6 Tips for Choosing Olive Oil

June 18, 2024 , , ,

There is an increasing craze for olive oil all over the world, both for its beneficial effects on health and for its taste. But how do you choose the right olive oil when you know that there are some 2000 varieties in the world, which differ in flavor, aroma, price and especially in the content of its phenolic compounds, which are those that play an important role in disease prevention?

Here are the key points to consider when buying olive oil:

1. Extra-virgin olive oil

When the label says “olive oil” without any other details, you generally have a refined oil or an olive oil that has been mixed with other types of oils. You should instead choose “extra virgin” oil, i.e. an oil that has been pressed within 24 hours of its picking and subjected to the cold extraction process, without chemical treatment or heating likely to alter its quality. There is also a “virgin” oil, the difference between the two being the acidity level, less than 0.8% for extra virgin and less than 2% for virgin. One could use both, for example keeping the extra-virgin for salads and using the less expensive virgin variety for cooking.

2. Read the labels carefully

The mention “Produced in Spain” or “Produced in Italy” is not sufficient enough to ensure the quality of the oil, because olives imported from elsewhere could simply have been bottled in these countries. You should prioritize an oil that has been produced and packaged by the producer, with the origin of the olives clearly displayed. One also needs to check that there is an expiration date.

You can also rely on the “Protected Designation of Origin” (PDO) or “Protected Geographical Indication” (PGI) seals which are legal guarantees of geographical provenance.

3. The right container

Olive oil should be stored away from light. Quality oils are bottled in opaque, dark glass, or metal containers. Be wary of transparent or plastic containers.

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Cinzia Cuneo
Cinzia Cuneo, founder of SOSCuisine.com, never wanted to neglect the quality of her food. She shares her special expertise to make good food quickly and without complications!

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