The Differences Between Virgin Olive Oil (VOO)
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
Fine Virgine Olive Oil
Olive Oil Grading and Classification
by The International Olive Oil Council
"Virgin olive oil" denotes oil obtained from the fruit of the olive tree
solely by mechanical or other means that cause no alteration or deterioration of
No heat, no chemical interaction, no solvents, no radiation, no microwaves!
oil must not have been subjected to any treatment other than that of mechanical
expeller pressure, washing, centrifugation, and filtration.
The best oils, those called "extra-virgin," are cold-pressed,
a chemical-free process that involves only cold pressure or cold centrifugation, which produces a natural
level of low acidity.
Climate, soil, variety of olive tree and time of harvest account for the
different organoleptic properties of different olive oils. "Organoleptic"
properties refers to the oil's the flavor, bouquet and color. The term comes
from the Greek organon (tool) and leptos (fine), and usually refers to the
instant when all the senses are employed in a food's assessment.
Differences Between Extra-Virgin,
Fine Virgin, and Ordinary Virgin Olive Oil
Extra-virgin olive oils must have an acidity of less than 1 percent. The
organoleptic properties must rate at least 6.5 on an Italian tasting panel's
scale of 1 to 10.
Virgin olive oils, on the other hand, may have an acidity
between 1 and 2 percent. Its organoleptic values must score 5.5 or higher. There
are other requirements for each of these designations, as well.
The International Olive Oil Council assigned different designations to virgin
- Extra-Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) is virgin olive oil that has a minimum organoleptic
rating of 6.5 out of 10, and low acidity under 1%. It is the oil of the highest quality,
and boasts a perfect, fruity taste, and with a color that can range from
crystalline champagne to greenish-golden to bright green. Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
can be used in endless ways in the kitchen, and in Italy it has been a
traditional ingredient in everything from antipasti to desserts. It is best used
raw in salads, in order to enjoy its real flavor. Because of the time-consuming
process required to manufacture extra-virgin oil, and its limited production
volume, true extra-virgin olive oils are expensive. Thus, any inexpensive olive
oil labeled "extra-virgin" is probably not authentic.
- Beneath Extra-Virgin Olive Oil comes Fine Virgin Olive Oil. Like virgin oil, it
is also cold-pressed. It has an organoleptic rating of 5.5 or more and an
acidity of max 1.5 percent. Quality oils are obtained when the olives are
crushed as quickly as possible, since any storage would trigger a fermentation
process in the fruit, making the oil produced increasingly acidic and
undesirable in both flavor and aroma.
- Semi-Fine or Ordinary Virgin Olive Oil is another virgin olive oil. It only has
an organoleptic rating of 3.5 or more and acidity of max 3.3 percent. When
properly processed, Ordinary Virgin Olive Oil maintains the purity of the
fruit's flavor, aroma, and vitamins. The International Olive Oil Institute
recommends using pure olive oil for frying, since the flavor of extra-virgin
olive oil tends to break down at frying temperatures.
How to Determine Whether an Olive Oil is Extra-Virgin?
Place a small quantity of the oil in a glass bowl and refrigerate it for a few
If it becomes crystalline, the chances are good that it is a true
extra-virgin olive oil.
If it forms a block, it is most likely chemically
refined oil that has had some first-pressed oil added to it.
How to Buy Olive Oil?
There are hundreds of extra-virgin olive oils on the market from different
Mediteranean regions, and most of them are quite good. But how do we choose one
bottle over another?
How many of us are buying a product because of its price or packaging rather
than its content? Labels can say anything at all, and are often misleading
embellishments or outright false statements?
Often price is a determining factor in our willingness or reticence to buy a
particular olive oil. There are cases in which a consumer pays a higher price
only for the packaging, not for the oil's quality. While generally price is an
indication of quality, it is not an absolute measure. It is important to
remember that olive oil is a product of nature, so it follows the rule that mass
production cannot reduce the cost unless it also reduces the quality.
Olives picked early in the season yield a fruity olive oil; olives picked in the
middle of the season yield an olive with harmonic flavor; and olives harvested
late in the season yield a gentle olive oil. Some of us prefer fruity olive
oils, others are partial to milder ones. There is no right or wrong: The only
thing that matters is quality.
Of course different olive oils are better suited to different dishes, so that a
fruity olive oil on a steamed fish might be a little excessive, and a mild olive
oil on a sauté redolent with garlic would be overshadowed.
