Table of contents:
- Olive oil: benefits, applications, tips for choosing
- Why is olive oil useful?
- Varieties of olive oil and their uses
- Exporting countries of the product
- How to choose the right olive oil on store shelves
Video: How To Choose The Right Olive Oil In The Store: Signs Of A High-quality Cold-pressed Product And Other Types + Photos And Videos
2023 Author: Bailey Albertson | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-24 12:29
Olive oil: benefits, applications, tips for choosing
For a long time mankind has been using olive oil in cooking, medicine and cosmetology. Its beneficial properties were discovered by the ancient Greeks. Olive oil is called "liquid gold". What is its use? How to choose and what types of olive oils are there?
- 1 Why is olive oil useful?
2 Varieties of olive oil and their uses
- 2.1 Extra Virgin (unrefined first cold press)
- 2.2 Virgin (unrefined cold pressed)
- 2.3 Refined cold pressed
- 2.4 Extra virgin olive oil
3 Exporting countries of the product
- 3.1 Quality product from Spain
- 3.2 Real olive oil from Italy
- 3.3 What kind of oil is made in Greece
4 How to choose the right olive oil on store shelves
- 4.1 About cost
- 4.2 How to buy a good product in a store
- 4.3 How to check the quality at home
- 4.4 More expensive - better or not
- 4.5 Video: test purchase of olive oil
Why is olive oil useful?
Olive oil has many health benefits. It has a prophylactic effect on cardiovascular and oncological diseases:
- fights "bad" blood cholesterol;
- protects against atherosclerosis;
- normalizes blood pressure;
- is a natural immunostimulant;
- reduces the risk of cancer cells in the body.
It also has a good effect on the functioning of the stomach, intestines, biliary system:
- improves the functioning of the intestines, stomach, liver;
- heals ulcers in the stomach and duodenum;
- helps with hemorrhoids;
- copes with constipation;
- has a choleretic effect.
Olive oil is used in cosmetology:
- has a rejuvenating effect, as it contains vitamin E;
- it is included in masks and other care products for the face, body and hair;
- has a healing effect on wounds, cuts and ulcers.
Olive oil contains trace elements, polyunsaturated fatty acids, phospholipids and other beneficial substances
Varieties of olive oil and their uses
The physical and chemical composition of the finished product, the content of useful elements in it, depends on the method of pressing the raw material. In accordance with this indicator in European legislation, olive oil is divided into categories:
- natural olive oil (Extra Virgen and Virgen, Spanish);
- olive oil (Aceite de Oliva, Spanish);
- extra virgin olive oil (Romas or Aceite de orujo de oliva, Spanish).
Extra Virgin (unrefined first cold press)
Extra Virgin is the most valuable and expensive grade of oil. It is practically a freshly squeezed bottle of olive juice. The technological process - from the place of cultivation and collection to sorting and pressing - is regulated and controlled.
The largest amount of nutrients is concentrated in this type of oil. Its taste is rich, but with a bitter taste. The more bitter the oil, the fresher it is. It is recommended to use it without subjecting it to heat treatment:
- For dressing salads and cold dishes.
- In dietary nutrition. For people prone to cardiovascular diseases, olive oil is an indispensable tool in the fight against "bad" cholesterol. It is used in diets for diseases of the gastrointestinal tract and biliary system.
- For feeding a baby. From the age of six months, babies are injected with Extra Virgin olive oil in complementary foods. The first dose is 2 drops, and by one year it is brought to a teaspoon. The fatty acids in this olive oil are combined almost like in breast milk. It helps babies with constipation well.
Extra Virgin Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Virgin (unrefined cold pressed)
This oil is also a natural product, but the quality of the olives from which it is made is lower. Low quality standards are applied to it. The taste of Virgin oil is not as refined as that of the extra natural. Cosmetologists advise adding it to masks for face, hair and nails. When using Virgin oil in cooking, it is not recommended to heat it in order to maintain its beneficial properties.
Refined cold pressed
This type of olive oil is obtained by mixing cold-pressed refined olive oil with unrefined extra virgin olive oil (Extra Virgin) in a proportion of 85% / 15%. It also has excellent properties, but the rich taste and smell of olive oil is absent, there is no characteristic bitterness. Suitable for heat treatment, during frying it does not form carcinogens.
Refined Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Extra virgin olive oil
This oil is obtained from the olive cake remaining after the first pressing. In the manufacturing process, organic solvents are used and the raw materials are exposed to high temperatures. The oil retains a set of vitamins and microelements, but in smaller quantities. It is ideal for deep-frying food.
Extra virgin olive oil from olive pomace
Exporting countries of the product
Which country makes the best olive oil? The dispute has been going on for many centuries. Every country has reputable producers offering healthy and tasty oil.
The lion's share of olive oil is produced in Europe. Spain is in first place in terms of volume, Italy is in second, and Greece is third. Olive oil is also made in Turkey, Tunisia and Syria, Morocco, Portugal, USA and France. The volume of oil produced by these countries accounts for a small share of the total mass. Therefore, the main dispute about the quality, taste and benefits of "liquid gold" flares up between Spain, Italy and Greece. Each country is “rooting” for its product and considers it the best. Are there any differences in the tastes and health benefits of olive oil from these countries?
