The truth of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

We interview Fernando Ortega
Fernando tells us details about extra virgin olive oil and its commercialization through the internet, on his website

EVOO is the highest quality oil that can be extracted from the olive, it is the OLIVE JUICE.

You have 2 types of analysis, one chemical and other sensory. EVOO will not have sensory defects and a fruity aroma will appear, that's why TASTING is essential to differentiate oils. It is extracted by mechanical processes nowadays and cold (up to 28ºC).


What the Extra Virgin brings to our health:

Oil is a fat that gives us energy. Have 9 calories per gram, so you don't have to spend in quantities, what recommended are 3 tablespoons a day. EVOO has very important qualities for our body: it reduces cellular oxidation because it is rich in antioxidants (Vit E), decreases Cardiovascular disease (direct risk factors: high blood pressure, diabetes mellitus, high cholesterol, smoking ...) as it lowers levels of LDL cholesterol (the bad one) and increases HDL (the good one) thanks to its oleic acid content, reduces triglycerides ... helps improve the metabolism of sugars in diabetes, protects against cancer, osteoporosis and dementia (Alzheimer's ).
It has other beneficial effects but they are not fully proven, such as lowering blood pressure and reducing thrombogenic risk.

Amount of oleic acid according to the olive:

Each olive variety has its characteristics, but without a doubt the "picual" comes out in antioxidants and oleic acid:

  • Picual: 78.93%, this variety also has more antioxidants than the rest and withstands the temperature better (up to 240ºC), so it is very good for frying, among many other uses.
  • Hojiblanca: 69.01%
  • Chamomile: 68.19%
  • Weevil: 66.62%
  • Arberquina: 62.30%
  • Empeltre: 61.57%
  • Hojiblanca: 12.53%, etc ...
  • Arberquina: 21.17%

Types of olive oils:

1.- Extra Virgin: the best, without organoleptic or chemical defects, with a fruity taste and low acidity ... -maximum acidity allowed * 0.8º-, although the ideal is less than 0.2º. This oil is obtained from the olives that are in the tree, those of “flight” that have no damage and that have not fallen to the ground by themselves.
* ACIDEZ only indicates the deterioration of the olive.

2.- Virgin: They are good, but they have small organoleptic defects that for people who do not understand oil would go almost unnoticed. They are of lower quality but can also be used for consumption, although it is true that the levels of antioxidants and oleic acids are not the same. If you look, these are not in the supermarket lines?

3.- Lampante: It does not work by itself for direct food use, it is an oil extracted from olives in the soil, which have fallen from the tree and are damaged. This oil goes through a series of processes to REFINE it and make it marketable when mixed with a low percentage of virgin olive oil. It is certainly from very bad quality if we compare it with a VE, and it does not even have any of the healthy characteristics that I told you at the beginning.
On its label it will appear as OLIVE OIL !!! So the olive oil as you see is a mixture that does not meet the necessary requirements to provide healthy products to our body, the mixture is variable, but it can be around 85% refined and only 15% Virgin or Extra Virgin !!!
It is clearly a label that leads to confusion and that makes our purchase incorrect.

The varieties:

Until I went to Jaén and saw everything that involves the elaboration of the oil, I had never considered what tastes one or the other, which is better, how many varieties are there. I, like most, went to the shelf in my supermarket and bought the Extra Virgin I found at a better price.
Well, I have found that not all oils taste the same, even what comes out of the same olive tree because the fruit is ripening, but each type has specific qualities. In Spain there are 260 types of olives, but surely the ones that sound the most are:
Arberquina, Picual, Cornicabra, Hojiblanca, Camomile ...

Positive organoleptic characteristics:

In a tasting it does not matter the color of the oil, this is not an indicator that a EVOO is better or worse ... that is why the tasting is done in blue glass cups with a transparent lid, to concentrate the aromas.
Bitterness and itching, They are characteristic in a good oil, and they are also positive signs. They must be in balance and give personality, its intensity depends on the type of olive and the date of elaboration of the oil.

