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First Cold Pressed and Cold Pressed Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Last updated on April 28, 2008

Cold Pressed Olive OilIf you want to buy the best olive oil, look for organic extra virgin oil that is labeled “cold pressed” or, even better, “first cold pressed.”

Cold pressed means that the oil was not heated over a certain temperature (usually 80 degrees Fahrenheit) during processing, thus retaining more nutrients and undergoing less degradation. First cold pressed, which is of even higher quality than cold pressed, means that the oil was made with the first pressing of the olives.

It’s important to be careful when purchasing olive oil produced in the United States. The standards in the European Union are very strict on which oils can be labeled cold pressed or first cold pressed. The United States has no labeling regulations on olive oil, which means that any oil produced in the U.S. can be labeled “cold pressed” even if it’s not, just like any oil can be labeled “extra virgin” even if it’s not.

The only olive oil produced in the U.S. that I recommend is Bariani. It is made in California’s central valley, is first cold pressed, raw, unfiltered, stone crushed, and organic. The Bariani family is committed to producing the highest quality olive oil. It is produced in limited quantities and usually found in health food stores.

They’re not paying me to say how great their oil is. I usually try not to recommend specific brands but I feel like Bariani deserves a shout out because they’re such a great company.

Otherwise, I recommend purchasing olive oil imported from the European Union if you want to ensure that the oil inside the bottle lives up to its label.

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1 Comment on "First Cold Pressed and Cold Pressed Extra Virgin Olive Oil"


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Patricia Darragh
7 years 4 months ago

Please note that although there are strict regulations within the EU, the rules do not apply when oil is exported. Hence, many of the imported oils on the American retail shelf may be mislabeled and contain adulterated oil. The COOC filed a petition with the USDA in 2004 asking for standards to be set for the importation of olive oil into the USA. To date, there are no standards for imported oil. The petition remains under review. On the other hand, the COOC has a mandatory certification program for members which provides assurance to retailers and consumers that the olive oil has met the most stringent guidelines in the world. With over 100 varietals produced throughout the state, California provides extremely high quality olive oil. Look for the COOC seal and visit the COOC website at http://www.cooc.com. Support California producers who are doing an excellent job incorporating the highest standards. With the high euro, you can be pretty certain that your “European” import at $ 8 or $ 9 + is probably a refined oil without health benefits or quality oversight.