracted by the olives is classified into six grades:
- Extra Virgin
It is virgin olive oil with an extremely fine taste and an acidity of not more than 1%. It comes from first pressings that meet the ultimate standards.
- Virgin or Select
This oil has an exceptionally fine taste and its acidity level does not exceed 2%. It comes from first pressings that meet defined standards.
- Pure or Edible
This oil has a good taste and its acidity level is up to 1.5%. This is a mixture of refined and virgin or extra virgin.
- Refined or Commercial
Consists of lampante from which acid, color, and odor have been removed.
High-acid oil, obtained from a second pressing of residual pulp with hot water.
Extracted with solvents and refined repeatedly.
Today, Spain and Italy are the world leaders in commercial olive oil production, followed by Greece. Other important olive-producing countries are Turkey, Tunisia, Morocco, Syria, and Portugal.
Europe, with nearly 500 million olive trees, has more than three-quarters of the world’s cultivated olives, followed by Asia.
Concerning Greek olive oil production is useful to point out the following:
From the 19th century until our days a large number of incentives were given to individual producers, thus today Greece, despite its small size possesses the third position among olive oil producers in the world using the most advanced methods and the most sophisticated technologies.
But this position is false, taking into account that over 70% of the total Greek production is Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Half of that is exported to other olive oil productive countries (like Italy for example) raising their official ratio.
In fact Greece is the world’s largest exporter of Extra Virgin Olive Oil. About one third of the total production (Extra Virgin and Virgin) is exported. The remaining quantity gives Greece the first position in per capita consumption at world level. The tradition of the production of olive oil spans more than five millennia in Grecian area.
Unquestionably, the Greek olive oil is by far the best in the world.