OIL QUALITY CRITERIA
To rigorously and properly determine the quality of an oil we use two evaluation criteria:
- Organoleptic evaluation of the oil through a tasting.
- Evaluation of the results of the analysis of two key parameters, acidity and oxidation.
The acidity is determined by the percentage of oleic acid that is free, that is, that has been detached from the glyceride structure through the action of the enzymes present in the skin of the olive.
Therefore, although this hydrolysis is not 100% avoidable, the more careful the transformation of the olive into oil and the better the quality of the fruit, the lower this indicator will be. The lower the degree of acidity, the better the quality of the oil.
Oxygen in the air, sunlight and high temperatures can cause the oil to undergo alterations as a result of oxidation. It is during this process that peroxides are formed.
Analysing the active oxygen per kilogramme of oil provides the peroxide value, expressed in milliequivalents. The lower this is, the better the quality and preservation of the oil.
An analysis of all these parameters reveals whether an oil is adulterated or not.
According to Regulation (EC) No 1989/2003, the maximum accepted values for an oil to be considered extra virgin are a degree of acidity of 0.8 and a peroxide value of 20mEq/02/kg. These quality criteria are stricter in our area (the county of Les Garrigues) where the maximum permitted values are a degree of acidity of 0.5 and a peroxide value of 15mEq/02/kg. Degustus oil has a degree of acidity below 0.3 and a peroxide value of less than 10mEq/02/kg.
Being this demanding allows us to claim that we produce some of the best oil on the market.