About Extra Virgin Olive Oil or EVOO
Olive Oil is extracted from olives, and the oils come in several different grades. But Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) is la crème de la crème of vegetable oils. It is the top grade – beautiful phenolics, extra low fat content, high in antioxidants and monounsaturates. It tastes good, is perfect as a dressing and adds flavour to cooking, and it is good for you.
To be classified as EVOO the oil must be extracted in a specific way. It has to be produced direct from olives (“first pressed”) in a low temperature environment (“cold pressed”) and no chemicals can be used in the extraction process.
After the oil is produced, it must be tested by an independent laboritory process to ensure that it has a low fat content and that it does not exhibit any defects. Only after this assessment is complete can the oil be classified as Extra Virgin.
Unfortunately around the world many second rate oils are labelled as Extra Virgin when they do not comply with the Australian or international standards. It is important to note that testing by the Association between September 2011 and August 2013 found that, of 106 imported oils tested representing 40 different brands, 77% of oils tested failed the Australian Standard AS 5264-2011 and 93% of brands tested failed the Standard for at least one product of their brand range. This is consistent with results found by Choice Magazine in 2010 that showed 80% of imported oils tested failed Extra Virgin standards.
According to the Australian Olive Association consumers buying imported olive oil are being duped at the checkout with up to 9 out of 10 imported olive oils failing Australian standards and being labelled incorrectly. To guarantee that you are getting genuine EVOO, you should look for the symbols.