It is an excellent choice for domestic uses. While shopping your grocery, it should be a preferred choice.See How to Choose Olive Oil?
Following are the major grades of olive oil and their uses in cooking.
Virgin Grade Olive Oils:
The term 'virgin' with an oil notifies that the oil was produced with mechanical extraction method, without any treatment of chemicals. All further classifications of virgin oil follow the same production method. The criteria of 'virgin' is strict:
- It must be achieved by mechanical extraction of olives
- No chemicals used
- No hot water used
- Only produced with cold pressing method
Here is the difference between olive oils with their short introduction.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil:
Extra virgin olive oil is the most consumed type of olive oil. We can say that it is the purest form of olive oils. Extra virgin is best among all other types of olive oils. With an ideal balance of aroma, color, taste and acidity level, it always has an edge over other forms of olive oil. It's acidity level is set below 1% with an optimal taste. It is also higher in nutrients and vitamins. It is ideal for cooking, frying, for making salads and other kitchen purposes.
Extra virgin olive oil further falls in four sub types that are regular, organic, protected designation of origin (PDO) and protected geographical indication (PGI).
Virgin Olive Oil:
This is the best olive oil for cooking. It's maximum acidity is 2 percent. It does not contain any refined oil as other virgin oils. It's flavor is improved enough to be used uncooked as well. It can also be used for baking, frying and sauting purposes however you can also use it for skin massage and body care.
Premium Extra Virgin Olive Oil:
This is even lower in acidity which is set to around 0.225 percent. It is suitable for using in uncooked foods such as salads, with bread and as a condiment. It's quite better aroma and flavor which promotes it's edible uses.
Fine Virgin Olive Oil:
Fine virgin olive oil has a maximum acidity of 1.5 percent. It's taste must be good as well as it is judged by IOOC standards. It costs lower than extra-virgin oil however quality is almost same. It's uncooked use is recommended.
Semifine virgin oil has a maximum acidity of 3.3 percent. It can be used in cooking but does not taste good when used uncooked.
Refined Grade Oil:
Refined olive oil is produced by refining methods of obtaining oils. Refining removes odor, flavor and color and what is left behind is a highly pure oil with no taste, no color, no odor and even no acidity. It is highly low in free fatty acids. Refined olive oils are okay to use for cooking however using uncooked is not recommended.
Pomace olive oil is produced with olive paste that is left after the olives extraction process. It has no nutrition or aroma as compared to other olive oils. It's acidity is limited to 1.5 percent or below. It is further blended with virgin oil in order to infuse some benefits and properties of olive oil. It is good for cooking at high heat.
Light Olive Oil:
Light or Lite olive oil is prepared by filtering the oil and removing its color, taste and aroma. Filtration process is conducted without any heat or chemical treatment. Filtration of the oil makes it suitable for use in cooking and baking puroses where a flavored olive oil is not necessary to use. Light olive oils have same fats and calories as do others.
How to Choose Olive Oil?
Here are some key points to remember while choosing an olive oil.
- Use Light olive oil where fruity olive flavor is not required.
- Pomace olive oil is suitable for high heat cooking.
- Use premium extra-virgin olive oil for uncooked uses like salads, bread dip and as condiment.
- For salads, extra virgin olive oil is suitable.
- Use virgin olive oil for cooking, frying and baking. Moreover, it is also good for skin care, hair and body massage.
Olive oil apparently has a widespread range of utilization. It's uses start from cooking, cosmetics, skin care, baby care, pharma industry but end is not known. In this article we will discuss different types of olive oils and their uses mainly in cooking. It has a history of uses; in ancient times, it was used as moisturizer, antibacterial agent, cleanser, for cooking and frying and still it is an essential ingredient in many pharma and cosmetic products.