When a product is called “olive oil”

but not “extra virgin olive oil”, what is that?

When a product is called “olive oil”

Most buyers know that extra virgin olive oil is the highest quality olive oil available. But what other forms of olive oil are there and should you buy them?

Every olive oil starts the same way. Once a year the olives are harvested and the oil extracted. The resulting oil is classified. The best tasting olive oil that meets strict quality and purity parameters can be sold as extra virgin olive oil. Extra virgin olive oils are processed very minimally, e.g. B. filtered. Oils that do not meet the high standards of extra virgin can be refined to create an oil that has no flavor color or aroma. Typically, refined olive oil is blended with around 15-20% virgin or extra virgin olive oil to add some flavor and color before it is sold. So when a product is simply called “olive oil”, it is a mixture of two types of olive oil: refined and virgin.

"Olive Oil" is 100% authentic olive oil that offers many of the same health benefits as extra virgin olive oil at a lower cost. Here are some facts about olive oil.



"Olive oil" has all of the same heart-healthy monounsaturated fats as extra-virgin olive oil.

"Olive Oil" contains about 15-20% of the healthy antioxidants and polyphenols found in extra virgin olive oil.

The FDA and American Heart Association have labeled olive oils of all grades, including "Olive Oil," as "heart healthy."

The color of “olive oil” can range from green to light yellow (depending on the color and amount of extra virgin olive oil added). As with all olive oils, color is not an indication of flavor.

Like any olive oil, "Olive Oil" can solidify in cold temperatures, but this is not an indicator of quality.

"Olive oil" should be stored the same way as extra virgin olive oil to avoid rancidity.

The refining process is much less harsh than other cooking oils (e.g. corn, vegetable, soybean, canola) because unlike these products, olive oil, by definition, can NEVER be extracted using chemical solvents, making olive oil a particularly healthy cooking oil.

Some people refer to "olive oil" as classic olive oil, regular olive oil, or virgin olive oil. When the term “pure” is used, the word is intended to indicate that the product contains no other ingredients or oils other than olive oil, specifically a blend of virgin and refined olive oils. Olive oil is loved by those who prefer a lighter tasting olive oil with a higher smoke point than extra virgin - but still with the healthy monounsaturated fat profile.

What is the difference between "olive oil" and "light tasting" olive oil?

Light tasting or extra light tasting olive oil is similar to "olive oil" but contains a higher percentage of refined olive oil. It has the same number of calories and grams of fat as all olive oils. The word "light" means it has a lighter taste.

If it's not extra virgin, is the olive oil "fake"?

"Olive oil" and extra light tasting olive oils are all "true" authentic olive oils. All contain 100% olive oil and are not blended with seed or vegetable oils unless specifically stated on the packaging. There are unfounded rumors circulating on the internet that virgin olive oil is being sold as extra virgin. These rumors are wrong.

When should I use olive oil instead of extra virgin olive oil?

It really comes down to a matter of taste preference and budget.


"Olive oil" has a milder flavor, making it a good choice for some recipes. The neutral taste of the oil does not interfere with other flavors in your dish.

"Olive oil" is a good substitute for seed and vegetable oils. Unlike seed oils, olive oil is extracted without the use of solvents, making it a more natural choice.

Depending on the amount of refined oil it contains, "olive oil" has a smoke point of 390⁰ - 470⁰ F - higher than extra virgin olive oil, canola, vegetable shortening, or corn oil.

"Olive oil" is less expensive than extra virgin olive oil.

We encourage families to keep more than one bottle of olive oil in their pantries. In addition to a high-quality extra virgin olive oil, you can choose a more economical olive oil for use in large quantities or if you want a neutral-tasting oil.

To find an olive oil that has been certified for quality and authenticity, check out our list of certified olive oils.

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