Olive oil should be stored in a closed container, away from heat or light.
Correctly stored, good oil has a shelf life of 12 to 18 months. You do not need
to store oil
in the refrigerator. However, if you do, it should still be fine—just leave it
at room temperature for half an hour, and it will return to its previous
OLIVE OIL STORAGE INSTRUCTIONS
SUNLIGHT. Keep at dark for storage, avoiding any exposure to direct
HEAT. Optimum storage temperature is +18 °C to +20 °C (+64 °F to +68
°F). Refrigerating or freezing does not harm any type of olive oil. But olive
oil expands about 2-4 % by refrigeration or freezing and may shatter the glass
bottle if bottle head space is not sufficient to compensate the expansion!
Refrigeration or ambient temperatures less than +15 °C (+59 °F) may causes
partial crystallization at extra virgin type olive oils. Crystallization effect
is less in blends of refined olive oils.
This effect is harmless and when olive oil container stored at room temperature
of maximum +25 °C (+77 ° F), when olive oil temperature exceeds +16 °C (+60 °F),
olive oil crystallization disappears and returns to golden clear color without
any quality loss.
Virgin and Extra Virgin Oils must never exceed +25 °C (+77
Otherwise nutritionally valuable vitamin E is degraded.
AIR. Oxygen inside air may cause olive oil to become rancid. This
starts from the top surface where air exposure is continuous. This the reason
the necks of the bottles are narrow, surface exposed to air is minimized. When
the rest of container will not be used, say within a month, it is better to
transfer the olive oil to a smaller container and fill till to half neck and
seal the lid tightly to prevent air penetration.
FOREIGN ODOURS. Olive oil easily absorbs foreign odours and smells
carried by air. You must keep olive oil in a tightly sealable container and
tightly seal the container after every use and stow away from synthetic or
natural odours, fuels, chemicals, exhaust gases, organic debris, etc.
CONDENSATION. Differences of temperature due to night and day, rainy days
or climate changes may cause condensation of moisture in air on the walls of
container as pure water droplets. When the container is tightly sealed, outside
moisture shall not effect olive oil. However temperature drops by night may
cause condensing of water droplets on outside of olive oil container. If
container is tin, rust may start and if there is a paper label, paper may absorb
the water and swell and deform and may partially peel off. The corrugated carton
boxes containing olive oil containers can absorb the condensing moisture and
become softer and not be able to carry the containers and may be easily torn by
To avoid this situation, the ambient relative humidity must be less than 60% and
cartons should be stowed about 10 cm (4”) above the ground on pallets and
cartons should be covered with cloth or plastic in high ceiling spaces.
The Olive Oil History
The olive is a subtropical, broad-leaved, perennial tree which produces
edible fruit. Its ancestor, Oleastro, dates back millions of year.
Archaeological records indicate olives have been eaten for over 35,000 years,
and that man has cultivated the tree for at least 6,000 years. The olive tree
ranges in height from 10 to 40 feet, or more, and can attain a great age — some
in the eastern Mediterranean are estimated to be over 2,000 years old.
The olive came from Asia Minor and spread along the coasts of
the Mediterranean, in the area between the 30th and 45th parallels. About 6,000
years ago, in the Fertile Crescent — what is today Syria and Palestine — olives
first began to be cultivated. The practice quickly spread to Crete, flourishing
in the island's dry climate. Cretans became wealthy by exporting the oil and
making lotions and cosmetics from it. An entire shipping fleet was made for
selling oil to the Egyptians and the Greeks, carrying large quantities of oil in
amphorae (vase-like jars) known as pithoi.
The first recorded oil extraction mill was in Palestine in 1000
B.C. Over 100 olive presses have been found in Tel Mique Akron, where the
Philistinese first produced oil. These 100 presses managed to produce between
1,000 and 3,000 tons of olive oil per year.
The Olive Tree
The wood of the olive tree resists decay, and when the top of the tree is killed
by bad weather or human mistakes, a new trunk will grow back from the roots.
Despite harsh winters and burning summers, the olive continues to grow and
produce fruit. The branches are able to carry a large amount of fruit on their
numerous twigs, which are so flexible that they sway with the slightest breeze
but remain very strong.
Olive leaves are thick and leathery. Each leaf grows over a
2-year period and flowers bloom in late spring. They are small and white,
grouped in loose clusters in the axels of the leaves. There are two different
kinds of flowers: perfect flowers, containing both male and female parts, which
are capable of developing into the olive fruits; and staminate flowers, male
only, which contain the pollen-producing parts.
