Virgin olive oil is obtained via mechanical olive pressing processes
alone, in such conditions as rule out all alteration of the oil. In brief, this means that, to be classified as a virgin olive oil, the product must not be treated otherwise than by washing
Virgin olive oils are also classified on the basis of their free acidity
content. This content is given as the percentage value of oleic acid
, which is the main kind of fatty acid
in olive oil. These acids are generally present in the triglycerides that make up the fats, forming a chain. However various factors may lead to their release, free
in the fat.
The increase in free acidity (which may come about in both in the olive and the olive oil) brings with it certain modifications
determining the formation of components detrimental
to the organoleptic characteristics
of the oil.