Heartburn: 0.4 and 1st grade, a misconception

For many years we have seen acidity, 0.4º and 1º in the Olive oil bottles that are currently sold as a mild or intense flavor. These numbers didn't really refer to acidity, those figures corresponded to the proportion of refined and virgin mix, so for many years we have lived a "hoax" and we have all thought that they referred to taste or intensity, and nothing could be further from reality.
An extra virgin olive oil never goes beyond an acidity of 0.8 degrees and the ideal is that it was not more than 0.2 degrees, that would indicate that in the process there was no fermentation, which is something undesirable ... but as the regulations give this "wide sleeve", there are oils that do not pass the tastings but that as they meet this requirement they sneak in and are sold as Extra Virgin.

“Acidity is a parameter of oil quality. It indicates the deterioration suffered by the fruit (olive) before grinding ”, that is, more acidity worse quality and vice versa.

When holding the EVOO:

I was very surprised that there are people who, when frying a fish or meat in the pan or the fryer, wait for the oil to start to smoke ... that is a barbarity, you are burning the oil and harming your health. The oil when burned, whatever it is, produces substances harmful to our body.

I know that there are people who use sunflower oil with the excuse that the Extra Virgin oil is burned when frying and it is precisely for taking it to such high temperatures, for waiting for it to smoke, look at why:

  • The sunflower oil reaches the 140ºC and smokes.
  • The Extra Virgin oil reaches the 220ºC or more.

As you can see, the Extra Virgin reaches much higher temperatures ... so don't wait: D

You can use olive oil for frying until it stops smelling good oil, then it will be time to change it.


  1. The Extra Virgin olive oil and the rest should be stored in a dry and cool place at about 8 degrees of temperature, preferably in the dark.
  2. The bottle is always closed and full, since oxygen oxidizes it and deteriorates its qualities.
  3. The most suitable containers are the can or the dark glass, if you use plastic or PET, remember not to light it, and if you are few at home do not buy 5-liter bottles, buy appropriate 1-liter containers so that when you Do not consume months with the bottle full of air inside because you do not spend it.
  4. If you are going to reuse a bottle and fill it with oil, wash it first so that the new oil does not start.

Conclusion: Light, heat and oxygen degrade the oils, so be careful with the supermarkets linear, maybe what you are paying as an Extra Virgin, when it arrives at your house it is no longer.

The labeling:

According Carpio Annunciation, the labeling of an EVOO must include:

  • That it is an Extra Virgin oil.
  • Which has been obtained directly from the fruit of the olive tree by mechanical procedures.

But the ideal would be to indicate: acidity, the grade obtained in the tasting, the useful life or expiration date and the date of preparation.

While consumers do not inform us better and do not demand more, this will not happen because “it does not suit” some.

Where to buy:

It is best to always buy directly from the producer, intermediaries only increase the price. I personally after seeing how the oil works and test the difference in situ, I will always buy from cooperatives, either on-site or online such as:

I am left with an Announcement comment that shows that there is much to do and that we are a fundamental part of that task: "There are producers who decide to pick the olive later than recommended and those who do not care about quality because they do not pay it"... and we have a lot of guilt as consumers.
I want to take a EVOO really, and I hope that from now on, YOU ALSO.

Information obtained from:
-Days of Extra Virgin Olive Oil of Jaén 2.0, promoted by the Diputación de Jaén. Special thanks to Marian Velasco and Jesus Zafra
- “Olive oil obtaining and properties” by José Matais, Fernando Palomeque, Carpio Announcement and Guillermo Rodriguez among other authors
-Harold MCGee "Cooking and food"
-Fernando Ortega producer and distributor of EVOO
-Carpio Annunciation in the closing talk of the conference in Jaén
-Mar Luna from
-Emilio Tíscar who taught us the details of the "Oil Tasting"
-Special thanks to Andrea - Head of Tourism Services - and María López Velasco of

Thank you all for having our blog to help spread the virtues of our quality Olive Oil, the Extra Virgin.

Video: Why Dr. Oz Recommends Adding Olive Oil to Cereal (April 2020).