When buying extra virgin olive oil, we often find countless brands with different formats and containers on the supermarket shelves. But which is the best? The following five expert tips, according to the North American Olive Oil Association, will help you to choose the best olive oil to buy for your family.
1. Pay attention to the label!
The quickest manner in which to check the quality of the oil is by looking at the label. The label should specify that the oil has been awarded official quality certificates and seals. The bottle may feature a seal indicating the region of origin, or certification seals such as NAOOA (North American Olive Oil Association), which indicate that the brand has agreed to join a program that involves the execution of random tests available for compliance with international purity and quality standards.
2. Check the best-by-date.
Olive oil is best when recently produced, but has a shelf life of two years as of the date on which it is bottled. As such, the best-by-date needs to be checked to enable us to know how long it has been bottled for.
3. Purchase bottles sizes that you will use within a few months of opening.
Although the best-by-date may be a long way off, olive oil is a natural product that loses properties when exposed to heat, oxygen and light.Hence, the components that provide extra virgin oil with its flavor may degrade when stored for long periods of time. For this reason, it´s always better to purchase a reasonable amount in accordance with your intended use.
4. Origin, guarantee of quality.
Origin is a requirement included in international labeling standards. It´s generally found on the label on the back of the bottle near the nutritional information and the statement of ingredients.
5. Know the differences between the types of olive oil.
As specified by regulatory organizations, your supermarket is likely to stock two different types of olive oil according to intensity of flavor: extra virgin olive oil and classic oil (olive oil and light-tasting olive oil).
So, you now have the tips to enable you to choose the best olive oil to buy; all you need to do now is choose the one that best suits your needs and taste, and start enjoying their properties in your dishes and recipes.