Polyphenols In Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Posted by

What makes Morocco Gold Extra Virgin Olive Oil So Special?

Updated December 22nd 2023

Heritage And Source Of Morocco Gold
Heritage And Source Of Morocco Gold


  • Extra virgin olive oil, is high in monounsaturated fat, the healthy-for-you kind of fat.
  • The biggest thing that makes extra virgin olive oil so healthy is its unique disease-fighting component – polyphenols. The amount of polyphenols found in extra virgin olive oil is truly amazing!
  • Polyphenols are powerful antioxidants that combat damage by oxygen free radicals, most often termed oxidative stress, that can lead to various forms of chronic illness.
  • Morocco Gold extra virgin olive oil is high in polyphenols
  • New research confirms that polyphenols found in extra virgin olive oil survive temperature and do not disappear when the oil is used for cooking



There are many reasons why people choose extra virgin olive oil like Morocco Gold over other types of oils. Whether this is extra virgin olive oil as part of a healthy diet, extra virgin olive oil for its delicious taste or extra virgin oil because of its now well-researched and documented health benefits. Extra Virgin Olive Oil is probably the most extensively researched foodstuff on the planet and the health benefits are evidence based.

What makes extra virgin olive oil so healthy?

Extra virgin olive oil, sunflower oil and canola oil are high in monounsaturated fat (the healthy-for-you kind of fat). So what would put extra virgin olive oil above the others if their fat make-up so similar? It’s not just about the kind of fat molecules that they are made up of, extra virgin olive oil has some extra magic. The biggest thing that makes extra virgin olive oil so healthy is its unique disease-fighting component.

Health Benefits Of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Health Benefits Of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

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!

What Are Polyphenols?

Polyphenols are a group of over 500 phytochemicals, which are naturally occurring micronutrients in plants. These compounds give a plant its colour and can help to protect it from various dangers. When you eat plants with polyphenols, you reap the health benefits as well.

Polyphenols In Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Polyphenols Antioxidant 1
Polyphenols Antioxidant 1

Polyphenols are a key component in extra virgin olive oil polyphenols are considered to be one of the best health enhancing benefits within the oil.

Many of the fruits and vegetables we consume contain large numbers of compounds critical for life. One such type of compound is known as antioxidants. Polyphenols are powerful antioxidants.

Why are antioxidants so important for our health? Oxidation is a natural process our cells use to create energy from the oxygen we inhale. As energy is being produced in our cells, some oxygen molecules (known as oxygen free radicals or reactive oxygen species) are produced as a by product of these processes. These oxygen free radicals can damage your cells and DNA when in high concentration. Continuous damage by oxygen free radicals, most often termed oxidative stress, can lead to various conditions including:

  • Various forms of cancer
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Diabetes
  • Osteoporosis
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Dementia
  • Wrinkles associated with age

Unfortunately, the production of these harmful chemicals is sometimes enhanced by the environment we live in. Several lifestyle, stress and environmental factors shown to increase the production of oxygen free radicals include (but are not limited to):

  • Cigarette smoke
  • Alcohol consumption
  • High blood sugar levels
  • Air pollution
  • High intake of polyunsaturated fats
  • Excessive ultraviolet radiation exposure
  • Various bacterial or viral infections
  • Antioxidant deficiency

So how do antioxidants fit into the grand scheme of our bodies and our health? Antioxidants are chemicals known to be ‘molecular scavengers’ that help neutralize oxygen free radicals, thus preventing oxidative stress from occurring. There are hundreds of known antioxidants, some of which we consume in our daily diets:

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
  • Selenium
  • Manganese
  • Carotenoids

It’s also thought that polyphenols contribute to keep the body being in an anti-inflammatory state. This is also associated with a lower risk of several chronic diseases. 

They also protect the olive oil from oxidative damage and contribute to its superior longevity and shelf life. They also affect the taste of extra virgin olive oil and give it its distinctive bitter flavour.

Polyphenols In Morocco Gold Extra Virgin Olive Oil

The high polyphenol content of Morocco Gold extra virgin olive oil is dependent on three factors. First is the variety of the olive, secondly the climate and terroire of the growing region and thirdly the actual time in the growing season that the crop is harvested.

Morocco Gold is pressed from the Picholine Marocaine, the only type of olive to go into Morocco Gold. Oil from this variety is renowned for it’s high polyphenol count, oxidative stability and longevity.

Our olives are grown in a valley that is about 2,000 feet above sea level. This helps to create the additional climatic challenges that encourage polyphenol uptake within the olive tree. It is also an area with naturally occurring high phenols in the soil itself.

In soils, phenols are released over extended period of time from decomposing plant materials. This causes complex organic compounds to be slowly oxidized or to break down into simpler forms of sugars,  amino sugars, aliphatic and phenolic organic acids. These are further transformed into microbial biomass or are reorganized, and further oxidized, into humic assemblages (fulvic and humic acids), which bind to clay minerals.

There has been a long debate about the ability of plants to uptake humic substances through their root systems and to metabolize them. There is now a consensus about how humus plays a hormonal role rather than simply a nutritional role in plant physiology. Olive trees grown in ‘challenging’ conditions encourage the uptake of naturally occurring phenols in the soil. This in turn aids the circulatory system within the olive tree, with the phenols eventually finding their way to the olive fruit itself.

Thirdly, our olives are picked when the fruit is young and green. As the olives age on the tree, the colour of the olive changes to red and then black, the size of the olive increases thus producing more oil, but the polyphenol level decreases. There is a great deal of expertise within the farming community where we source our oil to ensure that the harvest is collected at the optimum time to maximise the polyphenol level.

The Polyphenols Present In Morocco Gold Extra Virgin Olive Oil

We are delighted to say the total polyphenol count in Morocco Gold extra virgin olive oil is 626mg/kg.

The following illustrates the range of chronic conditions where research into these polyphenols oil has demonstrated positive effects.

Health Benefits And Polyphenols
Health Benefits And Polyphenols

In fact the European Food Safety Authority has now approved health claims for extra virgin olive oils with polyphenol content of more than 250mg / kg. Morocco Gold olive oil has high polyphenols well above this level.

Healthy Compounds In Extra Virgin Olive Oil Still Present After Exposure To Heat

New research confirms the key components in extra virgin olive oil survive temperature. The most healthy compounds found in extra virgin olive oil do not disappear when the oil is used for cooking, according to new research published in the scientific journal, Antioxidants. The implication may have an impact on future nutritional guidelines.

Researchers from the University of Barcelona focused on evaluating how the attributes of olive oil change when it is used for sautéing in a household kitchen. After cooking at a moderate temperature, (polyphenols and antioxidants) were still in the oil and in concentrations high enough to meet the E.U. parameters, meaning this oil should be used for cooking.– Julián Lozano Castellón, project coordinator