Quality product from Spain
In Spain, the process of producing "liquid gold" is well-established and automated to perfection. This fact helps the country to come out on top in terms of product procurement volumes. The taste of olive oil from Spain is closest to the natural taste of olives. It is harsh and bitter.
The taste of Spanish-made oil is close to the natural taste of olives
Real olive oil from Italy
There are many olive oil companies in Italy. There are more than 400 varieties of olive in Italy. From such a variety, rich bouquets of taste are created. Strong competition in the domestic market only stimulates the development of the olive oils produced.
How does Italian olive oil taste like? Italians love to season olive oil with herbs and spices such as garlic, chili, or rosemary. This makes the oil taste a little spicy. Olive oil from Italy has a mild taste, sweetish and barely perceptible herbal smell.
Oil in Italy is made from 400 varieties of olives
What kind of oil is made in Greece
It was in Greece in ancient times that olive oil production began. The Greeks fill their home market more, not striving for superiority in exports. Here ancient traditions are respected, passed on from generation to generation, and are sensitive to the production of oil. This process is the least automated. The taste of the oil is rich and bright, it contains aromas of fruits and honey notes.
If we talk about the benefits of olive oil, then for the producing countries there is a special law, which sets out the quality criteria. Therefore, the name Extra Virgin already gives a guarantee that this oil is the best, regardless of which country it is brought from.
Olive oil from Greece has a rich taste with honey and fruity notes
How to choose the right olive oil on store shelves
When buying olive oil, you need to be clear about what it is for? If you plan to fill salads and cold dishes with them, use them as complementary foods, for medicinal or dietary purposes, in cosmetology, then choose oil labeled Virgin or Extra Virgin.
If you want to use oil for frying, then choose olive oil labeled Aceite de Oliva. You can also cook in a deep fat fryer in oil labeled "Romas" or Aceite de orujo de oliva.
Many take advantage of the ignorance of buyers and sell plain refined olive oil at the price of extra virgin olive oil. Therefore, you need to look not only at the price, but also study the information on the packaging.
The range of olive oil is varied
- Extra Virgin olive oil has the highest cost, since only the highest quality raw materials are used for its production. Only 250 ml of oil comes out of one kilogram of olives. High quality requirements make this product more expensive.
There is also a difference in the cost of extra natural oils. Oils that are labeled DOP / IGP / PDO or Biological (BIO) are significantly more expensive than Non-Extra Virgin oils.
- BIO marking guarantees that no chemicals and genetically modified organisms were used in the production of oil;
- DOP (PDO) - a guarantee that the oil was produced in a specific territory entered in a special register, the whole process from growing to packaging is carried out in one place;
- IPG is a marking indicating that the oil is produced in a certain territory included in the agricultural register (one or more stages of production are regulated, which also has a positive effect on the quality of the oil).
- The difference in cost depends on the type of spin used in production. Extra virgin olive oil will always cost many times more expensive than second (hot) pressed olive oil.
- Unrefined olive oil will always be more expensive than refined olive oil.
How to buy a good product in a store
Regardless of which type of olive oil you choose, keep the following points in mind:
- Olive oil is not produced in Russia, so buy the product only in its original packaging. It is not safe to buy such oil for bottling in our country.
- Packaging should be glass (dark glass) or tin.
- The packaging must indicate the type of olive oil, the exporting country.
- DOP / IGP / PDO markings or the name "biological" (BIO) are a guarantee of the quality of extra natural olive oil. Such markings are often forged, so as not to make the wrong choice, ask the stores for a special certificate of origin.
- The acidity of the oil is always written on the package: the figure should be no more than 3.3%, if the oil is extra natural, then no more than 1%.
- Pay attention to the production date, shelf life after opening. Usually, oil in an unopened container is stored for up to 18 months. From the moment of opening - a month, provided that the bottle is tightly closed and stands in a dark place where the sun's rays do not fall.
If there is an opportunity to try Extra Virgin oil, then its features are as follows:
- color from light green to dark green;
- free of wateriness, rancidity, metallic and vinegar aftertaste (signs of improper storage).
How to check the quality at home
It is easy to check the quality of olive oil at home. It is enough to put a bottle of oil in the refrigerator for several days. If it is thickened, then it is of high quality, since real olive oil thickens already at a temperature of +7 ° C. After you return the oil to normal conditions, it becomes liquid again without loss of quality.
More expensive - better or not
Whether expensive oil is always of better quality than cheap oil - it is impossible to answer unequivocally. The fact is that the quality of the product is influenced by two indicators - the method of manufacture (method of pressing) and acidity. The most expensive product is first cold pressed oil. It is obtained from fresh olives, not refined. All this allows you to preserve a maximum of useful substances - fat-soluble vitamins, polyunsaturated acids, phospholipids, trace elements, etc. Cheaper oils are refined, so their composition is poorer, and the benefits for the body are less.
Acidity and preparation method are the main quality criteria
If we compare oils from different manufacturers, but of one category - the most expensive (Extra Virgin), then the cheapest will not always be of lower quality. To determine this, a second indicator is examined - acidity (content of free fatty acids). The lower the acidity, the better the quality of the oil.
Video: test purchase of olive oil
Olive oil has unique properties for human health and beauty. Use it in home cooking and beauty treatments, and soon your body will thank you. Cheers and bon appetit!