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How to Select the perfect olive oil… (copyright 2006, art of living, PrimaMedia,Inc)

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Technorati Tags : , , , , , , , , , , , , , Ads by AdGenta.comSELECTING OLIVE OILS

 by-Maria Liberati

 *Choose Olive Oils stored in tinted or aluminum wrapped glass. Olive oil is perishable and light speeds up the process.   *Good Olive Oil is expensive. Producing high quality olive oil is not cheap. So if you are buying a 500 ml bottle of olive oil for less than $12 that claims extra virgin status, be suspect. Bottles of this size that are less than $12 are almost certain to be chemically extracted and not really extra virgin.  Here are the different grades of oil and what they mean:  Extra Virgin Is defined as ‘first press’, physically extracted to have a distinct aroma, richness and color and intense fruit flavor. It is produced naturally, simply filtered without chemicals or additives and pressed at a low temperature (25-28 degrees centigrade). In the Mediterranean to qualify as extra virgin, an olive oil must meet 4 criteria: 1- must be made from the mechanical extraction of olives 2- be cold pressed 3-have an acidity level of less than 1% 4-have a perfect taste and no olfactory defects. The smoke point for this oil (406 degrees), making it better for soups, on grilled toasts, salads and sauces as well.   Virgin Is also first press, mechanically extracted , pure ‘juice’ neither mixed nor refined, with an acid content below 3%. It has a mild aroma and fruity taste. It can be used for almost all the same uses as Extra Virgin.  Pure Olive Oil Is a blend of extra virgin, virgin and refined oils. Refined means that the oil has been further processes through steam heating in order to remove off flavors and improve acidity. This has a higher smoke point than Extra Virgin (437 degrees) and so makes a good oil for frying.  Extra Light A blend typically of 5% extra virgin and 95% refined oil. The term light only refers to a lighter color, flavor and aroma-not calorie count.

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