Extraction Temperature of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
The extraction of Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) typically happens at temperatures below 27 degrees Celsius (80.6F). These low temperatures are critical in categorizing the oil as “extra virgin”.
EVOO Production Process
- Cold Pressing: In traditional EVOO production, the technique known as cold pressing is used. This term refers to the process where olive paste is pressed at temperatures below 27 degrees Celsius to extract oil.
- First Pressing: Only the oil from the initial pressing, often called “first cold press,” qualifies as EVOO.
- No Chemicals or Solvents: EVOO extraction only involves physical means. No chemicals or solvents that could elevate the temperature are employed in the process.
EVOO Quality and Temperature
- Quality Maintenance: Keeping the temperature below 27 degrees Celsius helps maintain the flavor, color, and nutritional properties of the oil.
- Oxidation Prevention: Heat can lead to oxidation, which significantly reduces the quality of the oil, leading to a loss of EVOO status.
- DOP and DOC Certifications: Temperature control is essential in obtaining Designation of Protection (DOP) and Denomination of Controlled Origin (DOC) certifications, prestigious tags in EVOO production.
Terminology in EVOO Production
Being aware of a few industry-specific terms can help take your understanding of EVOO production to the next level:
- Cold Pressed: This denotes that the oil is extracted at temperatures no higher than 27C.
- First Cold Press: This label means that the oil comes from the first pressing of the olives and no heat is applied in the process.
- DOP/DOC: Certifications given to products whose characteristics are dependent on the geographical area in which they are produced.