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The Chemistry of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Why it Matters

Although a product may be labelled "Extra Virgin", there is a chance that the contents may not be what they claim. A study by UC Davis found that 69% of products labelled extra virgin did not meet the minimum requirements to be labelled as such. For those seeking the health benefits found in a good quality, fresh extra virgin olive oil, this misrepresentation is troubling.

So as consumers, how do we know if we are selecting a quality product? In addition to crush dates, ask for chemistry. This is far more important than an arbitrary "best before" date. Chemistry will speak to the condition of the fruit, production methods, storage and age of an oil.

Becoming familiar with a particular extra virgin olive oil’s flavour characteristics, chemistry and crush date will help you make an educated decision about which olive oil is right for you.

A great consumer resource is The Truth in Olive Oil which lists Della Terra and other trusted suppliers of fresh, high quality extra virgin olive oil.

Olive Oil Chemistry Defined