Extra virgin olive oil is a fundamental part of the Mediterranean diet:
its culinary and nutritional properties are the seal of its nutritional value.
Let us examine together what makes extra virgin olive oil so unique.
- Extra virgin olive oil is produced from olives by means of strictly mechanical processes.
- The conditions in which the olives are processed to produce an ‘extra virgin’ product must be maintained constant to ensure that the ‘free acidity in the form of oleic acid does not exceed 0.8%’.
- The taste of an extra virgin olive oil should be as close as possible to the essence of the olive from which it was made. A slightly bitter and spicy taste does not detract from the quality of the oil. In fact, far from being a defect, it is one of its positive properties.
- A good quality extra virgin olive must leave a bitter, almost hot, note in the mouth.
- We could call good extra virgin olive oil “Green gold.” It mostly consists of lipids, which are rich in fatty acids, in particular monounsaturated oleic acid that makes it a suitable for frying and for preserving products in oil as well as being a true purveyor of health.
- Extra virgin olive oil also contains vitamins and beta-carotene that have an antioxidant effect on the entire organism benefiting tissues and cells, and in particular protecting health and slowing down aging.
- From the nutritional point of view, the properties of extra virgin olive oil are the main reasons why it is consumed. It mainly consists of monounsaturated vegetable fats, which are healthier and easier to process and have positive effects on the entire cardio-circulatory system.