At this point we are all fully aware of the health benefits of olive oil, including its ability to protect against stroke, hypertension, and heart disease, thus increasing the average lifespan. It is also known to prevent skin cancer, alleviate depression, and combat osteoporosis. Most of its benefits are attributed to its monounsaturated fatty acid content, considered as good fats.
However, its countless benefits do not necessarily mean that olive oil is always of the highest value. Many olive oils offered on the marker are with poor quality, meaning that you need to choose wisely!
How Olive Oil is made
Olive oil is obtained by pressed olives which are separated during a meticulous process. When picking them off of the trees, it is very important to be stored in shallow containers to prevent them from crushing, which may lead to fermentation and oxidation.
During the process of pressing, the olive are grinded into paste by large stainless tell rollers. Then, the pate is mixed with water in a process known as malaxation, allowing the oil molecules to concentrate. This process lasts for about minutes, and then paste is put in a centrifuge in which the pulp separates the oil and water. Ultimately, the oil is stored in a stainless steel container before it is bottled.
Below you have a few signs indicating that you have chosen a high-quality olive oil.
If you notice a small sting on the throat, it means that the oil is fresh and that it hasn’t lost its antioxidant content. Don’t worry about this pungent-like sting, as it will go away in a matter of seconds.
Given that olives are a fruit, they are supposed to have a slightly fruity flavor, regardless of whether they are unripe or ripe. The taste should be fresh, not heavy.
While most people will find this odd, bitterness indicates that the fruit is fresh and crisp. So, don’t be put off by the bitter taste, as this is a good sign.
If you notice any of these things in you olive oil, it is very likely that you have purchased a poor-quality one.
The presence of metallic taste typically indicates that the oil was in contact with metal container or tools for longer.
Moldy flavor may indicate that the oil was stored at inappropriate temperature, which creates the perfect conditions for bacteria and fungi to thrive.
Vinegary flavor is a definite sign of fermentation. The oil is not supposed to taste or smell like wine!
Olive oil has a shelf life just like any other fatty compound. Bad olive tastes like old nuts or rotting meat.
Brands to Look Out for
These 5 oils were voted the best of 2016:
- California Blend
- Frantoio Grove
- Chasewater mission
- Pacific Sun
- Enzo Organic Delicate
According to a UC Davis study, the 5 brands below are with poor quality and should be avoided:
- Filippo Berio
- Newman’s Own