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An introduction to olive oil

Posted by Fernanda Catalan on
An introduction to olive oil

Let’s talk about the lifeblood of O-Live, olive oil. What is olive oil? 

Olive oil is the liquid or fluid that is gotten from pressed olive fruits. The botanical name is Olea Europaea from the Oleaceae family. It is a traditional tree crop that is mainly known in the Mediterranean Basin, whose oil is commonly used in cooking (mainly frying and salad dressing). Olive oil has several nutritional benefits when consumed, but aside from consumption, it can also be frequently applied on skin and hair as moisturizers and as a lubricant or polish on some surfaces. There are several unexpected uses of this wonder oil that some people have come to term as liquid gold. 

What is extra virgin olive oil? 

Extra virgin olive oil is unrefined, as the name suggests, and is the highest quality of olive oil that can be bought. An olive oil requires strict standards to meet, to earn the 'extra virgin' badge, despite the fact that it is not touched by chemicals or altered by temperature.

O-Live, of course, is only the highest quality extra virgin olive oil. 



Differences in Olive Oils

The varieties of olive oil are usually described by the type of process used to extract the oil from the olive fruits, additives, and the level of free oleic acid. The differences in the regular olive oil and extra-virgin oil are graded by colors, taste, quality, and ultimately, the level of acidity. The extra virgin olive oil is noticeably darker than the regular olive oil. The intensity of color shade varies from one brand to another, though. Hence, the determination of grade by color is not absolute.

Unrefined olive oils are the traditional olive oils, popular, which are pure and untreated, like O-Live & Co. 

The refined olive oils are chemically treated to remove some components from the oil to increase the value for sales purpose. The refined oils are without aroma, flavor, color or bitterness. They are blended with a low percentage of extra virgin oil to get some qualities. Refined olive oils lack core antioxidants and anti-inflammatories that make extra virgin oils unique.

The virgin olive oil goes through almost the same treatment as the extra virgin olive oil, though not as strict. The oleic acid content is slightly higher and with a less intense flavor than the former. There are types of virgin oils, too.

Although The extra virgin and the regular olive oils are often substituted for each other since they are both used in baking and cooking, however, they can be sensitive to some things. This is because of the difference in their smoke points. Hence, if you are particular about some features in your meals or cakes and doughs, you may want to choose the oil by its smoking point. 



Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil

The Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil is usually produced from olives that have been grown and harvested organically. This means that the oil meets or exceeds all tested International Olive Council (IOC) standards for Extra Virgin. What gives it the title of ‘extra’ is the battery of chemical tests required to ensure that it meets the (IOC) standards of free fatty acid percent and peroxide levels. The extra virgin oil is expected to have no more than 0.8 - 1% free acidity (oleic acid) and is usually considered to have a more favorable flavor. 

O-Live has an acidity level of 0.2%, which is far below the average of 0.8% and a true testament to our quality.

Aside from the chemical tests, the Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil passes through professional tasters to detect the olive fruitiness, and correct any flaws found in the taste. This is all to ensure that it meets the freshest quality.

The Extra Virgin Olive Oil is a heart-healthy fat which also contains polyphenols that act as antioxidants, reducing the oxidative stress throughout the body.

The Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil has fewer chemicals and free radicals than the regular olive oil. It is also full of good fats and higher in antioxidants than regular olive oil. 

The major difference between the Premium Extra Virgin Olive Oil and the Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil is that the growing, harvesting, and oil manufacturing of the Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil has been documented by an organic certifying agency and the Premium Extra Virgin Olive Oil is not documented by an organic certifying agency. However, olive trees in general require little or no pesticide.


Italian Olive Oil

Italian extra virgin olive oil is a common type of olive oil and can be found in almost every home. The sad truth is, many of the olive oil bottles that sit in many kitchen's corners are either fake or diluted. Italian extra virgin oil is meant to be olive oils of only Italian origin. Hence the fruits should be gotten, pressed and packaged in Italy. On the contrary, many Italian extra virgin olive oil brands only mix the real Italian olive oil with other ones to give it the right blend they desire. Are you thinking about how to know real Italian olive oil? Watch the label for "produced and "bottled in Italy". "Packaged in Italy" or "Bottled in Italy" and other confusing terms which are not direct about where it is manufactured and processed from are not the true Italian olive oil.

Having become aware that there are fake and adulterated olive oils and brands, it becomes important to know what brands can be trusted and the best organic olive oil brands. 6 out of 11 extra virgin olive oil lying on store shelves in 2015 were found to not meet the requirement from IOC. Way back in 2011, independent quality control analyses showed that about 73% of the olive oil bottles tested from different brands in the US did not have the reputable standard of the extra virgin olive oil.

With O-Live we guarantee a true, authentic and pure extra virgin olive oil pressed and packaged only under the highest standards. 



