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It's the taste that counts….

Have you ever wondered if the olive oil you are buying is really extra virgin?

How can you tell, if you can’t trust the label?

In Australia, Canada and the USA, analysis of bottles of extra virgin olive oil from supermarket shelves has found that many are not extra virgin.


Last year, three Canadian importers and distributors of olive oil were convicted under the Canada Food and Drug Act. Regulatory authorities have fined several companies selling this fake oil, with fines ranging up to CAD150,000.

Claudia Pharand, who has studied with Spanish chemists specializing in olive oil, was enlisted last year to work as an expert consultant with Canada Border Service agents investigating a shipment of suspicious olive oil seized at the port of Montreal.

“You can’t get it for $4.99 a bottle. It’s just not possible,” she says. “People who say they want cheap olive oil should know that what they are buying is almost certainly not extra virgin olive oil.”

(By Susan Semenak, The Montreal Gazette, March 17, 2010)

But apart from price, how can you be sure the bottle you have purchased is really extra virgin?

And why is extra virgin important?

Extra virgin oils are processed with little heat and thus retain more of the natural healthy ingredients from the source whether this be olives, avocado or canola (rapeseed).

However, most oils, especially seed oils, are refined. Refined oils are treated with heat and chemicals and the result is a greasy, oily product, far from its original state. It may be cheap, but what are you buying? Just something to make the pan slippery, nothing else.

Why do the Olivado extra virgin olive oils have a peppery taste?

The phenolic compounds from which olive oil derives its healthy properties gives a peppery sensation at the back of the throat. As the oil is swallowed sensors in the throat identity the phenols as a peppery sensation.

New research into the health properties of olive oil has found that the factor contributing most to the health giving properties of olive oil are polyphenols, in addition to monounsaturated fats. And the more polyphenols, the more health benefits.

Only olives picked early in the season and processed within hours of picking retain a high level of phenols. Picual olives have more phenols than other varieties.

Refined olive oils have little phenolic content, but still retain the same percentage of mono-unsaturated fats.

A bad rancid oil will taste sharp and musty. These oils are not healthy and should not be used.
So not all extra virgin olive oils give the same health benefits.

And the label does not help with identifying health benefits either. Only Olivado olive oils note phenolic content on the labels.

Enjoy that peppery taste and know that in Olivado’s Extra Virgin Olive Oil you have selected a very tasty and healthful product.

More about Polyphenols in olive oil.

Polyphenols are the health giving substance in olive oil that produces the spicy, peppery aftertaste in the throat.  Polyphenols can only be found in extra virgin olive oil that is fresh and produced in a way that protects the original qualities of the olive. Refining destroys it; bad processing reduces it so you can no longer identify the taste.

Olive varieties vary in polyphenol content: picual have higher amounts than arbequena, frantoio or barnea for example. However, it’s more than the variety: polyphenol content in picual can vary from 170ppm to 800ppm. The soil, climate, altitude, when they are picked, how they are picked, how soon after harvesting they are processed, and how they are processed, all determine the final quality of the oil and its polyphenol content. Equally, frantoio grown in different locations also varies widely in polyphenols.

Monounsaturated fats also vary according to variety, from 64% to 74%.

Forget the debate about which country produces the best olive oil. It comes down to the producer in a particular location, a particular variety, how the olives are grown and processed. Good products only come from good producers.

Olivado Denomination of Origin extra virgin olive oil in numbered bottles and Olivado Organic extra virgin avocado oil have one of the highest polyphenol contents of any olive oil: over 650 ppm when bottled.

Approved Health Claims:

In addition, the Olivado Extra Virgin Olive Oils are two of the few olive oils that meet the European Food Standards Authority (EFSA) standards for a health claims for:

·         Significant source of Vitamin E, by having over 15% of the RDA of 12 mgs on a 10ml serving, being more than 1.8mg/10ml. Most olive oils have less than this amount by 50%.

·         Polyphenols decreasing damaged LDL cholesterol (the ‘bad’ cholesterol) and increasing HDL cholesterol (the ‘good’ cholesterol), which protects the heart from harmful fatty deposits. The EFSA standard is at least 5mg per day of olive oil polyphenols required in order to benefit from these polyphenols. Most olive oils have under the 500ppm required, generally between 50ppm and 350ppm. Olivado’s DOP and Organic olive oils have an exceptionally high polyphenol concentration of 6.5mg-8mg per 10ml serving.

This is your assurance of quality; a quality you can taste.



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