Difference between cold pressed and extra virgin olive oil

Olive oil has been a staple in the Mediterranean diet for thousands of years and remains one of the world’s most widespread foods because of its versatility, unique flavours and many health benefits. Grades of olive oil are determined by the content of polyphenols and oleic acid they contain. The highest grades, extra virgin and virgin, are always cold pressed to keep a high level of oleic acid present.

The only differences between cold pressed and extra virgin olive oil, or EVOO and CP-EVOO, are the higher amounts of polyphenols (natural antioxidants) and volatile compounds (aromas/flavor). Extra virgin olive oil is made from pure, cold-pressed olives. Regular olive oil is a mixture of both cold-pressed and processed oils.

The cold-pressing process

Olive oil is considered cold pressed when its temperature during the extraction process never rises above 27 degrees Celsius.. EVOO is made by grinding olives into a paste, then using a mechanical press to extract the oil. There is no heat involved, hence the "cold-pressed" label.

The process preserves the natural aroma and flavours of the olives. This results in a forest-green colour, a grassy, peppery flavour and a fruity aroma. It also maintains the nutritional value of the finished product.

This is how olive oil has been made since the dawn of civilisation, and the process remains virtually unchanged to this day.

Which is better: Cold-Pressed or Regular Olive Oil?

Regular quality olive oil, also known as pure olive oil, is made up of a blend of refined olive oil and virgin olive oil or extra virgin olive oil, meaning it is not as good as an unrefined and unblended product. It does not taste or smell as good as cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil, and it is lower in nutrients.

Which olive oil is healthiest?

Cold-pressed EVOOs are considered healthiest because of the way they are made preserves more of the nutrients. The process involved extracting using methods and processes that are standardised for purity to guarantee sensory qualities such as taste and smell.

With regular olive oil, the heat and chemicals used to extract the last traces of oil from already pressed olives it results in a product that is lower in oleic acid levels, and crucial phytonutrients like polyphenol compounds and phytosterols.

Read more on the full benefits of Picual Olive Oil, a variety of cold pressed extra virgin oil in our blog Picual Olive Oil Benefits.

We recommend….

Here at Spanish Gastro Larder we recommend Organic Mis Raices Organic Extra Virgin cold pressed olive oil from our wide selection olive cultivars from Andalucia, Catalonia, Aragon and Castille regions. It is produced from ecological agriculture, produced in Bajo Aragon. Cold pressed in less than 8 hours.

The Organic Mis Raices EVO is a winner of EVO - IOOC Competition Silver Medal 2020 award. Four generations have grown olive trees and extracted the liquid gold of the Empeltre and Arbequina olives with latest technology obtaining a high quality oil.

It has a medium-high fruity intensity bouquet, with notes of fresh grass and a delicate touch of fennel (typical of the Empeltre variety). On the palate it is smooth with a sweetness standing out over the bitterness and a dash of spice.

There are also nutty flavours like walnuts and almonds, both characteristic flavours of the Empeltre variety.

We not only provide awarded artisan Spanish extra virgin olive oils, but dry fruits, olives and other delicacies too. Shop all our products today, ideal as gifts or a wonderful gastronomic treat for yourself.