The certification of an olive oil as extra virgin follows a strict specification, regulated according to the parameters of the EEC regulation n.2568/91 of the Commission of the European Community.
The essential parameters to be evaluated to obtain the extra virgin olive oil certification are the following:
- number of peroxides
To be defined as extra virgin the oil must have an acidity of less than 0.8%; this is the limit established by European and international legislation. A percentage between 0.8 and 2 certifies the oil as virgin, while a percentage greater than 2 defines the oil as lampante.
The lower the acidity value, the higher the quality of the oil.
The acidity parameter is not the only one considered for the purposes of commercial classification and a low percentage of acidity is not a unique indicator of high quality.
The polyphenol content of extra virgin olive oil consists in the presence of antioxidant substances capable of preventing the state of oxidation, consequently promoting the durability of the product over time and counteracting the oxidation of fatty acids.
The spectrophotometric examination and the number of peroxides, lower than the limit value of 20, identify the level of oxidation of the oil, the value of which must be as low as possible to maintain the peculiar characteristics of the product unaltered.
The moment of harvesting and the rapid time spent for milling, the extraction process by mechanical means only and preferably cold guarantee that these parameters remain within the limits established by law in order to guarantee the customer a product with high culinary and organoleptic characteristics .
On each production batch the Producer is required to verify these parameters through organoleptic analyzes to be conducted in specialized and certified laboratories.
In addition to this step, according to the current regulations listed above, for greater transparency to protect consumers, oil samples taken from the production batch must be subjected to the judgment of the Panel, a commission made up of experts in the field of extra virgin olive oil who conduct a sensorial analysis on the sample under examination.
The results of the organoleptic tests through chemical analyzes and of the sensorial tests conducted by the Panel allow us to have a general opinion on the extra virgin olive oil subjected to judgment which guarantee the goodness of the product and the safety for purchase by Consumers.