You have probably heard the terms ''cold extraction'' and ''cold-pressed'' by the olive oil aficionados as a quality identifying factor but if all these sound Greek to you, keep reading, we’ll help you crack the code and ultimately change the way you see olive oil.
If you are after the best extra virgin olive oil, you are looking for a few specific features and characteristics that will help you evaluate the product: the origin of the olives, the extraction process, the freshness, and the taste.
Today we are shedding some light on the extraction methods.
One of the most important aspects that define the final quality of olive oil (along with the type of olives used: you can read all about that on this post here) is the extraction methods and techniques. In plain words, the production process that takes place to get the oil from the olive fruit.
The highest quality extra virgin olive oil comes from cold extraction which is the mechanical pressing of the olive paste using hydraulic presses or using a centrifuge to extract the oil from the olives.
The technique requires temperatures lower than 27° Celsius which ensures that the delicate flavors and aromas are intact and on their way to your table. It's a modus operandi that results in a lower production of oil for the same amount of olives but in this case, less is more. What we lose in quantity we gain in quality and that’s the only thing that should matter.
It all comes down to the acidity levels once again. If you missed our eye-opening post on that please follow this link to get all your questions answered. In a nutshell, acidity is simply the amount of free oleic acid in the total quantity of oil. The lower the temperature during the extraction process the lower the acidity, hence the better the quality of olive oil.
When using heat to extract oil from the olives we get more oil, at the cost of sacrificing the taste and the fragrant elements of the product. So no added heat should be used under any circumstances when we are aiming to produce high quality, extra virgin olive oil.We hope this helps you have a higher level of awareness about the process of making olive oil! We are looking forward to taking you on another gastronomical journey so please keep sending us your thoughts and questions! We read each and every one of your comments on social media!