HOW EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL IS EXTRACTED FROM OLIVES

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The History of Making the Best Extra Virgin Olive Oil, EVOO

Archaeological evidence has found that olive oil was produced as early as 4000 BC.  EVOO was also widely used in lamps, food and for medicinal purposes such as treating skin problems.

The people of Crete were the first in Europe to tame the olive tree.  The people of the villages would get together to gather the olives and this tradition has been passed down from generation to generation to this day. 

Extra Virgin Olive Oil was particularly important for diet and the gathering was a family tradition.  Hence it formed part of the Greek culture.  The use of olive oil in the Cretan diet can be dated back for centuries….

Extra Virgin Olive Oil was a symbol of the Greek cultural tradition and throughout all the regions of the Mediterranean.  The Ancient Greek Olympic champions received a Laurel Wreath made from an olive branch.  Even today, some families still extract EVOO the traditional way, however larger producers store their EVOO yield in huge stainless-steel vats.

  The fruit and the longevity of the tree are paramount for best quality olives and good yields.  Extra Virgin Olive Oil still forms the base of the Cretan diet.

Traditional Evoo Extraction

The olives are struck with a long stick and fall into a hessian cloth where they are collected one-by-one by hand.

Olive trees take about 5 years before they start fruiting and about 8 years to bear olives good enough for making the best olive oil.  Different varieties are grown in different regions for their variation in size, shape, color, and flavor.  

Blending different flavors after extraction introduces differences in lightness, denseness, color, and flavor.  Individual varieties of olive trees produce these differences because it depends very much on the varying combinations of phenolic, polyphenols and other compounds.  

Extracting Good Quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Good quality extra virgin olive oil, EVOO needs to have these naturally occurring all-important aroma and flavour compounds to achieve balance and tone.  It is these compounds that make Extra Virgin Olive Oil good for you.  Different areas have differing amounts and produce different types of olive oil, influenced by their location and the surrounding plants.

Olive trees grow best in the Mediterranean climate.  The olive trees are planted with 15 feet spacing to allow for an open-center canopy.  

Self-pollinating trees and different varieties are planted side by side as this allows for a more fruitful harvest.

When the olives are ready for harvesting, different methods are used so as not to damage the olives.  The traditional method is by hand or by long poles to shake the branches, or with a hand-held combing rake.

These methods allow the fruit to gently drop to the ground into a large hessian-type cloth, where it is then sorted for leaves, sticks or debris.

The best quality olives are placed into sacks or containers.  On the same day of harvest, olives must be taken for extraction as the oil will be at its freshest.  Then the olives are sorted and are ready to be crushed.

The olives are crushed in an olive press by a mill stone.  In the past, granite wheels were used to press the olives.  The stone rolls in circles on a slab of granite, to grind the olives into a paste.  

The paste is then placed onto folded individual bags that are placed together to form a cylinder stack.

Each bag contains approximately 6 kg of paste.  As the piston pushes up against the stack, the oil seeps slowly out whilst the residue remains inside the bags.  In more modern times the paste has been spread onto synthetic fiber disks.  

The final step of extraction is separating the oil from the water mixture.  The oil is then transferred to a centrifuge that uses high speed to separate any traces of remaining water.  

The oil is then tasted, sent for analysis to test, or create the different blends.  It is blended for lightness, taste and to create unique aroma blends.

The extra virgin olive oil is stored in stainless steel and food-graded barrels or, for larger amounts, in larger stainless-steel vats.

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Read more about the health benefits of Cold Pressed Olive Oil…..

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Extra Virgin Olive Oil – Health Benefits

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HEALTH BENEFITS OF EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL – EVOO

Many of the regular oils available for cooking are invariably stripped of the very important antioxidants and vital nutrients the body requires for optimum good health.

The benefits of extra virgin olive oil are enormous because EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil) is extracted from the olive fruit tree without any chemical extraction at all … and no involvement of heating either.

