What is the difference between olive oil, virgin and extra

Olive oil is one of the most valued in the gastronomic culture of Spain, as well as being one of the most precious ingredients of the Mediterranean diet. When buying it we can find different classifications: from olive, to dry, virgin olive grove and extra virgin olive. What differentiates them and which one is the most nutritionally complete?


First of all, we have refined olive oil, of which it should be noted that it is of low quality, since it is subjected to a high temperature refinement system, whose purpose is to eliminate negative organoleptic properties. In other words, it is a product with the chemical structure of olive oil but without odor or taste. It is not such a pure oil and it does not preserve all its properties in its entirety. It is obtained from virgin olive oils, it has a free acidity, expressed as oleic acid, which is not more than 0.3 grams per 100 g.

This article is not sold as is, but is added a quantity of extra virgin or virgin olive oil which will be the one that gives it aroma and flavor. In this way, the category of oil called olive oil is obtained.

Olive oil, therefore, comes from a blend of refined and virgin olive oils. Free acidity cannot exceed one gram per 100 grams.

The benefits of olive oil (Pixabay)


Virgin olive oil it has a free acidity that cannot exceed 2 grams per 100 g. This is achieved exclusively through mechanical cold pressing processes. Therefore, no heat system is used to help increase the production of the liquid. How to get from the first pressed, the degree of purity is very high, as well as its properties.

Extra virgin

Then we have the extra virgin olive oil, which has an acidity that does not have to be above 0.8 g per 100 g. Its oleic acid concentration is lower and its acidity is close to one percent. It is of all, the most complete olive oil, the one that best preserves all its nutritional qualities. It is characterized by slightly greenish hue, fruity flavor and acid touch.

Remember these typical mistakes when using extra virgin olive oil