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Depending on its place of origin and the variety of olives used, olive oil has a wide range of flavors and fragrances and the consumer should choose and buy the type that best suits his/her particular taste and the food to prepare. Extra virgin olive oil is like fine wine. Its taste and aroma can be easily distinguished by the nose and the palate, then discussed and dissected. A series of requirements are declared on national and international regulations to identify Trade Standards for olive oils. The quality is measured in two steps: acidity evaluation and taste test.

According to the International Olive Oil Council (IOOC), these are the categories:

1) VIRGIN OLIVE OIL is the oil obtained from the fruit of the olive tree solely by mechanical or other physical means under conditions, particularly thermal conditions, which do not lead to the alteration of the oil. It has not undergone any treatment other than washing, decanting, centrifuging and filtering. When virgin olive oil is intended for consumption in its natural state, it is called by one of the following designations:

a – Extra Virgin Olive Oil has a maximum acidity of 1% and organoleptic characteristics stipulated in the standards for this category; 
b – Virgin Olive Oil has a maximum acidity of 2% and organoleptic characteristics stipulated in the standards for this category; 
c – Ordinary Virgin Olive Oil has a maximum acidity of 3% and organoleptic characteristics stipulated in the standards for this category; 
d – Lampante Virgin Olive Oil has more than 3.3% of acidity and organoleptic characteristics stipulated in the standards for this category. It is not fit for consumption in its original state and should be refined prior to its use as a food stuff.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/4064537

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