Differences between Olive Oil and EVOO
It is no secret: one of the gastronomic jewels of the Mediterranean Diet is olive oil. In fact, different studies about our diet state that much of its benefits are due in addition to the variety of ingredients it contains, to the daily consumption of olive oil.
As you know, not all olive oils are the same, so today we talk about how important is knowing the difference between an olive oil, a virgin olive oil and an extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), whose quality and benefits for your body are incomparable.
First, it is important to know that part of what the olive oil will be, will vary depending on how the olive oil is extracted.
Namely, the 30% of the flesh of the olive is oil and is usually extracted when the fruit is picked. The most traditional method of doing so is by pressure, where the olive is placed in a press and the oil is extracted by a mechanical force. This is the technique that best preserves the characteristics of the olive, but this method is not very used due to its complexity.
Another of the methods used is through mechanical elements, but it focuses more on centrifugation. The olive is crushed to separate its different elements due to its different densities. Thanks to this technique, we can get a high quality olive oil and it is the most used today.
There is also a last method only applied to lower quality oils. It is the oil that remains in the pulp after mechanical extraction.
How is olive oil, virgin olive oil and EVOO extracted?
Virgin and extra virgin olive oil are obtained through mechanical extraction and without using refining. The Extra Virgin Oil does not exceed 0.8º of acidity, therefore, it is the highest quality oil and its tasting note must be 6.5 or higher. Specifically, EVOO is extracted through cold pressing and exclusively from the first pressed.
Virgin olive oil is somewhat worse in terms of quality. Its acidity level is usually 2º and the qualified tasting note will be less than 5.5.
Finally, olive oil will be a mixture between virgin olive oil and refined olive oil. (Of the three, it is of the worst quality). A refining system must be applied to the refined olive oil based on the use of high temperatures, which allows to eliminate the negative organoleptic properties but which will also considerably reduce its quality.
Which are the organoleptic properties of EVOO?
These are characteristics that are perceived through the senses (taste, sight, smell and touch). In the case of EVOO its low acidity gives an intense fruity flavor, with a slight acid touch and a characteristic greenish color. Although its price is higher than that of other olive oils, it is undoubtedly one of the best investments that can be made for the benefit of health for the following reasons:
Low content of polyunsaturated fatty acids. It is the least prone to produce dangerous substances to health, against oxidation.
It helps reducing cardiovascular risk due to its content in oleic acid and antioxidants, as it increases HDL (good) cholesterol levels and lowers LDL (bad) cholesterol levels.
Due to its high antioxidant content, it prevents premature aging of the skin, as well as other degenerative diseases caused by the action of free radicals.
The fats contained in olive oil have an anti-inflammatory role in the human body, which makes this healthy ingredient a complementary aid to reduce joint and muscle pain.
It has lubricating effect on the intestinal mucous, so it is an effective tool to naturally prevent constipation naturally.
And, finally, the consumption of extra virgin olive oil has been linked to a lower risk of obesity and type II diabetes.
As you can see, the benefits of EVOO are not few, so it has the importance that it has in our usual diet. By the way, and you, what kind of oil do you usually consume at home?