- Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) is the highest quality olive oil and is subject to the strictest chemical and organoleptic standards.
- The main regulatory bodies for olive oil include: the Codex Alimentarius, the International Olive Council (IOC) and the European Union.
- EVVO is obtained directly from olives exclusively with mechanical processes at a maximum of 27°C.
- From an organoleptic point of view, it has no defects and is fruity.
- Furthermore, it is largely defined by the acid and peroxide value. The acid value (free fatty acid content) must be less than 0.8 g per 100 g. The peroxide value expresses whether the olives or olive oil has been subjected to significant oxidation and must not exceed 20 milliequivalents of oxygen per kg of oil.
- The European Commission has prepared a fact sheet with more details on the categories, properties and production of olive oil.
- Olive oil has long been considered the healthiest fat around. The Greek poet Homer called it “liquid gold,” while Hippocrates, widely considered the father of medicine, referred to it as “the great healer.”
- The polyphenols are decisive for the health-promoting effect. With a daily consumption of at least 20 g of olive oil with 250 mg of polyphenols per kg oil they help protect blood lipids from oxidative stress – official EU health claim in Commission Regulation (EU) 432/2012.
- Polyphenols are credited with 99 percent of olive oil’s health benefits, according to Nasir Malik, a plant physiologist with the US Department
of Agriculture’s Research Service.
- Consuming extra virgin olive oil lowers blood pressure and helps regulate blood sugar levels. Oleocanthal, a polyphenol found in extra virgin olive oil, can destroy and even kill cancer cells. There are many other health benefits, which can be read as well in the above linked websites.
- Health experts point out that one to three tablespoons of high quality extra virgin olive oil per day is essential for good health.
- It is also interesting that oils from Istria benefit from the cooler climate and are therefore more aromatic and healthier (they have a more balanced proportion of fatty acids) than oils from more southern areas of Europe or Africa.