International standards dictate that olive oil meets both chemical and sensory standards to be sold as extra virgin.
The oil’s chemistry, tested in a laboratory, meets or exceeds specific parameters that indicate the careful handling and storage of the olives and oil. No chemicals or extreme heat may be used during the extraction process.
“Extra Virgin” also denotes that the oil is free of defects of flavour or odour. This is evaluated by a trained sensory panel and cannot be detected by laboratory tests.
Unfortunately, in SA many of the oils which are labelled as extra virgin are not required to undergo any such testing
Extra virgin olive oil is never better than when it is first pressed. Unlike wine, it does not need time to mature. At African Oils we get our olive oil to you immediately after harvest.
The flavour of extra virgin olive oil can be buttery and soft, or spicy and sharp. It can be reminiscent of pepper, lemon or grass. Thanks to the Western Cape’s range of growing conditions and olive varieties, there truly is extra virgin olive oil to suit every palate.
Remember, high quality extra virgin olive oil provides the best health benefits and flavour when it’s fresh. Extra virgin olive oil should be purchased within 12 to 18 months of its harvest date, and should be used up within six months of opening. Be sure to store it in a cool, dark place after opening.