“Pure” Olive Oil Is Not What You Think

Posted by Hannah Broaddus

Blog35-Olive-Oil_Bottles-with-Wood-and-Tag-aHave you ever sourced olive oil-- just plain ol’ “olive oil”?  Understanding what you’re really getting can be confusing to most buyers outside of the oil industry.  We’d like to explain the grade “Olive Oil” (also known as “Pure Olive Oil”), because many consumers don’t really understand what they’re getting.

Many consumers mistakenly believe that “olive oil” is the primary grade of oil expelled from the olives, and the Virgin or Extra Virgin is a premium version of that.  This thinking is actually backwards.  In reality, Extra Virgin Olive Oil is the primary grade created from the fruit of the olives, and “Olive Oil” is a processed, lower grade expelled after that.  

The grade “Olive Oil” is defined by the USDA as a mid-level grade made up of Refined Virgin Olive Oil and a small amount of Extra Virgin or Virgin Olive Oil mixed in.  Part of the confusion about this grade comes from how it is labeled; it is known as “Pure Olive Oil” or “100% Pure Olive Oil” across the retail and bulk industries.  

The grade is sometimes just referred to as “Pure”, which has developed over time through product labels and marketing.  Contrary to popular belief, “Pure” does not refer to quality or the guarantee of no adulteration-- pure simply refers to the grade that is inside the bottle.  This grade, as explained before, is a processed lighter oil compared to Extra Virgin.

Topics: Pure Olive Oil

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