Italy is one of the largest producers of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and the quality is considered amongst the best in the world. So it is important that when you source an Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil, you are purchasing a product that is made from 100% Italian olives, and not just a product with an “Italian” name. So look for the “PRODUCT OF ITALY” declaration on all labels.
To be considered an Extra Virgin Olive Oil, the olive oil must:
1. Contain less than 0.8% acidity
2. Meet the specifications of the Proper aroma, colour and taste
3. Be produced from olives that are pressed, with no heat & no chemicals used during extraction
Within Italy, this Extra Virgin Olive Oil can also be subdivided into another two distinguishable varieties that are strictly monitored by various consortiums:
- Organic (Biologico)
- D.O.P. (Denominazione d’Origine Protetta)
Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil possesses the same characteristics as the standard product, except it is also produced only from organically grown olives. The certification process in Italy is strictly controlled in line with European Union regulations. So if the label contains the certified EU Organic Logo, you know the product is genuinely organic.
D.O.P. Extra Virgin Olive Oil also possesses the same characteristics as the standard product, except it is certified that the olives used are from a particular region within Italy. Furthermore, the D.O.P. olive oil must contain less than 0.4% acidity. The certification process is very strict, such that a seal and a unique serial number is marked on each label, thus providing the consumer with a guarantee of authenticity and quality.
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