Olive Oil – A Gift from Nature to People!

Olive oil is a blessed, valuable, precious gift from nature to people obtained from the fruit of olive trees. The consumption of olive oil and its uses dates back thousands of years and nowadays is more popular since its health benefits and culinary usefulness are known worldwide. Olive oil is the backbone of the Mediterranean diet.

Olive oil first appeared in Asia Minor and spread from Iran, Syria and Palestine to the rest of the Mediterranean countries, North Africa, six thousand years ago and the olive tree is one of the oldest known trees in the world.

Extraction Process
Although the picture we bring in front of us when we hear about the milling process is the old fashioned, romantic one, imagining a donkey pulling a stone wheel around, but the modern advanced equipment allows producers to make superior quality, healthier more hygienic oil at lower cost.

Olives are picked by various methods, washed, crushed with the traditional method or with modern techniques by using steel blades. The paste is stirred to release the oil and then being spun in a centrifuge to pull out the oil and water. The water is removed and what is left is the olive oil.

Olive Oil
Olive Oil

Extra Virgin Olive Oil
The best olive oil for consuming where olives are pressed within 24 hours of harvesting, is extracted below 28 C degrees by non-mechanical or chemical means. The acidity level must be less than 0.8% and has a rich excellent taste and aroma.

Virgin Olive Oil
Is inferior in quality from extra virgin oil with an acidity less than 2%

Refined Olive Oil
This oil is produced from the olive pulp that is left after the first pressing using acids, alkalis and heat. This oil is fattier more acidic and with less taste, aroma, and natural antioxidants.

Pomace Olive
Very poor in natural antioxidants, the lowest grade of olive oil, made from byproducts of extra virgin olive oil like olive skins, seeds and pulps.

Olive Oil
Olive Oil

Olive Oil promising health effects
Including olive oil in diet habits can improve health and lives in countless ways. Olive oil is mainly comprised of monounsaturated fatty acids. A healthier type of fat which reduces LDL (bad cholesterol) levels in the bloodstream and in the meantime raising high-density lipoprotein (HDL) good cholesterol levels. Extra virgin olive oil is a source of antioxidants like polyphenols, vitamins E and K, chlorophyll and carotenoids, a source of anti-inflammatory agents like oleocanthal and it contains at least 30 phenolic compounds. Due to its contents reduces the risk of coronary disease. It plays a protective role against the development of any type of cancer, Diabetes type 2, fights osteoporosis, slows down the ageing of the heart, helps to reduce levels of obesity.

Olive oil is also used in cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, soaps, as fuel for oil lamps and additional uses in some religions.

Production of Olive Oil
Olive oil is mainly produced in countries in the Mediterranean basin. Spain is the leader in production and export of olive oil followed by Italy, Greece, Turkey, Tunisia and others in smaller quantities.