Exploring the difference between olive oil and extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) and why EVOO is the best olive oil there is for both taste and health benefits.
Updated October 17th 2022
- There are different grades of olive oil according to its level of acidity, or level of free oleic acid.
- Extra Virgin olive oil is a wholly natural, unrefined oil and the highest quality olive oil you can buy
- Drinking a shot of extra virgin olive oil (around 2-3 tablespoons) first thing in the morning has a lot of health benefits
- You can also take your extra virgin olive oil to at bedtime to help you fall asleep. A high-quality extra virgin olive oil can help you relax by reducing everyday inflammation that could be a potential cause for restlessness.
- The Questions We Are Asked About Our Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- What’s the difference between regular olive oil and extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil : The Highest Quality Olive Oil
- Virgin Olive Oil
- Refined Olive Oil
- Olive Pomace Oil
- Lampante Oil
- Should I drink olive oil everyday?
- Why Two Tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil A Day Is Good For You
- You Can Also Take Extra Virgin Olive Oil Before Going To Bed
The Questions We Are Asked About Our Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Although during these challenging ‘lock-down’ times we have not been able to hold our tasting events for Morocco Gold extra virgin olive oil at the likes of Fortnum & Mason in London, we are delighted with the level of direct contact we have recently had with our customers, particularly in the United States, where our extra virgin olive oil is becoming increasingly popular.
We really appreciate the many positive comments people have made about our Extra Virgin olive oil. People have asked the following questions:
- What kind of olive oil is the healthiest?
- Which oil is best for heart?
- Should I drink olive oil everyday?
- What is the highest quality olive oil?
- What’s the difference between regular olive oil and extra virgin olive oil
…and many others.
What’s the difference between regular olive oil and extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
So, to take the last point first, not all olive oil is the same. There are different grades of olive oil according to its level of acidity, or level of free oleic acid. The amount of free oleic acid in olive oil indicates the extent to which fat has broken down into fatty acids.
Olive oil also falls into two distinct categories: refined and unrefined. Unrefined oils are pure and untreated. Refined oil is treated to remove flaws from the oil so it is more sellable.
In summary there are five different types of olive oil:
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Virgin Olive Oil
- Refined Olive Oil
- Olive Pomace Oil
- Lampante Oil
Extra Virgin Olive Oil : The Highest Quality Olive Oil
Extra Virgin olive oil is a wholly natural, unrefined oil and the highest quality olive oil you can buy. Genuine extra virgin olive oil is rare and as a result is slightly more expensive.
Because of the way Extra Virgin olive oil is made, extra virgin olive oil is the best olive oil to consume. This is because it is made from the first cold pressing of olives and has not been exposed to high temperatures or chemicals during processing. As a result, it retains more of its beneficial nutrients, it retains more true olive taste, and has a lower level of oleic acid (no more than 0.8%) than other olive oil varieties. It also contains more of the natural vitamins and minerals found in olives.
Extra Virgin olive oil is completely natural. There is no treatment with chemicals or temperature alterations. It contains typically has a golden-green colour, with a distinctive fresh, green flavour and a light peppery finish.
How the fruit was grown, harvested and transported, how it was pressed into oil, and how the oil was packaged and bottled all contribute to ensure Extra Virgin olive oil like Morocco Gold is the best quality olive oil you can buy.
The definition of Extra Virgin olive oil is very precise regards production methods, taste and chemical composition. To be certified as Extra Virgin, an olive oil must:
- Come from a single source, it is not mixed / blended with other olive oils, even if they are of Extra Virgin 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.
So, what kind of olive oil is the healthiest – which oil is best for the heart? High quality Extra Virgin olive oils like Morocco Gold also contain the antioxidants and polyphenols that give the health enhancing qualities associated with olive oil.
- Polyphenols In Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Polyphenols are a potent antioxidant, one that can decommission a nasty molecule in your body called free radicals. 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 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 our extra virgin olive oil. 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.
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 within the extra virgin olive oil.
2. Virgin Olive Oil
Next in quality is virgin olive oil. It’s made using a similar process as extra-virgin olive oil and is also an unrefined oil, meaning chemicals or heat are not used to extract oil from the fruit. Virgin olive oil also maintains the purity and taste of the olive, though production standards are not as rigid.
According to the standards of the International Olive Council, virgin olive oil has a slightly higher level of oleic acid of up to 2%. It also has a slightly less intense flavour than extra-virgin olive oil. Virgin oil is rarely found, if ever, however, in grocery stores; usually your choice will be between extra-virgin, regular, and light olive oils.
3. Refined Olive Oil
These are olive oils that have been refined by using agents such as acids, alkalis and heat to extract as much oil as possible from the olive pulp that remains after the first pressing. The result is a fattier and more acidic oil which lacks taste, aroma and natural antioxidants found in extra virgin olive oil.
