EVOO Typology



Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) is the one which is obtained from olives using mechanical procedures. Depending on the quality of the olives and the conditions during the extraction process and subsequent conservation , oil can be classified into the following marketed categories (UE-796/2002 regulation):


It shows no chemical or sensorial imperfections. The main causes of chemical alterations in olive oil are enzymatic hydrolysis, which increases free acidity in oil, and oxidation, which is responsible for rarefaction. The main causes of sensorial alterations are olive fermentation and handling mistakes produced during the extraction and preservation of the oil. This type of oil can be directly bottled.

Acidity level: lower than 0.8%

Organoleptic score: higher than 6.5.


It shows some minor imperfections, barely distinguishable for the

average consumer. It can be bottled under the ‘VIRGIN’ denomination.

Acidity level: Virgin from 0.8 to 2.0 %; virgin from 2.0 to 3.3%.

Organoleptic score: higher than 5.5.


It shows a few important imperfections, both chemical and sensorial. It is not suitable for human consumption unless it is refined, as the base of the so-called ‘0.4% olive oil’ and ‘1% olive oil’.

Acidity level: it is not consumed due to its high level of acidity (higher than 3.3%).

Organoleptic score: faulty.

The inclusion of any virgin olive oil in each of these types of oil is determined by some parameters, mainly these ones:

1)Its organoleptic score ( expert tasting).

2)Its acidity level.

3)Its peroxide level.


Numbers 3 and 4 determine the degree of oxidation of oil.

The acidity determines the amount of time between the olives being picked until they are processed.


It is understood as olive oil the resulting mix of combining an important amount of pomace olive oil (orujo), around 70%, which has been obtained from lampante through an industrial process with a small amount, less than 30%, with virgin oil (either virgin or extra virgin) suitable for direct consumption. This virgin or extra virgin oil adds the flavor, taste and colour, though in a much lesser proportion.

In Spain, olive oil (0.4% - soft or 0.8%-1% - so-called ‘intense’) constitutes the foundation of the use of olive oil. Nevertheless, it is a highly standardized product, where no remarkable sensorial features can be detected nor any objective differences among the different marketed brands can be found.


It is understood as pomace olive oil (orujo) the resulting mix of combining an important amount of pomace olive oil with a small amount of virgin or extra virgin olive oil.

Pomace olive oil is a subproduct of the almazara (mill), once the oil is obtained from olives. This oil has got the solid remains of the skin, pit and flesh of olives.

This resulting paste is stored in ‘tolvas’ (chutes) until it is carried to the facilities where the pomace oil is obtained. The process consists on drying and latter extraction of the remains of the oil by means of a chemical solvent (usually hexane). Next the hexane evaporates, leaving the so-called ‘raw pomace oil’, which is not apt for consumption. This oil must be refined following the same process as olive oils and it is finally mixed with a virgin oil which is apt for consumption.

Although the current law specifies up to nine different types of oil derived from olives, in practice, in order to regulate the relationships between the producers, the industry and the manufacturers, the consumer can only get three different types of  marketed oil:

•Extra Virgen Olive Oil.

•Olive Oil (in its fourth and first formats).

•Olive-pomace Oil.

The typology is clearly distinguished and classified by the extraction procedures and the levels of acidity.