The Most Recent Facts And Figures About Extra Virgin Olive Oil : At A Glance!
Updated 14th June 2021
Did You Know….
- The olive is among the oldest known cultivated trees in the world – being grown before the written language was invented. Olive oil is the original superfood. – it has been celebrated and enjoyed for centuries.
- The olive was native to Asia Minor and spread from Iran, Syria and Palestine to the rest of the Mediterranean basin 6,000 years ago.
- Athens is named for the Goddess Athena. In Greek mythology, Zeus promised to give Attica to the god or goddess who made the most useful invention. Athena’s gift of the olive, useful for light, heat, food, medicine and perfume was chosen as the most peaceful invention. Athena planted the original olive tree on a rocky hill that we know today as the Acropolis. The olive tree that grows there today is said to have come from the roots of the original tree.
- The olive trees on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem are reputed to be over 2000 years old
- Olive oil is like a fine wine – the taste depends on its source / location / the type of soil condition the olives are grown in, the type of olive (cultivar), and the weather conditions.
- There are different classifications of olive oils. Extra virgin is the highest quality and most expensive olive oil classification. It has no defects and a flavour of fresh olives. It is produced entirely by mechanical means without the use of any solvents, at temperatures that will not degrade the oil.
- What makes extra virgin olive oils so special. The earlier the olives are picked, the healthier the olive oil is. Farmers have been celebrating ‘first press’ olive oil for centuries.
What Is The Difference Between Olive Oil And Extra Virgin Olive Oil?
- Extra-virgin olive oil is made from pure, cold-pressed olives, whereas regular olive oil is a blend, including both cold-pressed and processed oils. Any cold-pressed oil that doesn’t meet extra-virgin standards is then refined to get rid of undesirable impurities, giving the oil a more neutral flavour and lighter colour.
Why It Is Called Extra Virgin Olive Oil?
- Virgin Olive Oil. Virgin means the oil was made by simply pressing olives. It did not undergo any of the industrial processes used to make ‘refined’ oils such as canola, sunflower, soybean and the lower grades of olive oil labelled ‘Pure,’ ‘Light,’ and simply ‘Olive Oil.’
Extra Virgin Olive Oil : The Health Benefits
We at Morocco Gold are pretty sold on the extraordinary health benefits, taste and versatility of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, but why should you take our word for it?
Extra virgin olive oil is probably the most extensively researched foodstuff on the planet and the benefits are evidence based. So, let us summarise some of that fabulous science and information for you now.
Why (exactly) is Extra Virgin Olive Oil so good for you?
There is now considerable scientific research behind the health effects of extra virgin olive oil. The FDA says eating 2 tablespoons of olive oil a day may reduce the risk of heart disease, due to its monounsaturated fat content. Extra Virgin olive oil also contains polyphenols which act as antioxidants, reducing the oxidative stress throughout your body.
These studies show that the fatty acids and antioxidants in extra virgin olive oil, in particular polyphenols, have a wide range of health benefits, including (but not limited to);
- Reduced risk of heart disease,
- A beneficial effect on ulcers and gastritis,
- Maintenance of the digestive tract in good health,
- Helps to reduce blood pressure,
- Helps control healthy cholesterol levels,
- Eases or prevents diabetes,
- Lessens the severity of Osteoporosis.
Why is Extra Virgin Olive Oil Extra special?
Extra-virgin olive oil is the highest grade of olive oil and the very best that you can buy. It is made from pure, cold-pressed olives, whereas regular olive oil is a blend, including both cold-pressed and processed oils.
Thanks to the recent spotlight on the Mediterranean Diet, extensive research has been done on the phytonutrient composition of olive oil. What has been discovered is an extensive list of phytonutrients; one of the most praised is its polyphenols. The amount of polyphenols found in extra virgin olive oil is truly amazing! Polyphenols are a potent antioxidant – one that can decommission a nasty molecule in your body called a free radical. Free radicals can ricochet around inside your body and harm good cells. Antioxidants, such as the polyphenols found in extra virgin olive oil, work to neutralize free radicals; protecting the body from their harmful antics. The European Food Safety Agency has now approved health claims for extra virgin olive oils with a polyphenol content of more than 250mg / kg. The polyphenol content in Morocco Gold is well above this level.
Any cold-pressed oil that doesn’t meet extra-virgin standards is then refined to get rid of undesirable impurities, giving the oil a more neutral flavour and lighter colour.
What are the most common ways to enjoy Extra Virgin Olive Oil?
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil in cooking.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil can be used for cooking, frying, sauteing, poaching, dressing and baking. It is a heart-healthy fat that lends a little extra something to your cooking. The versatility of this product makes it hugely popular as a cooking medium and flavouring ingredient. The particular characteristics of Morocco Gold Extra Virgin Olive Oil gives it a distinctive green fruitiness, hints of almond and herbs, fresh turf and a peppery aftertaste.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil as a dressing or dip.
A splash of Extra Virgin Olive Oil mixed with a vinaigrette makes it the perfect accompaniment for many salads – a true staple of the ever popular health giving Mediterranean diet. Or, why not simply dip some fresh crispy bread in it at the start of a meal to stimulate those taste buds.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil is good for your skin.
The list of celebrity endorsements for Extra Virgin Olive Oil as a beauty treatment goes as far back as Cleopatra. Over the last decade, many beauticians are advocating the use of olive oil due to its many beauty benefits: it has a minimum acidity level, is rich in antioxidants, minerals and vitamins E and A which help hydrate the skin and sustain its elasticity. It prevents skin aging and occurrence of wrinkles and fine lines on the skin. It can be used as a body lotion, a natural make-up remover or – as advocated by Sophia Loren- simply added to your bath.
… and your hair!
According to trichologist and colorist Bridgette Hill with Paul Labrecque Salon and Skincare Spa, incorporating olive oil into your haircare regimen can seal moisture into the hair fiber, which helps with elasticity and results in less breakage.
Additionally, Hill says hair oils can penetrate your hair strand and reduce the amount of water your hair absorbs which, in turn, cuts down on shrinkage and frizz. Trichologist and celebrity stylist Kari Williams says that although most can benefit from using it, thin hair can be easily weighed down by olive oil, so those people should avoid overdoing it.
Which is the best Extra Virgin Olive Oil to choose?
“Olive oil is a fruit juice,” explains Nicholas Coleman, chief oleologist (fancy term for olive oil expert) at Eataly NY. And when fresh, that juice can be a bit intense. Similar to dark chocolate and craft beers, good, fresh extra virgin olive oil has notes of bitterness.
“Fresh oils can have a pungent, lingering black pepper finish that slowly trails off in the back of the throat,” says Coleman. That amazing and sometimes intense peppery sensation is considered a marker of high-quality extra virgin olive oil. It occurs because of the polyphenols found in high quality extra virgin olive oil that provide the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
At Morocco Gold we take great care to ensure the longevity of our extra virgin olive oil, including the selection, early harvesting of our olives, carefully controlled handling and pressing of our olives, and the specialist nature of our glass bottle. This has been designed with a darker tone of green and thicker glass wall to maximise protection from UV rays that can interact with and alter foodstuffs. All these factors mean that our extra virgin olive oil, if stored in cool conditions, will have an extended shelf life. To help extend the life of your olive oil, be sure to store the bottle in a dark, cool place away from direct sunlight.
Extra-virgin olive oil like Morocco Gold is the highest quality. It contains no more than 0.8 percent oleic acid (virgin olive oil contains up to 2 percent). The acidity comes from free fatty acids and can be detected only in a laboratory. An expert panel of olive oil-tasters (yes, this is a job) must also discern that olive oil is up to par and has no taste defects.