Refined, defined

What is Refined-A olive oil?

Pressing oil from overripe, insect infested or broken olives will yield an inedible oil that has been used historically for burning in lamps and graded “Lampante” Because overripe olives have higher oil content than ripe olives modern refining methods have been developed for reclaiming the oil for food purposes.

The resulting product is an odorless, tasteless, colorless fat known in the olive oil trade as Refined-A olive oil. All of the flavor and essential polyphenols associated with real or virgin olive oil have been stripped away, but by adding as little as 3% virgin olive oil refiners are legally permitted to sell and market the resulting mixture as 100 % Pure Olive Oil and Light or “Lite” olive oil. Most mixtures contain and 90% Refined-A and 10% virgin. The caloric content is the same for all grades of olive oil.

Damaged and overripe olives suitable only for inedible oil

Refined-B Olive Oil

Olive pits and skins are what remain after the virgin olive oil has been removed. It is possible to chemically extract another three to four percent of oil by applying extreme heat, solvent (hexane), and sodium hydroxide. Simply bleach, winterize, and deodorize. If all of the harmful chemicals are recaptured the resulting odorless, tasteless, fat will not poison you, but it is against the law to call this empty fat “Olive Oil.” Many people who buy refined pomace olive oil mixed with a little real olive oil mistakenly believe they are getting a bargain, but they are losing the opportunity to enjoy the flavor and health benefits of genuine olive oil.

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