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Aceite de las Valdesas

What is cold extracted olive oil?

27º Olive oil extractedCold extracted olive oil is the one being extractacted at a temperature lower than 27 °C (80 ºF).

In the production of Extra Virgin Olive Oils, once crushed olives in the mill, the resulting paste is always heated during kneading, due to it favors the union of the small drops of olive oil of the paste, increasing the efficiency of the extraction.

Nevertheless, temperature has a high incidence on the final quality of the olive oil from the culinary and organoleptic point of view.

Responsible for the scents and smells of olive oil substances are volatile ones, it means that they tend to evaporate easily. Therefore, the hotter is the temperature of production, the more volatile substances escape from the olive oil and, as a consequence, the olive oil loses intensity in aromas and flavors, and its culinary characteristics are less.

The before mentioned information is relevant in high level extra virgin olive oils, which are often used in crude.

On the other hand, low temperatures reduce the rate of oxidation of the paste, so, in equal conditions, the cold extraction olive oils will have less acidity.

As a curiosity, this process, taken to an extrem, is one of the steps for refining pomace olive oils, where the olive oils are warmed up over 150º C. In this occasion it is not to increase the production but to eliminate all the flavors and disagreeable smells of the pomace olive oils.

There is much confusion about the concept of the cold extraction. In some forums we have read that the Extra Virgin Olive Oil is only the cold pressed produced, or that which contains the greatest amount of polyphenols and antioxidants and anti-inflammatory substances. This is not true. There are Extra Virgin Olive Oils that without having been produced under cold conditions have all the requirements to be Extra Virgin. If they fulfill the level of acidity and the organoleptic conditions in the tasting, they will be Extra Virgin Olive Oils.