“Nothing smelled like it, nothing tasted like it… And although it was only an additive, it played the main role in every dish – no thing reminded me of Greece more than the taste and aroma of the local oil…”.

– anonymus

First, it is useful to focus on what olive oil is, where it comes from, and what influences its quality. It is made from the flesh of the fruit of the olive tree. Up to 80% of the global harvest is used for oil production. It was first recorded between 5000 and 6000 years ago, and archeological evidence of olive cultivation has been found in Palestine, Crete and Syria.

Several important factors affect the quality of oil:

  • the species of olive
  • the cultivation of the olive tree
  • method of pressing
  • level of ripeness
  • method and time of transportation

High quality oil is obtained when the fruit is harvested at the beginning of the campaign, in the first weeks of the campaign. The campaign is the harvesting period, which lasts the longest in Europe. It lasts from November to March. In November olives have a green color, but they are already ripe, while in March they are already dark brown. The high quality of the oil is due to the good fruits, which are not damaged in any way. Therefore, the fruit is harvested by hand to minimize damage. The harvesting itself is done with rakes, combes, and combs, with the help of which the fruit falls on a cloth spread especially under the tree.
Oil mill – this is where the olives go next, so that their high quality can be maintained. It is in the oil mill that the production of oil begins. What is important is that the fruits cannot stay in the mill more than 24 hours. After this time the fruits simply start to spoil and lose their properties. It is possible to produce oil from such fruits, but it will be suitable only for purely technical purposes.
The stone is not separated from the fruit. The whole fruit is produced and then it is completely milled with the help of machines. The next stage is the separation of the olive liquid from the rest of the stones or peels. Separation is carried out using centrifuges. Centrifugation is divided into horizontal, separating the oil and water from the pomace, and vertical, separating the oil from the water and other liquids.
The next stage is filtration. This produces clear oil, without visible suspension. This oil has a much longer shelf life, so it is often found on store shelves. Filtered oil can be stored for up to 24 months.

The pressing of olives produces olive oil vergin, extra-virgin and lampante. Olive oil is classified thanks to laboratory tests, which evaluate its taste and aroma. The quality of the oil depends largely on the level of acidity. The highest quality oil is extra-virgin – 100% olive juice.

Unlike many popular oils on the market, olive oil contains a small amount of saturated fatty acids and a large proportion of unsaturated fatty acids. These include omega-3 and omega-6 acids, which increase blood flow through the coronary arteries, reducing the risk of atherosclerosis, heart attack and stroke.

In addition to beneficial fatty acids, olive oil also contains vitamins E and K. The former is a powerful antioxidant that protects the body from damage caused by free radicals. Its deficiency leads to fatigue, problems with teeth and bones or susceptibility to infections. The main function of vitamin K is to seal blood vessels. Its correct level in the body ensures proper blood clotting.
Olive oil effectively reduces inflammation, protecting the body from many viral and bacterial diseases. One of the most recent scientific studies has confirmed the fact that olive oil has an impact on delaying the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and senile dementia. Consumption of olive oil can prevent or delay diabetes. Regular use of olive oil in the daily diet regulates insulin levels and prevents insulin spikes. Scientific studies have also shown that a diet rich in olive oil can reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by as much as 40%. The ingredients in olive oil prevent the appearance of signs of depression. Domenico Praticò, MD, of the Lewis Katz School of Medicine (LKSOM) Alzheimer’s Center at Temple University recommends consuming two tablespoons of olive oil daily.

All right reserved