More About Extra Virgin Olive Oils
Olive oil is a healthy liquid fat obtained from olives. The highest quality olive oil is extra virgin olive oil which must be totally unprocessed and kept below 75 degrees Fahrenheit at all times during the mechanical extraction process.
To be certified as extra virgin, the oil must not only meet strict chemical criteria as defined by the International Olive Oil Council and adopted by the European Union and USDA, but also must have perfect flavor and aroma as determined by a certified tasting panel.
Producing extra virgin olive oil is more difficult a process than most people realize. It begins with the care of trees and a careful harvest of fresh olives, and requires producers to thoroughly monitor every single step of the production process.
After the oil has been bottled, it is important that it is kept away from heat and light, because extra virgin olive oil doesn’t stay “extra virgin” for ever. Even in perfect storage conditions, the oil will degrade over a 2-year period and lose its freshness, its flavors, and aromas.