Protected Designation of Origin (PDO), is a geographical indicator ensuring that only products genuinely originating in that region are allowed in commerce. Protected Geographical Status (PGS) is a legal framework defined in European Union law to protect the names of regional foods.
Only PDO certification provides consumers with a guarantee that they are buying the genuine product.
The purpose of the law is to protect the reputation of the regional foods and misleading of consumers by non-genuine products, which may be of inferior quality or of different flavour.
Acidity is the level of oleic acid or monounsaturated fat found in olive oil. Olives should be pressed within 48 hours of picking; the longer they are left un-pressed, the more the acid levels build within the olive. The lower the acidity, the tastier the olive oil. Be sure to check the label for the acidity level when purchasing your olive oil as it is one of the key factors in determining aroma, flavor, and color.
- Extra-Virgin olives oil contains no more than 0.8% acidity.
- Virgin olive oil has an acidity less than 2%.
- Olive oil is a blend of virgin and refined oil, of no more than 1.5% acidity.
Heartier meals are best made with extra virgin olive oil. A light and mild virgin oil is better suited for delicate dishes and pastries. Pure olive oil or Pomace oil is best for high-heat and heavy-duty cooking.
Many olive oil labels state "first cold pressed" or "cold extracted". This simply describes the temperature at which the oil was obtained. Higher temperatures can make the oil turn rancid too early. The temperature must be proven to have been under 27ºC (80ºF) in order to be labeled as "cold extracted".
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