Today, Extra Virgin Olive Olive Oil Producers (Almazaras) go great lengths to ensure that olives are harvested at the best moment, they do not suffer during manipulation and transportation and the extraction of Olive  Oil is done to ensure the maximum presence of the nutritional benefits that Extra Virgin Olive Oil Is famous for.
This care for the final product is best summarized in the Acidity Indicator.
If you are looking for a single measure of the Olive Oil Quality, this would be the Acidity percentage.
-Extra Virgin Olive Oils must have a Max. Acidity of 0.8%
-Virgin Olive Oils must have a Max. Acidity: 2%
-Pomace oils and other subsequently refined olive oils result in Acidity levels higher than 2%

Acidity Definition

Acidity is defined as the percentage of Free Fatty Acids content in Olive oil. Acidity levels can range a little over 0.0% found in Extra Virgin Olive Oils to 2% found in lower quality oils.
Being a measure of the presence of undesired free fatty acids in the olive oil, the less acidity percentage, the better.

How Acidity is formed

Olive Oil is in essence Fatty Acids (Oleic Acid predominately), polyphenols and Vitamin-E.
A percentage of these Fatty Acids can break at the molecular level and result in the liberation of Free Fatty Acids.
This undesired molecular reaction can occur at any point in the extraction of oil, from the harvest of the olives to the production of the final olive oil.
Like any other fruit, olives start losing it’s freshness form the moment they are harvested from the tree and they suffer in the case of careless manipulation and careless transportation to the Almazaras, where the olive oil is extracted.
These factors increase the chance of fatty acids to break down into Free Fatty Acids and therefore generate acidity.
Acidity can also occur during the extraction process.


Acidity is a direct measure of the quality of the oil and reflects the care taken right from blossoming of the Olives to the extraction and packaging of the olive oil.
The acidity values of the olive oil can be found in the label of the finished product. It is normally expressed correctly as a percentage (%), although for traditional reasons it may be expressed in degrees (o)
In Spain, some producers no longer mention the acidity percentage in their products as the Olive Oil Classification contain already this information, as mentioned before;
-Extra Virgin Olive Oils must have a Max. Acidity of 0.8%
-Virgin Olive Oils must have a Max. Acidity: 2%
-Pomace oils and other subsequently refined olive oils result in Acidity levels higher than 2%

Acidity in Extra Virgin Olive Oils

Extra Virgin Olive Oils are the first quality olive oils, as they aim to maintain the content of the health-promoting nutrients, naturally present in olive oil, at its best levels.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil is the pure juice of olives, it’s classification calls for a production process that takes care of the quality of the olives, the careful harvest and swift transportation to Almazaras that maintain strict quality standards and extract the olive oil solely by mechanical methods without any chemical process nor refining.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil must maintain an Acidity of less than 0.8%. Yet some producers have managed to minimize the acidity formation and reached levels as low as 0.09% which virtually means No Acidity.

Extra Virgin Olive Oils For Coking.

There is a perception that higher acidity olive oils are best for cooking while lower acidity olive oils are best to consume raw. This misconception was only motivated by a price factor as higher acidity oils are considered Virgin Olive Oils in the best case or simply Olive Oils, they are therefore more economical than Extra Virgin Olive Oils.
The fact is that Extra Virgin Olive Oils have a higher resistance to conventional cooking temperatures and they can be reused up to 4 times without losing its properties.
It must be remembered that  Olive Oils (not Extra virgin)  have this classification because they present some defects. Depending on the type, These defects mean that the presence of health-promoting nutrients of Extra Virgin Olive oils is reduced or even eliminated.
La despensa recommendation is to use always Extra Virgin Olive Oils
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Definición

La acidez se define como el porcentaje de contenido de ácidos grasos libres en el aceite de oliva.
Los niveles de acidez pueden variar entre un poco más del 0.0% en los aceites de oliva extra virgen, hasta el 2% en aceites de baja calidad.  
Al tratarse de una medida de la presencia de acidos grasos libres no deseados en el aceite de oliva, cuanto menor sea el porcentaje de acidez , mejor.

¿Cómo aparece la acidez?

El aceite de oliva es en esencia ácidos grasos (predominantemente ácido oleico), polifenoles y vitamina E. Un porcentaje de estos ácidos grasos puede romperse a nivel molecular y dar lugar a ácidos grasos libres.
Esta reacción molecular no deseada puede ocurrir en cualquier punto de la extracción de aceite, desde la recolección de las aceitunas hasta la producción del aceite de oliva final.
Como cualquier otra fruta, las aceitunas comienzan a perder su frescura desde el momento en que se cosechan del árbol y sufren en el caso de una manipulación descuidada y un transporte descuidado a las almazaras, donde se extrae el aceite de oliva.
Estos factores aumentan la posibilidad de que los ácidos grasos se descompongan en ácidos grasos libres y, por lo tanto, generen acidez.
La acidez también puede ocurrir durante el proceso de extracción.
La acidez es una medida directa de la calidad del aceite y refleja el cuidado desde la recolección de la aceituna en su mejor estado, hasta la extracción y el envasado del aceite.
Los valores de acidez del aceite de oliva se pueden encontrar en la etiqueta del producto terminado. Normalmente se expresa correctamente como un porcentaje (%), aunque por razones tradicionales puede expresarse en grados (o)
En España, algunos productores ya no mencionan el porcentaje de acidez en sus productos, ya que la Clasificación de Aceite de Oliva ya contiene esta información:
- Los Aceites de Oliva Virgen Extra (AOVES) deben tener un máximo. acidez del 0,8%
- Aceites De Oliva Virgen Máx. Acidez: 2%.
- Los Aceites de orujo y otros aceites de oliva posteriormente refinados producen niveles de acidez superiores al 2%.

Acidez en Aceites de Oliva Extra Virgen

Los Aceites de Oliva Virgen Extra son los aceites de oliva de primera calidad, ya que tienen como objetivo mantener el contenido de los nutrientes saludables que se encuentran naturalmente en el aceite de oliva en sus mejores niveles.
El Aceite de Oliva Extra Virgen es zumo puro de aceituna. Su clasificación exige un proceso de producción que considera la calidad de las aceitunas en el momento de la recoleccion, una cosecha cuidadosa y un transporte rápido a Almazaras que mantienen estrictos estándares de calidad y extraen el aceite de oliva únicamente mediante métodos mecánicos sin ningún proceso químico ni refinado.
El Aceite de Oliva Extra Virgen debe mantener una acidez inferior al 0,8%. Sin embargo, algunos productores han logrado minimizar la formación de acidez y han alcanzado niveles tan bajos como 0.09%, lo que significa que prácticamente no hay presencia de acidos grasos libres.

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