What's The Difference Between Extra-Virgin & Virgin Olive Oil?

Epitalio Olive Grove in Greece

International Olive Council (IOC) is the leading international body in the olive oil sector, overseeing various aspects of olive oil production, trade, quality standards, and research. It has been globally recognised for over 50 years as the authority in setting quality standards for the olive oil industry. 

In line with IOC regulations, both virgin and extra virgin olive oils are obtained solely through mechanical methods, this means prohibiting the use of heat or solvents in the extraction process. This ensures that the oils retain their natural flavours and beneficial compounds.

And it's following extraction that the oils undergo grading. And here's the difference...

Quality Standards

Extra-virgin olive oil is identified with having a free acidity level of 0.8% or less.

Virgin olive oil, on the other hand maintains a free acidity level between 0.8% and 2.0%.

Sensory Attributes 

Extra-virgin olive oil is prized for its superior taste and aroma, characterised by fruity notes and a distinct lack of defects.

Virgin olive oil may have some slight sensory defects, but they are minimal compared to lower-grade oils.

Price and Availability 

Extra-virgin olive oil is generally more expensive and less abundant than virgin olive oil due to its higher quality and stricter production standards.

So what's the different between extra-virgin and virgin olive oil? While both extra-virgin and virgin olive oils share many similarities, the key differences lie in their acidity levels, sensory attributes, and overall quality standards, with extra-virgin olive oil typically regarded as the highest grade.

The Greek House Interiors offers a boutique range of Greek olive oils. It's a curated selection of premium olive oils sourced from various regions across Greece. Each oil is chosen for its exceptional flavour, aroma, and quality. Delicious! 

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