Olive Oil

Olive oil is a vegetable oil, primarily used to cook, which is extracted from the olive, the olive tree fruit. Almost a quarter of olive pulp is oil. For this reason, since ancient times, it was easily extracted by applying simple pressure using a primitive mill called almazara.

Oil is extracted from 6-8 month ripe olives, just when they have the maximum amount of oil, which is usually in late autumn. Olives are firstly pressured to extract their juice; oil quality greatly depends on the entire extraction process, from harvest to its subsequent storage. That’s why producers carefully monitor these steps. Olive oil quality is determined according to its organoleptic properties and free fatty acid contents.

Las aceitunas, materia prima
A 90% of the global olive production is used to produce olive oil.

Oil is Healthy

Fats (lipids) are essential for life. Their role in contributing energy to metabolism is also supplemented with other extremely important biological functions, such as facilitating some vitamin transport and absorption, and being a precursor of some hormones. Moreover, the presence of fats benefits flavors, making some food more appealing.

Olive oil is considered to be one of the pillars of the so-called Mediterranean diet, characterized by the low rate of cardiovascular diseases. Due to its vegetable origin, olive oil has non-cholesterol sterols.

Olive oil, both virgin and extra-virgin, is rich in vitamins A, D, E and K. It benefits the absorption of minerals, such as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and zinc; and it is effective in the digestive process, preventing heartburn and facilitating bowel movement. It improves blood pressure control and helps to control blood glucose level. The high amount of polyphenols (a natural antioxidant) present in olive oil help to prevent degenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, and work as an anti-aging agent. It reduces the risk for cardiovascular diseases, increasing the HDL or good cholesterol.

Oil for Cooking

Raw virgin olive oil keeps all the aroma and flavor from the fresh fruit juices, and it can be added to vegetable salads, sauces or dressing. It can also be sprayed in slices of bread or toasts, or even used over smoked food with table olives, meats, snacks, cold cuts, etc.

In sautéed meals and stews —always cooked over low heat and at low temperature— virgin olive oil keeps all its properties, especially with legumes and vegetables.

In fried and baked meals, virgin olive oil is the most stable vegetable fat, and it does not cause toxic reactions when it is fried, baked or cooked under normal conditions; quite the contrary, it improves the gastronomic qualities of food. When it is fried, olive oil makes a thin firm layer around the product which prevents it from absorbing more oil and enables it to keep all juices. Olive oil fries, but it does not cook like other oils do.

El aceite en la cocina

Storage and Care

In order to keep its organoleptic properties, olive oil should be stored under appropriate ambient conditions. Failure to store it properly will cause the loss of pleasant aromas and flavors, and other unpleasant odors may appear impairing the product.

For appropriate storage, olive oil should be protected from light and kept at a temperature as constant as possible, without major fluctuations, which is not too high or low. It is also important to keep it as far as possible from air, in order to avoid its oxidation and rancidity, and to prevent it from having the surrounding flavors or odors.

Keep olive oil in airtight containers stored in dark places and at a low temperature is ideal.

Conservación y cuidado