The Olive Trees Arrival in Chile
Olive trees first came from Sevilla to the Caribbean and later on, they spread all over the continent. By the year 1560, Mexico already had olive trees and so it was a matter of time before they spread to Peru, Argentina and Chile. In 1952, led by the Canepa family, the Chilean olive industry was formed and by the ’90s, modern technology was being applied changing the game completely.
20 years ago, most of the olive oil available in supermarkets were from Spain and Italy; today, the narrative is changing as Chilean olive oil is moving up the ladder rapidly. Most supermarkets now stock Chilean olive oil for sale and with the low returns on it, one can say the oil is here to stay. The temperate climate, which is very similar to that of the Mediterranean, and the fertile soils of the country make it a good choice for producing top-quality olive and with the country exploiting this, they now export up to 18 million liters yearly.
Chilean olive oil is among the best in the world. Most of it is mild and very suitable for cooking or dressing salads. With an acidity level of 0.2% or less, like the one O-Live proudly can show, almost 99% is extra virgin oil. People who need other varieties can easily search them out.
The Production of Premium Olive Oil From Chile
The Chilean olive oil industry handles the main olive varieties for oil production. Bigger ones are usually used as table olives and most of them are planted in the north of the country. Smaller ones are used for olive oil production.
Depending on the size of each company, olives are harvested by using a vibrating shaker that looks like a rake or using Olive Harvester machines. The shaker shakes the olives and they are caught in a cloth spread beneath the trees. The Olive Harvester machine goes above the trees shaking the branches and picking the olives immediately. Usually, within the next 24 hours, the olives are washed and then crushed. More advanced companies, like O-Live & Co, do this within just a few hours. The resulting thick paste is further beaten to allow the oil to form and to aggregate for better separation. T° is essential in this process: Below 27°C (66°F) is what we know as First Cold Extraction. The paste is spun to extract the oil (the solid and liquid parts can be separated and spun differently) and the resulting oil is stored for a decantation process in stainless steel barrels. Finally, the oil is ready for packaging consumption.This oil is called extra virgin olive oil and is seen as first-class olive oil.
The Benefits and Uses of Chilean Olive Oil
All over the world, olive oil is known to be a very suitable oil for cooking, owing to the low fat and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels. So many articles have been published that show the numerous health benefits of incorporating olive oil into a diet. Diabetes, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, inflammation, some cancers, high blood cholesterol levels, etc. are some diseases that researchers have found that olive oil can mediate in.
Olive oil in a diet has been in use for a very long time now. A good oil is rich in flavor and aromas and makes food palatable. When most people are confused over the safest type of oil to use in frying and cooking, Chilean olive oil offers a great option due to the low acidity: Lower acidity oils have a higher smoke point. O-Live & Co is one of the leading brands with 0.2% acidity levels, much lower than the average 0.8%.
Olive oils are also a major component of some beauty items. This is not surprising, considering the phenols it has. In some parts of the world, people use olive oil as body lotions. Owing to its soft, cool and soothing feel, they are used directly by many or added to creams and mixed in before use.
How to Purchase Premium Chilean Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Purchasing Chilean olive oil is a simple and direct process, one which is not complicated at all. However, some basic knowledge must be acquired first.
- Know the different types: In the US, there are generally several types of olive oil available in stores: The extra virgin oil, virgin oil and some other types classified in order of their flavor intensity. Thus, there are light-tasting olive oil, Pure olive oil and classic olive oil (none of these has real flavor or aromas) Now, it is important to know that the more fresh aromas and flavor of the oil, the more the phenols (healthy plant chemicals) that give it its health benefits. So when buying, it is better to go for the ones with the highest flavor. You know which category the Chilean oil belongs to, right? The best. Good.
O-Live & Co. obviously belongs to that category as well and leads it, in fact.
- Check for best-before dates, and also for a seal of quality: ‘Best before’ dates are important so you don’t purchase a bottle of olive oil that you won’t want to use in a few days or weeks. It is also important to check for a seal of quality to make sure you’re not purchasing some fake products. Sustainable certifications are also a good manner to check the company’s trustworthiness. O-Live & Co.'s fast harvesting and production process allow for longer best before dates.
- Ensure you purchase the quantity that you can use up within a few months: Olive oil is a natural product and, although there’s a best before date, the exposure to air, heat, and light may cause the phenols in them to degrade. This can be unpleasant and make the oil unfit for use.
- Color is not a test of quality: No, it isn’t. Therefore, don’t purchase with a bias on color. Although color influences choice, it is not a test of quality.
- Chilean oils are free from adulteration: As opposed to the European market where adulteration of olive oil is rampant, Chilean olive oils are free from adulteration, fraud and mislabeling. This is due to a lot of efforts from both farmers and the government.
You can find one fo the highest quality extra virgin olive oils, O-Live & Co. in most supermarkets. However, you can also conveniently order online and have the bottles delivered to your doorstep. Better even, subscribe have the bottles refilled automatically and save 20%!
In the US, Chilean olive oils are sold anywhere between $8.00 per 16.9 fl oz for store brands up to $10 for some of the best-known names and organic brands. Price is not necessarily an indicator of quality, however. At O-Live we made it our mission to provide you with a premium, high-quality extra virgin olive oil at an accessible price for anybody. So don't hesitate! Some things are too good and true ;)