Olive Oil 101

The timing of the olive harvest plays a crucial role in determining the flavor and quality of the resulting olive oil. Harvesting olives at the optimal stage of ripeness, typically when they are just starting to transition from green to a greenish-straw color, ensures that the oil extracted from them possesses the highest flavor and polyphenol content.
During this phase of ripeness, olives are at their peak in terms of flavor development, and their polyphenol levels are also at their highest. Polyphenols are natural antioxidants found in olives that contribute to the oil's health benefits and stability.
Olive oils produced from olives harvested at this ideal stage often exhibit a complex and vibrant flavor profile, characterized by notes of various herbs, fruits, and botanicals.

During this phase of ripeness, olives are at their peak in terms of flavor development, and their polyphenol levels are also at their highest. Polyphenols are natural antioxidants found in olives that contribute to the oil's health benefits and stability.

Olive oils produced from olives harvested at this ideal stage often exhibit a complex and vibrant flavor profile, characterized by notes of various herbs, fruits, and botanicals.

Let's talk about the process.

The process of extracting extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) from ripe olives involves several precise steps to ensure the highest quality and freshness. Here's a detailed overview of the extraction process:

Harvesting: Once the olives have reached optimal ripeness, characterized by a yellow-green color and soft texture, they are swiftly harvested from the trees.

Crushing: The freshly picked olives are immediately transported to the mill, where they undergo crushing to create a paste. This crushing process helps release the oil from the olive fruit's water and solids.

Malaxation: The olive paste is transferred to a machine called a malaxer, which resembles a giant bread kneader. Here, the paste is gently mixed or kneaded to facilitate the separation of oil from water and solids. This step allows the oil to coalesce and makes extraction more efficient.

Centrifugation (Decanting): After malaxation, the olive paste is spun at high speeds in a horizontal centrifuge, known as a decanter. This centrifugal force separates the oil from the solids (such as pits and fruit pulp) and the fruit-water, ensuring precision and efficiency in the extraction process.

Further Centrifugation: The oil is then transferred to a vertical centrifuge and spun at even higher speeds to further remove any remaining water. This step helps reduce the water content in the oil to achieve the desired purity and quality.

Filtration: The extracted oil undergoes filtration using very fine paper filters. This filtration process removes any remaining micro particles of olive fruit that could potentially cause the oil to break down faster and lose its positive flavor attributes over time. Filtration ensures that the oil maintains its freshness and quality.

Quality Testing: Before bottling, the fresh extra virgin olive oil is tested for quality at an olive oil laboratory. This testing typically includes assessments for acidity, peroxide levels, sensory attributes, and adherence to regulatory standards. Only oils meeting the criteria for extra virgin status are bottled for immediate consumption.

We're dedicated to quality!

Old World Olive Cos commitment to providing high-quality, single-origin olive oils is evident through their rigorous processes and dedication to sourcing only the finest products. Led by an in-house expert and olive oil sommelier, Paul Vossen, who boasts decades of experience in the industry, Old World Olive Co ensures that every oil meets our exacting standards for taste, food safety, and freshness.

Our dedication to quality is further demonstrated by extensive testing procedures, which include sensory evaluations conducted by experts like Paul Vossen. With a focus on pesticide-free production and unique, flavorful aromatics, Old World Olive Co oils aim to elevate the culinary experience for home chefs.

Old World Olive Co selects only the top oils that meet our stringent organoleptic standards. This commitment to excellence has been recognized by experts and olive oil panel judges worldwide, who consistently award Old World Olive Cos ' oils with gold medals for overall quality and, in some cases, best-in-class distinctions at major competitions.

Our belief in the addictive nature of great olive oil speaks to our passion for providing customers with a superior culinary experience. Just as discerning wine enthusiasts can appreciate the difference between a heritage wine and a bulk variety, Old World Olive Co offers a level of quality and flavor that sets us apart from the rest.

Extra virgin olive oil is packed with health benefits!

Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) offers a multitude of health benefits, making it a cornerstone of the Mediterranean Diet and a valuable addition to any balanced diet. Here are some reasons why fresh EVOO is packed with health benefits:
Heart Health: EVOO is rich in monounsaturated fats, particularly oleic acid, which is associated with numerous cardiovascular benefits. Regular consumption of EVOO has been linked to reduced risk of heart disease, lower levels of LDL cholesterol (the "bad" cholesterol), and improved overall heart health.

Anti-inflammatory Properties: EVOO contains powerful antioxidants, such as polyphenols and tocopherols, which possess anti-inflammatory properties. These compounds help combat oxidative stress and inflammation in the body, potentially reducing the risk of chronic diseases like cancer, diabetes, and arthritis.

Brain Health: The monounsaturated fats in EVOO are beneficial for brain health and cognitive function. Studies suggest that regular consumption of EVOO may help protect against age-related cognitive decline and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's disease.

Weight Management: Despite being calorie-dense, incorporating EVOO into your diet may actually support weight management. The healthy fats in EVOO help promote satiety, keeping you feeling full and satisfied for longer periods, which can aid in portion control and weight loss efforts.

Nutrient Absorption: EVOO enhances the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins and nutrients, such as vitamins A, D, E, and K, as well as various phytochemicals found in fruits and vegetables. Pairing EVOO with plant-based foods can maximize the bioavailability of these essential nutrients.

Gut Health: EVOO may also have beneficial effects on gut health by promoting the growth of beneficial gut bacteria and reducing inflammation in the digestive tract. This can contribute to improved digestion, immune function, and overall well-being.

Incorporating EVOO into your daily diet is simple and delicious. Whether used in salad dressings, dips, marinades, sautés, or drizzled over cooked dishes, EVOO adds rich flavor and essential nutrients to meals. Just two tablespoons a day can provide a wealth of health benefits and contribute to a balanced and nutritious eating pattern.

Can I cook with extra virign olive oil?

The misconception about extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) having a low smoke point and being unsuitable for cooking is indeed a persistent one. However, it's important to clarify that fresh, high-quality EVOO actually has a higher smoke point than many other vegetable oils, making it a safe and healthy option for cooking.

High Smoke Point: Contrary to popular belief, EVOO has a relatively high smoke point, typically around 405°F (207°C). This means that it can withstand higher temperatures before reaching its smoke point compared to other oils like avocado oil (with a smoke point of 385°F) and canola oil (with a smoke point of 375°F).

Stability During Cooking: Research, including studies cited from the Olive Wellness Institute and the journal Acta Scientific Nutritional Health, has shown that EVOO is highly stable when heated for cooking. In fact, EVOO produces fewer polar compounds (by-products of degradation) when heated compared to other oils, indicating its superior stability and suitability for cooking at high temperatures.

Retention of Nutritional Benefits: Studies have demonstrated that even after prolonged heating, EVOO retains its nutritional benefits. This includes maintaining its healthy fatty acid profile, antioxidants, and other beneficial compounds, making it a nutritious choice for cooking.

Culinary Tradition: For generations, Mediterranean cultures such as Spaniards, Greeks, and Italians have used EVOO as their primary cooking oil. This culinary tradition not only adds rich flavor to dishes but also contributes to the healthfulness of the Mediterranean diet, which is associated with numerous health benefits.

In summary, EVOO is a versatile and heat-stable oil that can be safely used for sautéing, frying, and baking without compromising its flavor or nutritional integrity. Choosing Old World Olive Cos’ high-quality, fresh EVOO and using it appropriately in cooking can enhance the taste and healthfulness of your meals.