What is pomace oil used for?

Olive oil

The extra virgin olive oil

The virgin olive oil (virgin and extra virgin) is the natural juice of the olive that contains the taste, aroma and all properties of the fruit.

It is obtained exclusively by mechanical or physical processing methods and under suitable temperature conditions that do not change the oil.

It is practically the only vegetable oil that can be consumed directly in its natural state, while fully retaining its vitamin content, essential fatty acids and other natural products that are important for health.

The oil quality depends on the environmental conditions, the olive variety, the cultivation technique, the harvest as well as the grinding process, storage and bottling.

The refining

Refining consists of separating out the undesired components, such as the increased free acid content as well as unusual smells and flavors through chemical and / or physical processes.

This process begins by neutralizing the free acid content present in the oil, which is done in centrifuges in which phosphate acid and sodium hydroxide (caustic soda) are added. The phosphate acid degums the oil and the sodium hydroxide neutralizes the free acid content. The neutralized and degummed oil is then fed to the odor removal system, where it falls due to gravity onto highly heated trays, on which the volatile substances and aldehydes evaporate and are then discharged as condensate.

Refining results in a tasteless, odorless and colorless oil that is not suitable for direct consumption and also goes rancid very quickly, as its natural preservatives are also removed in this process (refined olive oil).

In order to bring this oil to the market, a preservative has to be added and the only one permitted for this is the virgin olive oil, which is why a little virgin olive oil is added to the refined olive oil for this purpose (this also adds a little more flavor and color). The result is normal olive oil (previously pure olive oil).


The degree of acidity or acid number indicates the amount of free fatty acids in the oil as a percentage of oleic acid. The fatty acids are released when the olives are damaged by pests, diseases or by improper harvest or processing. The more care is taken in the entire process, the lower the acidity of the extra virgin olive oil obtained.

It is usually thought that the quality of olive oils is largely determined by the acidity, so e.g. B. an oil with 0.4 °, better than one with 0.8 °. However, this only applies when speaking of virgin olive oils, since the degree of acidity is only used to compare the qualities of the virgin olive oils with each other and NOT for "normal olive oils", as this is a mixture of refined oil and virgin oil acts and thus any desired degree of acidity can be achieved.

The acidity of virgin olive oils, on the other hand, can only be reduced by improving the cultivation, harvest and production methods. For this reason, there is no point in comparing the acidity of a "normal olive oil" with that of a "virgin olive oil" or an "extra virgin olive oil".

A "virgin" or "extra virgin" olive oil is always better than a "normal olive oil", regardless of the acidity of the latter. Only when comparing "virgin" olive oils with one another can one say that those with a lower degree of acidity are better than those with a higher degree of acidity.

A common mistake is to believe that the higher the acidity of a "native" or "extra virgin" olive oil, the higher the taste. The taste of an oil depends mainly on the type of olive, the time of harvest and the processing process. The olives harvested at the beginning of the harvest season tend to have an intense smell and taste a bit bitter and piquant, while the olives harvested at the end of the harvest season taste sweeter and not as bitter and piquant.


The remaining mass that remains during the extraction process of the olives is called pomace.

This mass still has a small amount of oil, which, however, can no longer be extracted by mechanical means. In industry, the solvent hexane is used for this, which removes other components from the mass in addition to the oil.

After the extraction process, the solvent is removed again by distillation and you get pomace oil from raw olives.

Then the unwanted components removed from the solvent must be removed, for which it must be refined (see refining).

Then you get refined pomace oil, which like refined olive oil cannot be bottled, but has to be mixed with extra virgin olive oil in order to bring it to the market as pomace oil.

The oils made from plant seeds, such as sunflower, rapeseed or soybean oil, go through the same processing process as the refined pomace oil.

However, this oil is not available in the oil mills.