The oil refining process consists of correcting its defects: High acidity, unsuitable smells and flavours, even the colour of the oil, with a view to improving and/or standardising its organoleptic qualities.
Crude olive-pomace oils are also refined, in accordance with prevailing legislation, to make them suitable for consumption.
The process is carried out in refineries, obtaining as a result refined olive oils and refined olive-pomace oils.
Depending on the intensity of the defect and the criteria for refining, a different process is applied: Either physical or chemical. The main difference between the two is the means by which these oils are neutralised.
In neither case can the products obtained be destined for direct consumption. They need to be mixed, or blended, with a virgin olive oil. Then, once bottled, the olive and pomace-olive oils obtained through this process are suitable for consumption.
The no. of refineries in Spain stands at
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