Extra virgin olive oil is the freshly-squeezed juice of the olive fruit. It has strong flavors and aromas, it is by far the healthier cooking oil and the only that is made without the use of chemical solvents and industrial refining.
Producing extra virgin olive oil is more difficult a process than most people realize. Beginning with the care of trees and carefully harvesting and picking the fresh olives, down to thoroughly monitoring every single step of the entire production process.
During the mechanical extraction process, the temperature must be kept below 75 degrees Fahrenheit at all times. But even after the oil has been bottled, it is important that it is kept away from heat and light.
True EVOO’s acidity levels cannot be over 0.8% and the lower the acidity the higher the quality. Some extra virgin olive oils may have as low as 0.1% acidity!
Extra virgin olive oil doesn’t stay “extra virgin” for ever. Even in perfect storage conditions, the oil will degrade over a 2-year period and lose its freshness, its flavors, and aromas.