How Olive Oil is Made
Production of olive oil begins with the harvest, the timing of which is a
major factor in the final product. The picking of the olives starts as early as
September, when the olives are underripe and still green. They yield little oil,
but their flavor is intense. These oils have the longest shelf life and are
richer in sensory properties such as flavor and aroma. Oil from olives harvested
early has a low percentage of acid and the characteristic deep green color
typical of the Tuscan oils.
Harvests generally come between early November and let December. Some olives are
harvested in the red-ripe stage and blended with the earlier harvested oil to
create a more balanced product. In general, the oils from fruit harvested in the
black-ripe stage are of inferior quality, containing more acid and less flavor.
The youngest green olives are hand-picked off the branches, whereas riper olives
can be beaten or shaken down and collected beneath the trees. Since olives are
delicate, the best oils are made from olives that are picked by hand or by
machines that do not beat or bruise the fruit.
Milling and Pressing
Olives should be crushed within the first 24 or 36 hours of picking. If left
to wait, the level of acidity rises, creating olive oil of poor quality. Just
before being crushed, the olives need to be run through a washer to eliminate
any remaining impurities. Generally the olives are crushed whole, without prior
stoning in roller mills.
The simplest method of crushing olives is with a varying number of granite
millstones. The olive paste obtained through milling is layered on nylon, or
natural fiber, mats, called "fiscoli," which are stacked high, with metal disks
between them. These mats of olive pulp are then subject to a great deal of
pressure from a screw or hydraulic press. The liquid produced by the pressing
drains through the mats and cylinder and is collected for the final separation.
This liquid is made up of water and oil that need to be separated from one
another. The liquid is put through a centrifugal separator, where the rapid
spinning eliminates all remaining water and all of the impurities from the oil.
After centrifugation, oil appears amber in color, with an opaque quality—a
characteristic feature of superior oils. The more acidic the oil, the clearer
and brighter it appears, and the worse it is for your health. Oils processed
by anything but centrifuges and mechanical or hydraulic presses cannot be called
virgin olive oil.
An excerpt from a message posted on CureZone Liver Flush Forums:
Is there really any solid evidence that
Gallstones can exit gallbladder?
If there was any solid evidence that Gallstones
can exit gallbladder, why would any doctor claim that gallstones CAN NOT exit
Fact: Some gallstones (smaller gallstones) can
Fiction: All gallstones can exit gallbladder.
Anyone believing that every stone can exit gallbladder is ignorant/uninformed or
irrational. Rare stones can be even larger then 2
inch ( 5cm ) in smallest diameter.
Fiction: Gallstones can not exit gallbladder.
Anyone believing that no stone can exit gallbladder is ignorant/uninformed or
irrational. Stones can be smaller then 2 mm in diameter, and could easily travel
through the bile ducts without any chance of causing obstruction.
Majority of gallstones starts their "life" as
a microscopic crystal of cholesterol. Very few gallstones ever get a chance to
grow larger then 2mm. Most are expelled while small as sand.
cholesterol = chole + sterol
The name originates from the Greek chole- (bile) and stereos (solid)
cholesterol = Greek for solid bile
How do we know that some gallstones can exit
It is a well documented medical phenomenon.
Obstruction of the common bile duct is often
caused by gallstones that were expelled from the gallbladder:
In patients with chronic Pancreatitis, common bile duct obstruction is reported
in 3.2-45.6% of patients; however, only 5-10% of all patients with chronic
Pancreatitis require operative decompression of the bile duct.
Passage of gallstones into the common bile duct occurs in approximately 10-15%
of patients with Gallstones. The incidence is thus related to the presence of
gallstones, which are very common (10-20% of population).
Common bile duct stone References
 Braunwald, Fauci, Kasper, Hauser, Longo, Jameson. Harrison's Principles of
Internal Medicine. 15th Edition. McGraw-Hill. 2001.
 Cotran, Kumar, Collins 6th edition. Robbins Pathologic Basis of Disease. WB
Saunders Company. 1999.
 Fletcher, D. Gallstones, In: Tjandra, JJ, Clunie GJ, Thomas, RJS (eds);
Textbook of Surgery, 2nd Ed, Blackwell Science, Asia. 2001.
