Filtered vs unfiltered extra virgin olive oil. What's the difference?

unfiltered extra virgin olive oil

If you have ever been trying to pick an olive oil to buy and didn’t know the difference between filtered and unfiltered, you’re not alone. Neither one is better nor worse, but you should know the difference before making a purchase. Continue reading to find out the differences between filtered vs unfiltered extra virgin olive oil.

Unfiltered Extra Virgin Olive Oil

In the last step of olive oil production, the product that comes out of the point contains tiny olive, stone, pulp, and water particles. Quite simply, unfiltered extra virgin olive oil is bottled immediately from here. These tiny particles are not filtered out and are left in the bottle. Over time, these particles tend to deposit onto the bottom of the olive oil bottle and can eventually become rotten, turning into sludge. 

In addition, the presence of water and enzymes in the unfiltered oil can trigger oxidisation of the oil’s chemical and organoleptic characteristics. This oxidisation takes away many of the health benefits that extra virgin olive oil provides. These factors do not make unfiltered extra virgin olive oil worse than filtered; it just means it should be consumed within 4 months from the it has been made.

What are the pros and cons of unfiltering?



Filtered Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Filtered extra virgin olive oil has had all water droplets and olive pulp particles removed and, therefore, will be clear. There are many different filtering techniques used, the most common one being cardboard filtering due to its speed. 

It has been proven that removing the particles increases the stability of the oil and lengthens shelf life. The filtration process does not significantly influence any aspects of the extra virgin olive oil. The acidity, number of peroxides, tocopherol content, chlorophyll content and acid composition of the oil remains almost the same after filtering. Filtration is favoured by most of the world’s best olive oil producers.


As you can see, both filtered and unfiltered extra virgin olive oil are great. If you’re trying to decide between filtered vs unfiltered extra virgin olive oil, you should consider to buy the unfiltered EVOO just directly from the producers just after the oil has been made.

Then, you should consume in how long it usually takes you to finish a bottle. As long as you choose a high-quality extra virgin olive oil you’re going to end up with something flavourful and nutrient-rich. Find out how to recognise an high quality extra virgin olive oil.

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