Extraction of olive oil starts with olive harvest. Once this process is finished, olives are transported to an olive oil processing Factory, where they are washed for the next phase in the mill. As a result of this step, the grinding of fruit produces a dense paste that will go through a kneading process; a long rubbing of the paste to join the oil drops, breaking the emulsion and forming an oily uninterrupted phase.
The previously kneaded paste must go through one last phase to achieve the final separation of its three components: pomace, vegetable water and oil. This process is called extraction and it’s made by centrifuging olive paste. This can be made in two or three steps, depending if oil is separated from the two other elements or if the three elements are separated on their own.
After this, the product is in conditions of being used, but to eliminate any solid element that might have remained from the process, oil goes through a filter to later be stored in stainless steel vats for its future packaging.
According to the International Olive Council (COI), olive oil is the one that comes uniquely from the fruit of olive tree (Olea europea L.) (Excluding oils obtained by solvents or alteration procedures, or any other oil blend of other natures). According to the COI, olive oil must be commercialized according to the following regulations:
Virgin Olive Oils are oils from the olive tree fruit, obtained uniquely by mechanical procedures or by other physical methods in special thermic conditions that do not alter the oil or the process of washing, decantation, centrifugation and filtration.
The virgin olive oils apt for consumption (which follow the appropriate procedure) are:
Virgin Olive Oil has a free acidity expressed in oleic acid no greater than 0,8%. It doesn’t present organoleptic defects and is the highest quality oil available because it preserves all characteristics of its species.
Virgin Olive Oil with has a free acidity expressed in a maximum of 2% of oil acid and that has some inferior flaw.
Virgin Olive Oil with a free acidity of maximum 3,3% of oleic acid, and that possess more than one organoleptic imperfection which is prominent than the one found in virgin olive oil.
Virgin olive oil with a free acidity expressed in oleic acid greater tan 3,3%, as well as deficient organoleptic flaws. It’s not suitable for intake in the way it’s acquired, and is usually used in the refined oil industries or technical uses.
This oil is extracted from virgin olive oils through refining methods which do not lead to alterations in initial glyceride structure. It has a free acidity, expressed as oleic acid under 0.3%.
Oil made from a blend of refined olive oil and virgin olive oils suitable for consumption in the manner it is obtained. It has a free acidity expressed in oleic acid no greater of 1%.
This oil is obtained through solvent treatments and other physical procedures of olive pomace, with the exclusion of oils obtained through re-esterification and any other blend with oils of other nature.
Refined olive oils do not have the beneficial health properties that Extra Virgin Olive Oil has, due to the refinement process in which healthy components, such as polyphenol are eliminated from oil. In addition, the aromatic elements that give olive oil its distinctive taste and flavor are also eliminated in this process.
Aromatic quality of Olive Oil is one of its most valued elements by consumers, considering that other vegetable oils (such as grape, soy, marigold, canola, among others) don’t have the same quality because of its refining process.
Olive Oil characteristic smell and aroma is formed of both complex and volatile compounds groups and can be explored with senses through organoleptic appreciations through Olive Oil tastings.
For Olive Oil tastings, samples are placed in opaque glasses, since the actual color of oil is not a determinant factor. Then, the glasses are covered, smelled and tasted. Between each tasting, granny smith apples are eaten along with a sip of water, helping remove taste of the previous sample. Tasting is done in a temperature of approximately 28ºC, which facilitates the volatility of aromatic compounds.
Olfactory, Tasting, Tactile, Equilibrium and Harmony:
Positive characteristics and most valued features in olive oil are:
Likewise the set of unpleasant feelings or defects that can be found in olive oils are:
Extra Virgin Olive Oil could be of great help for people who want to lose weight, due to the fullness feeling that oil provides and its healthy fats, which might stimulate weight loss. In this case it’s recommended moderated consumption because it might have a laxative effect in the body.
Due to its oleocanthal contents, olive oil has anti-inflammatory properties that might help reduce pain associated with joints and muscles. Several studies have concluded that people who ingest olive oil regularly suffers less pain than those who don’t.
A recent study determined that people who use olive oil frequently in their diets have lesser prospect of getting cancer. This important effect could be related to its high oleic acid content, which is the main fatty acid in this product. Besides, olive oil has antioxidants, flavonoids, polyphenols and squalene, which are key aspects for this benefit.
In a study published by the Diabetes Care magazine, it was revealed that any Mediterranean diet that consists of olive oil is capable of decreasing up to 50% the chances of diabetes II, due to its healthy fats which might help regulating sugar levels in blood and insulin production.
Immune system is highly important for our health, since it´s responsible for acting against viruses, bacteria and other microorganisms that might cause common and chronic diseases. Olive oil is rich in antioxidants and other essential nutrients that might help strengthen the immune system as well as offering protection against sickness.
Only three Olive Oil spoons a day can help lower high blood pressure levels. According to various studies, healthy fats in olive oil might help reduce both the diastolic and systolic blood pressure.
Olive oil is also a helpfull ally in regulating cholesterol and eliminating the excess of bad cholesterol in the body. Monounsaturated fats increase good cholesterol and simulate reduction of bad cholesterol, preventing, at the same time, heart problems.
Healthy fats and olive oil nutrients can also be used for hair beauty. In this case you can use Extra Virgin Olive Oil to decrease hair frizz and get the hair you always wanted. Forget gels and chemical products that can damage your hair. Olive oil is a healthy choice that will help you eliminate frizz, regenerate hair and get a unique glow.
Olive oil is one of the best natural moisturizers for skin. Even thought there are plenty of moisturizers available in the market to use on a daily basis, olive oil is an excellent alternative that allows you to deeply hydrate the skin, soften it and preventing premature aging signs, as well as protecting it from sun damages.