In Europe, olive oil is classified in quality classes. The European Regulation 1234/2007 distinguishes eight categories of olive oil. There are fixed quality terms with which the oil can be sold.
The term for the first quality class is „Extra virgin olive oil“. The oil must be obtained directly from olives without any heat (< 40° C) or chemicals being used in the extraction process. The acidity must be lower than 0.8 %.
In the second category, the oil is obtained in the same process, but the acidity can be up to 2 %. This oil is made for consumption as well.
The next two categories, lampante oil (acidity > 2 %) and refined olive oil must not be sold to consumers.
Category five is olive oil, a mixture of refined olive oil with virgin olive oil oft he categories one or two, where the mixing ratio is not regulated.
Raw olive pomace oil from category 6 is made from the pomace, the solid residue from the stones, skin and pulp left-overs, with the solvent hexane. The oil is unfit for human consumption and must be processed into refined olive pomace oil of category seven.
This oil is unfit for human consumption as well and must be processed olive pomace oil of category 8. For this, refined pomace olive oil from category seven is mixed with virgin olive oil from category one or two, the mixing ratio is not regulated. The olive oil is fit for human consumption.
The labelling is strictly regulated in the EU. On top of the quality classes, for extra virgin olive oil, there must be the amendment “Superior categroy olive oil obtained directly from olives and solely by mechanical means”. For the first two quality classes, there must be an information of origin as well. The addition “cold-pressed”, “first cold pressing” or “cold extraction” can only appear if the temperature while processing does not exceed 27° C.