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Frequently Asked Questions about Extra Virgin Olive Oil: Everything You Need to Know

Frequently Asked Questions about Extra Virgin Olive Oil: Everything You Need to Know

 Extra virgin olive oil is celebrated around the world for its exceptional qualities and health benefits.

 However, with so much different information and opinions, it can be difficult to disentangle myths from reality. In this article, we will answer the most common questions about this precious food to help you make informed choices and fully enjoy its benefits. Here are some of the questions we will cover:

Production and Quality:

Economic Aspects:

Storage and Use:

Health Benefits:

Differences and Preferences:

Production and Quality:

  1. How to recognize a quality extra virgin olive oil?

A superior quality extra virgin olive oil has a fruity aroma, no organoleptic defects (such as rancidity or perceptible acidity), and an acidity expressed as oleic acid of less than 0.8%. It’s also important to check the label for details such as provenance, production methods, and quality certifications.

In this regard, we have written a very detailed guide on how to recognize a quality extra virgin olive oil:

  1. How does the origin of the olive oil influence its quality and flavor?

The origin of the olive oil can significantly influence both the quality and the flavor. Factors such as soil type, climate, and regional cultivation techniques contribute to the unique characteristics of each olive oil, from the most intense to the most delicate.

  1. Is filtered or unfiltered extra virgin olive oil better?

Unfiltered evoo oil may have a richer flavor but deteriorates more quickly due to the presence of olive processing residues such as skin. 

The filtered evo oil is clearer and has a longer life as it is free of those residues that trigger rancidity processes.

Therefore, we recommend unfiltered extra virgin olive oil only if consumed within a month of its production. In all other cases better filtered. 

  1. What does the term “monocultivar” mean?

“Monocultivar” refers to an extra virgin olive oil produced using only one variety of olives, allowing you to appreciate the distinct characteristics of that particular cultivar.

  1. Does the green color indicate a better evo oil?

No, the color of the evo oil, which can vary from green to gold, is not a reliable indicator of quality. The color is influenced by pigments such as chlorophyll and varies according to the olive variety and harvest period.

Expert tasters, to avoid being influenced during the evaluation, prefer opaque glasses to taste the evo oil.

This demonstrates that the color, varying from green to yellow, does not determine the quality of the extra virgin olive oil. Quality depends rather on elements such as the type of olives, their maturation, the soil on which they grow, the extraction practices, and how the olive oil is stored.

Economic Aspects:

  1. Why is extra virgin olive oil more expensive than other oils?

The production of extra virgin olive oil is more expensive due to strict quality standards, more labor-intensive cultivation and harvesting methods, and lower yields compared to refined oils or seed oils.

Storage and Use:

  1. How long can extra virgin olive oil be stored before it deteriorates?

Extra virgin olive oil can be stored in optimal conditions (cool place, away from light and heat sources) for approximately 18-24 months from the date of bottling. However, it is advisable to consume it within 12 months to enjoy its best sensory qualities.

  1. Is extra virgin olive oil more digestible than other seed oils?

Yes, extra virgin olive oil is generally considered more digestible than seed oils, in fact the daily use of extra virgin olive oil is advisable for both children and the elderly

  1. Can I use extra virgin oil for frying?

Yes, you could fry and cook with extra virgin olive oil but we do not recommend using a high-quality evo oil such as a Monocultivar or a DOP for frying. 

We have written an in-depth article here:

Health Benefits:

  1. What are the health benefits of extra virgin olive oil?

Extra virgin olive oil is rich in antioxidants (polyphenols), monounsaturated fatty acids, and numerous bioactive compounds that can help improve heart health, control blood sugar levels, and fight inflammation.

There are currently numerous studies on the benefits of extra virgin olive oil and its polyphenols. 

We have written a very detailed article here:

The beneficial power of extra virgin olive oil is such that in the United States the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has classified it as a drug due to numerous scientific evidence. Europe 

Despite the wide recognition of the health benefits of extra virgin olive oil, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), has not been as unbalanced as its American counterpart.

