Understanding the Key Chemical Analyses for Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Freshness Matters:

  • Flavor & Health: Like fresh squeezed fruit juice, fresh crushed olive oil contains peak flavor and nutrients. Over time, its quality diminishes, affecting both taste and health benefits.

Key Components and Significance:

  1. Oleic Acid: A monounsaturated omega-9 fatty acid prominent in olive oil, offering resistance to oxidation. Extra virgin olive oil typically contains 55-83% oleic acid, impacting its quality.

  2. Free Fatty Acid (FFA): Indicates fruit condition at the time of crush. Lower FFA (maximum limit 0.8%) signifies better quality, while higher FFA suggests poor-quality fruit or handling issues during production.

  3. Peroxide Value: A measure of oxidation. Lower peroxide values (maximum limit 20) are desirable, as high values generate volatile compounds causing musty/rancid smells, accelerated by heat, light, and oxygen exposure.

  4. Polyphenol Count: Antioxidants like Hydroxytyrosol, Oleuropein and Oleocanthal give olive oil its peppery, bitter flavor and health benefits. These diminish over time or with exposure to heat, light, and oxygen.

Assessing Quality:

  • DAGs Test/Score: Measures diacylglycerol forms in olive oil. Higher levels of 1,2 DAGs indicate better quality and processing. The ratio of 1,2 DAGs to total DAGs also indicates oil age and storage conditions.

Understanding these chemical analyses, including antioxidant content, oleic acid, FFA, peroxide value, and DAGs, empowers consumers to select high-quality extra virgin olive oil for maximum flavor and health benefits.

Existing Standards for Extra Virgin Olive and What we require from our producers.

 Chemical Parameters IOOC - Extra Virgin Olive Oil USDA - U.S Extra Virgin Olive Oil COOC - Californian Extra Virgin Olive Oil Australian Standards - Extra Virgin Olive Oil Georgetown Olive Oil Co.™ requirements for our producers
FFA - Free Fatty Acid ≤ 0.8 ≤ 0.8 ≤ 0.5 ≤ 0.8 ≤ 0.4
Peroxyde Value  ≤ 20 ≤ 20 ≤ 20 ≤ 20 ≤ 9
Phenolic Content n/a n/a n/a n/a ≥ 200 mg/kg
K232 ≤ 2.5 ≤ 2.5 ≤ 2.5 ≤ 2.5 ≤ 2.0
K270 ≤ 2.2 ≤ 2.2 ≤ 2.2 ≤ 2.2 ≤ 2.0
Oleic Acid (C18.1) 55.0-83.0 55.0-83.0 n/a 55.0-83.0 ≥ 65
DAGs n/a n/a n/a ≥ 35 ≥ 90