Getting the Best Extra Virgin Olive Oil

For everyday use, Extra Virgin Olive Oil will be a good go-to choice. With its fruity, grassy flavor, this oil can be used to handle both your cooking and saucing in the kitchen. When it comes to sensitive meals such as vegetable and mushroom dishes, you need to source for the best extra virgin olive oil with the right flavor that will bring out the essence and aroma that you want in those foods, no matter how faint. Experts think the best extra virgin olive oil for this should be buttery, mild-flavored, and have some unique finish. For your fish, white meat, crudos, and vegetables, a lemon-spiced extra virgin olive oil should come first.


Benefits and uses of olive oil

The health benefits of olive oil cannot be overemphasized, either the usual or the extra virgin olive oil. However, the extra virgin olive oil has classified benefits and application beyond the normal virgin olive oil. Olive oil finds applications in so many ways of humans lives, from cooking to medical benefits to beauty, and even life hacks!


Medical benefits include:

Anti-Inflammatory: Inflammation, especially when chronic, has been known to be the main cause of diseases including cancer, Type 2 Diabetes, obesity, etc. Extra virgin olive oil can reduce inflammation. This effect is driven by antioxidants present in the oil. In fact, the oil has been compared to some anti-inflammatory drugs.

Prevents Heart Diseases: Owing to its low level of saturated fat, extra virgin olive oil is known to be a good remedy for heart diseases. In fact, if forms a key ingredient in the Mediterranean diet, which reduces the risk of heart diseases, and prevents bad cholesterol from oxidation.

It can be used to prevent stroke – in most developed nations, stroke is known to be the second most common cause of death, after heart disease. Olive oil is about the only source of monounsaturated fat associated with a reduced risk of stroke and heart diseases. People who consume olive oil are said to be at a lesser risk of getting a stroke than those who do not.

Beauty benefits

Makeup removal – olive oil can be used as a perfect replacement for your regular eye makeup remover. To do this, simply dip a cotton pad into olive oil, and wipe it beneath your eyes and on your eyelids to remove eyeliners and mascaras. Afterward, rinse with warm water and a washcloth.

Skin moisturizer – as a skin moisturizer, all you need to do is apply a small amount or a thin layer of olive oil all over your skin right after a shower or a wax. This oil acts as an intense moisturizer that helps to soothe extra-dry skin. You can also exfoliate dry heels with a pumice stone and olive oil in the form of a massage.

Haircare – is your hair in need of some tender loving care? You can rejuvenate your hair with an olive oil hair mask that works to nourish, condition and detangle your hair. Also, to bring out the shine in your hair, you can simply rub in a few drops of olive oil to the ends of your dry hair, leaving you with a glossy and shiny head of hair. 

Shaving cream substitute – If you are out of shaving cream, you can simply lather your legs with some olive oil, and shave away! The oil acts as an excellent lubricant and prevents razor bumps and burn while you shave, while also moisturizing your skin too.

Stretch marks – this is most women’s nightmare. Many people with stretch marks try anything to get rid of it and certain remedies work for some and don’t for others. If you have not tried using olive oil to soothe your stretch marks, you should probably try it. To do this, apply a generous amount of oil to the affected area every morning and night, and patiently watch it fade away.


Other lifehack usages include:

Unstick a zipper: With the swab of an olive oil-soaked cotton over the teeth of a zipper, the zipper should make its way down or up.

To shine stainless utensils: More preferred than ammonia and other products that corrode stainless steel utensils, olive oil makes stainless steel pots, cups, pans, etc. shine.

To remove stickers: With a bit of this oil applied onto a sticky label, after a few minutes, the sticker should peel off without a residue.


Cooking Olive Oil

Quality extra virgin olive oil is exceptionally good because it contains healthy fats that tend to retain its beneficial qualities even during cooking. There are different kinds of fatty acids-saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. Most vegetable oils contain polyunsaturated fats, and some such as soybean and canola oils are sensitive to high heat. Cooking olive oil, on the other hand, contains mostly monounsaturated fats and offers bioactive substances, including powerful antioxidants and vitamin E.

Olive oils are quite resistant to heat and do not oxidize or go rancid during cooking. This is because of the high antioxidants and vitamin E level which provides significant natural protection from oxidative damage. It might be difficult to determine an oil’s exact smoke point, some sources put the range of olive oil at somewhere around 374-405°F (190-207°C), making it a safe choice for most cooking methods. However, heating for too long is not advisable. When oil oxidizes, it reacts with oxygen and forms various harmful compounds, making the oil go rancid and this process can be accelerated when oils are heated. Olive oils, however, hold up well during heating. This makes it not only an excellent cooking choice but also one of the healthiest.  

In conclusion, olive oil has a vast usage with humans. Its heritage with man goes a very long way and has been beneficial in cooking, medicine, beauty, and lifehacks. Extra virgin olive oil is the most quality form of olive oil because it is unrefined and carefully prepared to retain its original essence. With O-Live & Co. we are ensuring you get one of the highest-quality extra virgin olive oils. Grown on our home estate, pressed and bottled only a few hours after harvesting: Fresh, pure, delicious!


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