All You Need To Know About The Best Extra Virgin Olive Oil For Health And Flavour
There is so much to know about extra virgin olive oil that it can sometimes be a little bit overwhelming. Whether you are interested in its health-giving properties or simply how to use it in your cooking, we at Morocco Gold are bursting with all the facts you need. Here is an updated handy run down of some of your most common extra virgin olive oil questions.
1. What is Extra Virgin Olive Oil?
Extra virgin olive oil is the highest quality, best olive oil you can get. It contains high levels of powerful antioxidants known as Polyphenols : no less than seven different types in the case of Morocco Gold. Genuine extra virgin olive oil is rare and as a result is slightly more expensive. But this is largely in recognition of the highest levels of care and attention with which the oil is made, transported and harvested. To be certified as extra virgin, olive oil must:
- Come from a single source, it is not mixed / blended with other olive oils, even if they are of extra virgin olive oil quality
- Come from the first pressing of fresh, young olives, normally within 24 hours of harvesting
- Be extracted purely by mechanical means at temperatures specifically below 28C.
- Have free fatty acid or acidity level (normally measured as oleic acid) of less than 0.8%.
- Be defect free and have a perfect taste and aroma.
2. How Much Extra Virgin Olive Oil Do You Need To Take To Be Healthy?
Wisdom and personal preference varies between incorporating your extra virgin olive oil in to meals throughout the day and taking it in one health-boosting ‘shot’ but we are advocates of either! Either way, it’s widely agreed that around 15 -20 mls or two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil per day is sufficient to enjoy a host of health benefits.
3. Can You Cook With Extra Virgin Olive Oil?
Absolutely, yes! Do not listen to the scare mongers telling you that extra virgin olive oil is not the best choice for cooking. Many of the top chefs in the land are vocal advocates of using it both in their cooking processes and as an accompaniment or base for a dressing. As we explain in full here, Morocco Gold extra virgin olive oil has three key qualities that make it an excellent cooking oil. It contains predominantly stable monosaturated fatty acids, it has a low level of free fatty acids and it has a high level of protective antioxidants. The same is not true of oils high in polyunsaturated fats such as sunflower or generic ‘vegetable’ oil.
4. Can you apply Extra Virgin Olive Oil Directly To Your Hair Or Skin?
Yes! And if you don’t believe us, just ask celebrities such as Cipriana Quann, Julia Roberts or Sophia Loren, a small selection of the high profile names lining up to thank extra virgin olive oil for contributing to the health of their skin and hair. From your head to your toes, extra virgin olive oil can be used in a variety of skin care routines that provides an all-natural alternative to soaps and creams that contain harsh chemicals.
5. Where Does Morocco Gold Come From?
Unsurprisingly, given the name, Morocco Gold comes from – you’ve guessed it – Morocco. To be more specific, it comes from groves in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains. The specific soil conditions of the Beni Mellal region, together with the mild winters and summers, caressed by hot winds from the Sahara, make ideal growing conditions for Morocco Gold olives.
6. What gives Morocco Gold Its Unique Taste?
The unique taste and quality of Morocco Gold extra virgin olive oil is thanks to a host of factors that work together in perfect harmony. The exceptional flavour comes from care and attention to detail throughout the entire production process. This includes infiltration of the soil, intercropping of cereals and almond trees to contribute to some of its unique flavour and irrigation of the olive tree. Quality control measures are used at harvest, followed by washing to remove impurities. Finally, extraction of the oil is carried out at precisely controlled temperatures and nothing is added or taken away at the end of the process.
7. What Are The Key Health Benefits?
This one really is tricky to answer briefly, and we go in to this in more detail here, but we will give you the top proven benefits of adding the best extra virgin olive oil you can find to your diet:
- Reduced of risk of cardiovascular diseases
- Beneficial effect on ulcers and gastritis
- Maintains the digestive tract in good health
- Helps to reduce blood pressure
- Help control healthy cholesterol levels
- Olive oil eases or prevents diabetes
- Olive oil lessens the severity of osteoporosis
8. What Should I Look Out For On The Label Of Extra Virgin Olive Oil?
We know that by choosing Morocco Gold you are guaranteed the very highest quality in olive oil but we also know that there are alternative choices out there and we want you to understand the key facts on the label. In order to be labelled extra virgin olive oil, several key criteria must be met. This includes: an Acidity lower than 0.8%, Peroxide level higher than or equal to 20 MEQ O2/k and Wax Content must be less than or equal to 250 MG/KG. In addition, to quote health benefits, Polyphenol levels must be greater than or equal to 250 MG/KG.
Other things to be aware of are Storage Information, Best Before Date and Nutritional Information.