Olive oil qualities

The key evaluation criteria of the oil have been established by the International Olive Oil Council (IOOC) and are based on three main factors:

1. Acidity

Acidity is one of the most important criteria for professionals and ordinary consumers. It specifies quality classification, grading and price of oil. The acidity of olive oil indicates the content of the product of oleic acid. Generally, edible olive oil is based on the guidelines of the International Olive Oil Council, that the acidity does not exceed 3.3 degrees (3.3%).

2. Oxidization

It’s called “mustiness” of oil, serious deterioration, mainly associated with the inadequate conditions in which exposed the oil after the extraction of the mill (unsuitable storage containers, sun exposure, etc.). The determination of the oxidation is done with laboratory measurements and particularly to measurement of the peroxide.

3. Organoleptic characteristics: Colour – Smell – Taste

The colour of olive oil is mainly determined by the pigments that exist in the fruit at time of harvest. The olive oil is green at the beginning of the harvest season, when it comes from unripe olives. The olive oil from ripe fruit is yellow to gold colour, and when the fruit is ripened, the olive oil produced has tan colour. The pleasant smell and taste suggest particular features and may be due to the area where the trees were grown and the way their culture. The bitter taste indicates that the olives are gathered before ripe.


According to the EU Regulation 865/04 “on the Common Market Organization for oil and table olives’ qualitative categories of olive oils and olive to be handled and sold intra are as follows:

1. Virgin olive oil:

Obtained from olives solely by mechanical or other physical treatments, with conditions that do not lead to alterations in the oil, and which have not undergone any treatment other than washing, decantation, centrifugation or filtration. These oils and classified under the following names:

2. Refined Olive Oil:

Obtained by refining virgin olive oil, the acidity of which does not exceed 0.3%.

3. Olive oil composed of refined olive oils and virgin olive oils:

Obtained by blending refined olive oil and virgin olive oils (except olive oil lampante) with acidity not exceeding 1.0%.

4. Crude pomace oil:

Obtained from olive pomace after treatment with solvents or by physical means or, in other words, the oil calculated (with the exception of some special characteristics) in olive lampante.

5. Refined pomace oil:

Obtained by refining crude pomace oil, the acidity of which does not exceed 0.3%.

6. Pomace oil:

Other than olive oil lampante, the acidity of which does not exceed 1.0%.

Article 4 § 2 and Annex I of Regulation 865/04 states that at the retail stage may be placed only on oils of the following quality categories:
• Extra Virgin Olive oil
• Virgin Olive oil
• Olive oil – composed of refined olive oils and virgin olive oils
• Pomace oil