First Pressed and Cold Pressed... What Do They Mean?
We know you've seen the phrases “first pressed” and/or “cold pressed” on the labels of olive oil you buy... but do you know what they actually mean? We're dissecting the true meaning behind both phrases so you can be more informed when reading a label and choosing an olive oil.
First Pressed and Cold Pressed... What do they mean?
“First Cold Pressed” simply refers to the process by which the oil is extracted from the olive to create oil.
“First pressed” – means the olives were crushed and pressed once...makes sense right? Olive pressed more than once are considered lower quality, and do not qualify as extra virgin.
“Cold pressed”– means that no added heat is used when pressing the fruit for the oil. The olives never exceed 80.6 degrees Fahrenheit during the process. Keeping the olives cooler ensures maximum quality oil... aka extra virgin.
In order for a bottle of olive oil to be considered extra virgin, it must be "first cold pressed". It's the only way to make delicious, high quality extra virgin olive oil. Oil that is "pressed" more than once is known as a refined oil - which goes through a chemical process that lessens and sometimes even destroys the quality of the oil. Common names for these oils would be Pure Olive Oil, Olive Oil, Light Olive Oil. These oils are usually stripped of nutrients and taste and should be avoided.
Extra virgin olive oil on the other hand is pressed only once (first pressed) using no heat or solvents (cold pressed) by strictly mechanical means. It carries a higher price tag than other oils you see on the shelf but for good reason. Extra virgin olive oil contains the most nutrients, antioxidants and vitamins of any other classification of oil. Not to mention the intoxicating grassy aroma and nutty, smooth taste are unparalleled. Fresh olives makes fresh oil, it's as simple as that!