The only health claims authorized by EFSA regarding extra virgin olive oil and its polyphenols are the following:

  • claim 1: “The polyphenols of olive oil contribute to the protection of blood lipids from oxidative stress” (this indication must be accompanied by the information that the beneficial effect is obtained with a daily intake of 20 g of olive oil);
  • claim 2: “Replacing saturated fats in the diet with unsaturated fats contributes to maintaining normal levels of cholesterol in the blood. Oleic acid is an unsaturated fat”;
  • claim 3: “Vitamin E contributes to the protection of cells from oxidative stress”;
  • claim 4: “It has been shown that replacing saturated fats with unsaturated fats in the diet lowers/reduces cholesterol in the blood. High cholesterol is a risk factor for the development of coronary heart disease.”

Extra virgin olive oil is also the fulcrum of the Mediterranean diet considered by many to be one of the best food diets due to its simplicity and completeness.

  1. Is it true that extra virgin olive oil can help reduce the risk of heart disease?

Yes, as previously described, numerous studies are showing that the high content of monounsaturated fatty acids and antioxidants in extra virgin olive oil can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by improving the lipid profile in the blood and reducing inflammation. 

  1. Are all vegetable oils nutritionally similar?

No, vegetable oils vary significantly in their fatty acid and nutrient content. For example, while extra virgin olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids and polyphenols, other vegetables oils such as seed oils may have high levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids and fewer antioxidants. 

  1. Does extra virgin olive oil make you fat?

Like all fats, extra virgin olive oil is caloric, but its moderate consumption can be part of a balanced diet. Its monounsaturated fats can help control weight and promote satiety.

Differences between the various vegetables oils

  1. What are the main differences between extra virgin olive oil and other types of vegetable oil, such as “fine” olive oil or seed oil?

Extra virgin olive oil, often abbreviated as EVOO, is the purest and most natural form of olive oil. It is obtained directly from the pressing, through mechanical processes, of the olives, guaranteeing a natural and unaltered product containing maximum nutritional benefits and flavour.

Olive oil is a mixture of refined and virgin oil (olive oil with acidity greater than 0.8%). 

Seed oils are extracted from seeds and can be refined to withstand higher cooking temperatures, often at the expense of nutritional content.

To learn more about the topic you can read this article:

  1. Is sweet extra virgin olive oil better than bitter extra virgin olive oil?

If you think that sweet olive oil is a good extra virgin olive oil I have to give you some bad news…

The bitterness (but also the tingling) is a characteristic that indicates that the extra virgin olive oil is of quality. 

It is a sign of the presence of antioxidants such as polyphenols, which have a beneficial effect on health.

  1. If the evo oil tingles in the throat, does it have high acidity?

No, tingling in the throat is often a sign of high quality and indicates the presence of polyphenols, which are antioxidants.

The acidity of the evo oil, however, is measured scientifically and is not perceptible to the taste. In reality, exactly the opposite is true: the higher the acidity, the less you will feel the tingling and therefore the fewer polyphenols there will be.

  1. Are all extra virgin olive oils the same?

No, extra virgin olive oils can vary greatly depending on the variety of olives, soil, climate, and harvesting and production techniques. These variations influence the flavor profile, aroma, and health benefits of the evo oil.

We at Oilalà currently have 9 different types of extra virgin olive oil:

Each with a unique profile of aromas and flavors that distinguishes it from others.

To give you the opportunity to discover the variety and richness of the evo oils we produce, we have created two special boxes, each containing four 100ml bottles of our evo oils. These boxes are designed to let you explore and appreciate the different characteristics and sensory profiles of our evo oils, so that you can choose the ones that best suit your taste and culinary needs.

It’s a perfect way to experiment and discover which evo oils go best with your favorite dishes and to concretely perceive how different varieties can influence the tasting experience

The Gems Monocultivar

Here for you our proposal: Extra Virgin Olive Oils ideal for true enthusiasts

  • “Sacred Geometry” Box The Gems 4x100ml

    Open product
  • Sacred Geometry Box “A tutto Sud” 4x100ml

    Open product
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