Extra Virgin Cold Pressed Olive Oil? A Marketing Ploy

Cold pressed Extra Virgin Olive Oil, a unique process steeped in history. Let’s take a look at the processes, the definitions and why IT HAS BECOME A MARKETING PLOY to get the consumer’s attention. 

Cold Pressed Extra Virgin Olive Oil: Definition

Cold pressed or cold extracted  is a  technique used to produce vegetable oils, such as virgin, extra virgin olive oil or eventually sunflower oil.

For extra virgin olive oil, the temperature at which extraction takes place must be below 27°C.

The terms ‘cold-pressed’ or ‘first cold-pressed’ often appear on bottles of extra virgin and virgin olive oil everywhere.

These obsolete terms are meant to point out that the oil is of superior quality, obtained by first pressing at a low temperature (Which?) so that heat can adversely affect the oil’s organoleptic and health properties.

The majority of extra virgin olive oil has been produced in the last 15 years using a centrifuge rather than a press, making these terms more of a marketing ploy than a description of production.
This is because olive oil extracted at higher temperatures will not have the necessary organoleptic and chemical compositions of extra virgin olive oils, making the terminology ‘extra virgin and cold-pressed a synonym.

The techniques and the processes

What needs to be known about cold pressing?

Cold pressing involves crushing the olives using two different methods:

traditional technique, through the rotation of large stone wheels (granite) on the olives, which are then pressed modern technique, through the use of continuous cycle mechanical crushers and decanters. 
The latter is the most widely used method because it improves the hygiene standards of the products made and is therefore in line with consumer and market requirements.
Cold pressing thus makes it possible to extract the content of the drupes without altering the quantity of minerals, vitamins and substances rich in antioxidant properties – which they contain – useful to our organism.
The main steps of the pressing, all carried out using mechanical methods, are:


If you want to know the difference between filtered vs unfiltered Extra Virgin read this article

Hot Pressing, why it's not synonumous with quality but turnover...

Hot pressing involves the use of heat points during the production stages because:

1 the heat improves the extraction of the oil, which will be greater in terms of quantity.

2 it favours the accumulation of oil particles, but undoubtedly damages the quality;

 3 the oil is more fluid (Rather than being viscous) but likewise the processes of deterioration and oxidation will set in more quickly.

 4 Loss of organoleptic properties: The oil loses some of the bitterness and pungency synonymous with its high anti-oxidative and polyphenolic content, but is sweeter on the palate.


We have seen that COLD PRESSED IS A MARKETING PLOY to make the consumer believe that the oil you are buying is quality. 
The characteristics to define a quality oil are quite different.

Read our guide to buying a quality oil and the 10 things to consider before buying an extra virgin or cold-pressed oil….We have learned that it is the same thing….

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