 Haslet C, Chiliers ER, Boon NA, Colledge NR. Principles and Practice of
Medicine. Churchill Livingstone 2002.
 Hurst JW (Editor-in-chief). Medicine for the practicing physician. 4th
edition Appleton and Lange 1996.
 Kumar P, Clark M. CLINICAL MEDICINE. WB Saunders 2002.
 Longmore M, Wilkinson I, Torok E. OXFORD HANDBOOK OF CLINICAL MEDICINE.
Oxford Universtiy Press. 2001
 McLatchie G and LEaper DJ (editors). Oxford Handbook of Clinical Surgery 2nd
Edition. Oxford University Press 2002.
 MEDLINE Plus
 Raftery AT Churchill's pocketbook of Surgery. Churchill Livingsone 2001.
Jaundice occurs in patients with gall stones when a stone migrates from the gall
bladder into the common bile duct...
Acute pancreatitis develops in 5% of all patients
with gall stones and is more common in patients with multiple small stones, a
wide cystic duct, and a common channel between the common bile duct and
pancreatic duct. Small stones passing down the common bile duct and through the
papilla may temporarily obstruct the pancreatic duct or allow reflux of duodenal
fluid or bile into the pancreatic duct resulting in acute pancreatitis.
Let us do some math here.
20% of people may develop gallstones during their
15% of people with gallstones may experience
obstruction of the common bile duct
How many people may experience obstruction of
the common bile duct?
Answer: 3% of total population where 20% have
What about USA?
Population of USA: 300 million.
Do all gallstones expelled from
gallbladder end-up blocking common bile duct?
How many people may experience obstruction of the common bile duct during their
3% = 9 million people in USA will experience obstruction of the common bile duct
with gallstone(s), gallstone(s) that most likely was formed inside gallbladder,
and then was expelled, only to be stuck into the common bile duct.
Answer: No, only gallstones that have specific
size and/or shape.
By it's size and shape, the stone must be small enough or
slim enough to pass through the cystic duct and exit gallbladder, but it should
be large enough to stuck at the sphincter of oddi, and to block the flow of
liquid bile and pancreatic juices into duodenum.
How many gallstones have that specific size
and/or shape that would allow it to exit gallbladder, but would not allow it to
pass through common bile duct or through the "sphincter of oddi"?
Nobody knows the answer to this question, of
But, we could estimate that less then 10% of all
stones would qualify. That would be of course just an estimation.
We could estimate that 90% of gallstones (or
gallbladder sand and sludge ) that exits gallbladder would not stuck in the
common bile duct, and will never be registered. It would become feces.
What does that mean?
It could mean that majority of people with
gallstones may have expelled some of their stones (or sand) at one time or
another, without ever knowing it happened. Stones pass from bile ducts into
intestines ... no pain ... no obstruction ... no symptoms ... no awareness ....
nobody knows it happened. But it could be happening every day. That is what
nature (evolution) intended for gallstones.
Remember that each stone starts as a microscopic crystal. Who
could count the number of microscopic crystals that are existing gallbladder
Why don't all stones pass?
Why don't gallbaldder get those crystals out before they become
There could be many reasons, like: the lack of
phisical activity, poor diet, stress, dehydration, being owerweight, not
drinking enough water, infection, illness, .... hundreds of oissible
What about USA?
Population of USA: 300 million.
Number of people who will develop gallstones: 20%
= 60 million.
If 90% of them expel some smaller gallstones at
one time or another during their life, then we have 54 million people who
are going to pass or have already passed gallstones, and are not aware of it!!!
54 million of people in USA may expel some smaller gallstones from their
gallbladder. 9 million people in USA will experience obstruction of the common
bile duct, obstruction caused by a gallstone small enough to exit cystic duct,
but too large to exit sphinscter of oddi..
The sphincter of oddi is situated in the upper
intestine, or duodenum, at the site where the common bile duct enters intestine.
Normally, this sphincter functions as a one-way valve to allow bile and
pancreatic secretions to enter the bowel, while preventing the contents of the
bowel from backing up into these ducts.
You can comment and debate this information on the
Liver Flush Debate Forum
here on CureZone.
You can get a support on the liver flushing if you access
Liver Flush Support Forum
here on CureZone.
To get support on other alternative remedies for gallstones, please access
Gallbladder Remedies Support
Forum here on CureZone.
To get a support on Gallbladder Surgery, please access
Gallbladder Surgery Support
Forum here on CureZone.
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