COMPOSITION: Extra-Virgin Olive Oil's composition depends on the olive variety and the fruit's ripeness:


Fat or saponifiable fraction (96–98%). This fat is principally made up of triglycerides composed of various fatty acids. Of these fatty acids, oleic acid accounts for most of the total found in Extra-Virgin Olive Oil (70–75%), followed by linoleic acid (12%) and palmitic acid (6.5%).


Unsaponifiable fraction. Terpenos (como el b-caroteno o vitamina A), clorofila, tocoferoles (como la vitamina E, que tiene una gran capacidad antioxidante), esteroles (como el b-sitosterol que ayuda a la absorción de colesterol), y compuestos fenólicos. Esta fracción insaponificable está presente en los aceites de Oliva Virgen, pero no en los Aceites de Oliva refinados.


BENEFITS: Vitamin E. Prevents oxidation of bad cholesterol (LDL), which leads to formation of atheromatous or atherosclerotic plaques. Atheromatous plaques restrict arterial blood flow and, if they form in the coronary arteries, can result in heart attacks (myocardial infarction).


Polyphenols. Their anti-oxidant properties slow cell ageing and prevent formation of cancerous substances.


Monounsaturated fats. Reduce bad cholesterol (LDL cholesterol) levels. In diabetics, a diet containing Extra-Virgin Olive Oil helps lower glycaemia levels and so reduces the insulin dose required. It also helps the liver synthesize bile salts from cholesterol, which removes excess cholesterol and aids fat digestion.


In addition, Extra-Virgin Olive Oil diminishes acids' impact on the oesophageal mucosa, slows and regulates transit from the stomach to the duodenum and reduces gastric acid, thereby lowering the risk of gastric ulcers forming.


Extra-Virgin Olive Oil makes the best frying oil, as its monounsaturated fats only undergo minimal, slow chemical changes when heated. If used as recommended, the Olive Oil barely penetrates the food in the pan, instead forming a crispy outer layer that seals in its nutritional properties.


Extra-Virgin Olive Oil encourages bone calcification and helps prevent adult bone-related illnesses.


Extra-Virgin Olive Oil's fatty acid content easily meets the nutritional requirements of a healthy and balanced diet.



QUALITY: Olive Oil quality depends on a variety of factors, including:


Soil type, olive variety, local climate, humidity and various other unique and unalterable features.


When the olive is harvested. It is essential to watch for when the fruit starts to ripen and change colour.


Length of time between harvesting and pressing.


Type of container chosen. Having produced an excellent oil, it is vital to ensure it remains in perfect condition until use. To guarantee this, the oil must be protected from sunlight and air, as these produce oxidation and rancidity and diminish many of the nutritional properties attributed to Virgin Olive Oil.



STORAGE: Olive oil's properties are changeable and can alter with time and exposure to other elements. To preserve its full freshness, it should be kept away from high temperatures, contact with the air, humidity and, particularly, sunlight.


The optimal storage temperature for olive oil is 10–20 ºC. At low temperatures, which are usually only reached in Spain in winter, white deposits may form in the oil. These are produced by fats with a higher solidification point than the oil. Once open, it is essential to keep olive oil away from products that may taint it with their odours. Containers holding old olive oil should never be filled with fresh oil, as they will age it prematurely.