Buying Basics

THE link to Tom Mueller's 'Buyers Guide to Great Olive Oil'

Real Olive oil qualities & storage
Quelques suggestions de  (some suggestions from) Philippe Molle

Simple basics from the source

Heat, Light and Oxygen are the enemies of Extra Virgin Olive oil

Start with an Extra Virgin olive oil in a  Dark bottle which protects the oil from light.

A Harvest date gives you the best information about the age of the oil. Olives do not all ripen at the same time so this date will span a few would indicate the end of 2013 and beginning of 2014. In the southern hemisphere where the harvest will be 6 months later than in the north this date would simply be 2014.

'Early Harvest' indicated on the label for those looking for a higher polyphenol count with its peppery, bitter taste.

Sell by Dates are not regulated and may be 18 months, 2 years or even 3.

Name of the olive variety used for that particular oil, or the names of the different varieties if it is a blend. Roughly the Koroneiki, Casaliva, Picual and Coratina are among the best known for their high polyphenol count; the Arbequina is in the low range and the Frantoio in the middle.
The address of the producer, a phone number or email address on the bottle is another indication of the authenticity of the extra virgin olive oil in the bottle

Extra laboratory information like the Acidity & Peroxide values.  This figure measures oils chemical degradation & the lower the number the fresher the oil.  This does not apply to refined oils as the refining process also reduces the acidity level.
The International standard for extra virgin olive oil's Acidity level is 0.8. Look for <0.3%.
The International standard for extra virgin olive oil's Peroxide level is <20 meg 02/kg. Look for <7.

Feel the bottle or tin. Is it cool because it has been stored in a suitable place in the shop indicating that the owner understands that Extra Virgin olive oils should not be in a warm place .

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