What does “extra virgin” mean?

Well, as per September 2008 California now has a legal definition. Basically it means that it must have an acidity (oleic acid) level that is not more than 0.8%. How does this effect you? Well, it begins to raise the bar on quality and prevent low quality oils (treated with solvents and other food chemistry techniques) from posing as extra virgin olive oil. My suggestion…look for any bottle of olive oil that writes the acidity on the label and buy the most recent harvest. Lucini’s Premium Select Extra Virgin Olive Oil® has an acidity level which is less than half this legal standard…showing off the quality of its olive harvest and the production process.

1) “Extra virgin olive oil” means virgin olive oil which has a free acidity, expressed as oleic acid, of not more than 0.8 grams per 100 grams, has a peroxide value of not more than 20 milliequivalent peroxide oxygen per kilogram oil and would meet the sensory standards of extra virgin olive oil as determined by a taste panel certified by the International Olive Council, or, if the International Olive Council ceases to certify taste panels, would meet the sensory standards of a taste panel that is operated by the University of California or California State University according to guidelines adopted by the International Olive Council as of 2007.

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