Producers then need to add unrefined extra virgin or virgin olive oil to give refined olive oil some flavour, colour and aroma into the blend. Terms such as “pure” or “100% pure” or “Light” are made up terms used by large producers and supermarkets. If the label states “pure” or “100% pure” or “Light” then the olive oil is a refined oil lacking the taste, aroma and quality of extra virgin olive oil
4. Olive Pomace Oil
The lowest grade of olive oil made from the by-products of extra virgin olive oil production. Olive skins, seeds and pulp are heated and the remaining oil is extracted using solvent. The result, pomace oil, is then put through a refining process, similar to pure or light olive oil.
Pomace olive oil is bland and extremely low in antioxidants.
5. Lampante Oil
Lampante oil comes from bad fruit or poor processing practices and has severe taste defects. It is not fit for human consumption until it has been refined.
Should I drink olive oil everyday?
You may have heard the news that a shot of olive oil a day can keep the doctor away. Is it a myth, or is there hard evidence proving that two tablespoons of olive oil a day can reduce the risk of various life-threatening conditions, including heart disease and high LDL cholesterol?
Mostly everyone who has ever read about a diet or has looked up healthy food recipes is familiar with extra virgin olive oil, one of the best sources of monounsaturated fatty acids around. But the benefits of extra virgin olive oil like Morocco Gold are much more than just protecting the heart from disease risk. The demand for high-quality extra virgin olive oil has increased in the last few years, thanks to growth in the health- conscious populace of the world.
But did you know that drinking a shot of extra virgin olive oil first thing in the morning has a lot of health benefits too?
Why Two Tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil A Day Is Good For You
The level of polyphenols present in Morocco Gold varies slightly from year to year, depending on a range of factors, weather, time of harvesting and processing, etc. This year we are pleased to say the level of polyphenols is the highest we have yet seen.
European Food Safety Authority Recommendation
The European Food Safety Authority regulation (118) states that extra virgin olive oil with a polyphenol level of 250 mg/kg and above can make health claims. However, it is also very specific about which polyphenols this applies to. It specifically states that this must include hydroxytyrosol and its derivatives, oleuropein and tyrosol. So long as these polyphenols are present, the beneficial effects can be obtained with a daily intake of around 20ml of olive oil.
At this level of polyphenol, 1 tablespoon will have around 7.1 mg/kg (250 / 35). So, to get the health benefits, you would need to take around 3 tablespoons per day.
You Can Also Take Extra Virgin Olive Oil Before Going To Bed
Those who suffer from sleep deprivation may benefit from the following medicinal qualities in a high-quality extra virgin olive oil. What can 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil do to get rid of insomnia?
Extra virgin olive oil can help you fall asleep and sleep better in one of a few ways. First, a high-quality extra virgin olive oil can help you relax by reducing everyday inflammation that could be a potential cause for restlessness.
If you work all day or even just work out in a fitness complex often, you may be experiencing some form of inflammation. Inflammation is a major cause of increased heart rate. A high-quality extra virgin olive oil can reduce the effects of inflammation, thereby calming the pace of the heart.
Pre-sleep extra virgin olive oil treatment is being suggested to those with insomnia who would like to be able to fall asleep as well as improve the quality of the given rest throughout the night. The anti-inflammatory health benefit is possible once good olive oil is taken consistently before retiring at night. Unlike some kinds of vitamins, this anti-inflammatory effect of the olive oil will not at all take long to commence functionality and promote sleep health realignment.
Secondly, extra virgin olive oil helps as a natural remedy by bringing balance to blood sugar levels that are above the average. With a high blood sugar count being a form of vasoconstriction and heart rate excitation, olive oil helping resolve this challenge is a major player in helping one fall asleep and stay asleep for a healthy amount of time.
Thirdly, the polyphenols in a high-quality extra virgin olive oil as a sleep remedy help remove a nasty molecule in your body called free radicals that can ricochet around inside your body and harm good cells. Polyphenols are a potent antioxidant, one that can work to neutralize free radicals, protecting the body from their harmful effects whilst you sleep.
Taking olive oil at bedtime can in fact, help induce relaxation as it cleanses the body of free radicals. This calming characteristic takes effect immediately. The process of ridding the body of free radicals is tiring, so, in essence, the natural consumption of a high-quality extra virgin olive oil can help you feel tired and calm.
ABOUT MOROCCO GOLD EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
For health conscious, discerning food lovers across all cultures and culinary backgrounds, Morocco Gold is a natural, unfiltered, ultra-premium, polyphenol rich extra virgin olive oil, whose exquisite taste and health enhancing qualities are guaranteed by our rigorous testing, provenance and authenticity, and strict adherence to single estate sourcing, with no blending or mixing.
Uniquely, we include the results of our chemical analysis for acidity, peroxide ultra-violet and polyphenol content testing on each-and-every bottle of Morocco Gold so that our customers can see at a glance the guarantee of extra virgin olive oil quality.
Find out more by reading our frequently asked questions regarding extra virgin olive oil.