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In countries that adhere to the standards of the International Olive Council (IOC), as well as in Australia, and under the voluntary USDA labeling standards in the United States:

  • Extra-virgin olive oil Comes from virgin oil production only, and is of higher quality: among other things, it contains no more than 0.8% free acidity (see below), and is judged to have a superior taste, having some fruitiness and no defined sensory defects. Extra-virgin olive oil accounts for less than 10% of oil in many producing countries; the percentage is far higher in the Mediterranean countries (Greece: 80%, Italy: 65%, Spain 50%).
  • Virgin olive oil Comes from virgin oil production only, but is of slightly lower quality, with free acidity of up to 1.5%, and is judged to have a good taste, but may include some sensory defects.
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