To label a bottle of olive oil as Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Cold Pressed) or (First Cold Pressed) is significant as the oil must be of the highest grade.  It means the olives were extracted only once and at a temperature that didn’t exceed of 80 degrees Fahrenheit (26.6 degrees Celsius). This ensures EVOO has the best possible aromas and flavours and retains all of the natural richness and earthiness possible.  Cold pressed olive oil is full of all the essential antioxidants and nutrients possible, for optimum health benefits.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) is the highest quality olive oil available. 

The quality of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, EVOO. is measured by the composition of monounsaturated fatty acids and also the phenolic compounds found within the Extra Virgin Oil.  It’s these two compounds that give Extra Virgin Olive Oil benefits for health. It is referred to as evoo food, and many people use it in cooking.  Extra virgin olive oil is, in essence, cold pressed olive oil.  It is widely known for its outstanding major health benefits.  The olives are extracted from the olive grove fruit trees by hand or by shaking the branches lightly, causing the olives to fall, without any chemical or heating production involved.

Those who have long lived along The Mediterranean Coastal regions have been found to have a far lower rates of heart disease. It has been concluded that a diet that is well balanced and includes a higher level of Extra Virgin Olive Oil EVOO may have a dramatic effect on their cardiovascular heart health.

The key message is that those who consume higher levels of Extra Virgin Olive Oil in their diet have a far greater likelihood of lowering their chances of heart disease compared to those who consume a far lesser amount.

EVOO, Extra Virgin Olive Oil has many health promoting benefits.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil has very powerful cardio-protective properties that help to lower blood pressure and may also help in preventing hardening of the arteries.

Therefore, by simply adding higher amounts of Extra Virgin Olive Oil to your diet regularly, you will gain significant health benefits.

6 Health Benefits of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1. Antioxidant benefits may fight against heart disease

Extra Virgin Olive Oil contains large amounts of powerful antioxidants that fight inflammation in the body.  It also may help reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering blood pressure which in turn may reduce the risks of heart disease

2. Anti-inflammatory benefits for Rheumatoid Arthritis

As we age, inflammation can build up in the joints due to recreational activities, causing many sports injuries and joint cartilage damage.  The general wear and tear in everyday life… lifting, straining, stretching, and sitting, all put extra stress and strain on knee, back, hand and finger joints… in fact on all the different parts of the body’s joints.

Rheumatoid arthritis can be very painful.   Studies have been made on the benefits of combining omega-3 fish oil with Extra Virgin olive oil as it may help in reducing inflammation for arthritis sufferers.  If you suffer from arthritis, you may wish to consult with your doctor about adding to your diet supplements of omega-3 fatty acids, along with small amounts of EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil), as it may improve inflammation.

3. Monounsaturated fat benefits helping reduce strokes

Extra Virgin Olive Oil has monounsaturated fat properties which may help lower the risk of blood clotting and may help with prevention of stroke or lower the risk of stroke.

4. May lower the risk of Type 2 Diabetes

It is often recommended that diabetics adopt a Mediterranean Diet lifestyle as this could result in better health results by exploiting the benefits of EVOO, Extra Virgin Olive Oil. The Phenolic compounds in Extra Virgin Olive Oil may even help protect against getting Type 2 diabetes.  They may also help diabetics manage glucose metabolism for those who have insulin sensitivities.  So it may be beneficial for diabetes sufferers to have a higher intake of Extra Virgin Olive Oil in their diet.  

5. May help protect against certain cancers

Extra Virgin Olive Oil may play an important protective role in certain cancers.  It has been found that those who consume greater amounts of Extra Virgin Olive Oil are at lower risk than others who don’t.  This may be due to its unique Oleacanthal properties.

Oleocanthal is a phenylethanoid, or a type of natural phenolic compound found in extra-virgin olive oil.  It has been found to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

6. May protect against risks of Brain disease

Extra Virgin Olive Oil’s phenolic properties may protect the brain against Alzheimer’s and age-related diseases.  It is suggested that a Mediterranean Diet with a higher level of Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) may help fight against cognitive function decline, and memory loss.


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