If you have ever tasted both these oils, you must be surely wondering about such a huge flavor, smell, texture and of course the price gap, in these two products. The difference is not just in the final product, but these oils differ in each and every step of manufacturing.
Extra virgin olive oil is extracted from the 1st pressed olives, hence is blessed with the richest flavor of olives. The pomace oil is extracted from the leftover pulp or pomace. It is extracted using a solvent hexane, which is the major blot causing ill-fame of this oil. This oil is hot pressed, unlike extra virgin which is cold pressed.
The solvent extraction is not much liked by the natural food industry. But it is not such a major concern to make an issue of since the widely used vegetables oil such as canola, soybean etc are also extracted using a solvent.
Not all olive oils are created equal, so there is certain grading system followed for these oils which decide their use. Extra virgin olive oil holds the top position in the grade, being the supreme of all the olive oil. Pomace oil which is a blend of refined pomace and virgin holds a little lower position but is still fit for human consumption.
Refining and Flavor:
Extra virgin olive oil has the flavor of true olives, which is lost in the pomace oil after chemical processing and refining. The flavor of both these oils hence differs drastically. So if you want the flavor of olives you cannot rely on pomace oil. But if you want an oil with some benefits of olives, yet not the strong flavor you can surely choose pomace oil. This oil can be a nice addition to the recipes, where you need an oil which will not interfere with the original flavor of the recipes.
Olive Oil is touted as a great oil because of the numerous health benefits. Some of these apply no matter which grade you opt for . One such health benefit is being a rich source of healthy monounsaturated fats. While extra virgin olive oil has cancer-fighting properties., Pomace oil misses on that because of its processing. Compared to other oils produced using a chemical process, pomace oil retains its basic olive oil lipid profile and boasts about its abundant levels of oleanolic acid, which help relieve high blood pressure. So certainly, pomace is better than other vegetable oils.
On the price range, pomace oil defeats extra virgin olive oil, that too in leaps. Pomace oil is the cheapest of all the olive oils and is available at a price more than twice lower than extra virgin. So if the price point is your first preference you should choose pomace oil.
Extra virgin olive oil has nutritional benefits and is used preferably in salad dressing, aromatherapy, and certain culinary dishes which require the strong olive flavor. Refined pomace oil can be used in deep frying and several recipes that require neutral tasting oils.
Truth to be told, pomace oil is a mid-range oil. While it may not be as good as the expensive grades, it is still better than many domestically used oils. It is at least made of purely healthy olives.
If you are still confused about choosing pomace or extra virgin, keep your concern in mind. If you want a comparatively healthy oil, to be used in several recipes without strong flavor and cheap, then choose pomace oil. But if the rich flavor of olives and health benefits is your preference, choose extra virgin olive oil.