Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

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Why More Than Olives only sells COOC Certified Olive Oils

What Does “Extra Virgin” Mean?

Here is some information about EVOO directly from the California Olive Oil Council.

“‘Extra Virgin’ is the highest grade an oil may receive. International standards dictate that olive oil meets both chemical and sensory standards to be sold as extra virgin. “Extra Virgin” also denotes that the oil is free of defects of flavor or odor. This is evaluated by a trained sensory panel and cannot be detected by laboratory tests.

Unfortunately, in the U.S., many of the oils which are labeled as extra virgin are not required to undergo any such testing. For this reason, in 1998 the California Olive Oil Council established its Seal Certification Program. Under this program, all COOC member producers must comply with the certification process following each harvest to ensure their oil meets the criteria to qualify as extra virgin grade.

Extra virgin olive oil is never better than when it is first pressed. Unlike wine, it does not need time to mature. That gives an impressive advantage to California producers—we get our olive oil to you immediately after harvest, and much more quickly than producers overseas.

The flavor of extra virgin olive oil can be buttery and soft, or spicy and sharp. It can be reminiscent of pepper, lemon or grass. Thanks to California’s range of growing conditions and olive varieties, there truly is a California extra virgin olive oil to suit every palate.

Remember, high quality extra virgin olive oil provides the best health benefits and flavor when it’s fresh. Extra virgin olive oil should be purchased within 12 to 18 months of its harvest date, and should be used up within six months of opening. Be sure to store it in a cool, dark place. When it comes to freshness, there is no better choice than COOC-certified California extra virgin olive oil. See for yourself just how delicious California extra virgin olive oil can be.”

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Health & Nutritional Information

The following information comes directly from the California Olive Oil Council.

The Best Choice for Health & Taste

“The complex flavors of extra virgin olive oil deliver great taste and an excellent nutrient profile that make it an enjoyable part of a healthy diet. From lowering the risk of heart disease to delivering an abundant supply of cancer-fighting antioxidants, the health benefits associated with extra virgin olive oil continue to grow. Cultures that consume olive oil regularly such as those eating a Mediterranean diet are often cited as having some of the best health in the world.

Dietary advice around fats in the U.S. is changing. In previous decades, Americans were encouraged to consume a low-fat diet, but research has pointed to the dangers of that advice and to the health benefits of consuming specific dietary fats. Today, more Americans are heeding the advice to include more health-promoting fats in their diets such as the monounsaturated fat found in extra virgin olive oil.”

A Minimally Processed, Whole Food

“Extra virgin olive oil is derived from the unprocessed fruit of the olive tree. During processing, the fruit is simply crushed to extract the oil content at a temperature no higher than 86 degrees Fahrenheit, thus preserving both its nutritional benefits and complex flavors. By contrast, canola, corn, soybean, and vegetable oils need to be chemically extracted, refined, bleached, and deodorized. With its minimal processing, extra virgin olive oil is essentially a fruit juice.”

Excellent Fat Profile

“Extra virgin olive oil contains uniquely high levels of oleic acid, about 75%, compared to 60% in canola and corn oils. This monounsaturated fat helps reduce overall blood cholesterol levels by lowering LDL (often referred to as “bad”) cholesterol levels in the blood while maintaining and, even increasing, HDL (often referred to as “good”) cholesterol levels.

A diet rich in monounsaturated fats, like those found in olive oil, nuts, and seeds, plays a protective role against many diseases, including heart disease, stroke, type-2 diabetes, and metabolic syndrome..”

High in Antioxidants

“One characteristic that sets extra virgin olive oil apart from other oils is its extremely high levels of polyphenols. These compounds act as antioxidants and protect cells against unwanted inflammation and disease, including various types of cancer and atherosclerosis. Extra virgin olive oil contains more polyphenols than other olive oils.

High levels of the antioxidant vitamin E in olive oil also protect cells from damaging free radicals. Vitamin E is often recommended to support skin health and reduce aging effects. Another antioxidant in olive oil, oleocanthal, is the same substance found in the drug ibuprofen and is thought to be responsible for the pungent taste in olive oil.”

Cooking & Storage for Optimal Nutrition

“By storing extra virgin olive oil in a cool, dark place in a closed container, the high nutrient levels are preserved longer. The fresher the oil, the higher its nutrient profile. Extra virgin olive oil should be purchased within 12 to 18 months of its harvest date. Look for the harvest date embedded in the COOC Seal or notated somewhere on the bottle. Once opened, most olive oils should be consumed within 6 months. Because extra virgin olive oil can be safely used in a wide range of cooking applications, including sautéing, baking, grilling, or simply drizzling over
foods, it shouldn’t linger long on your kitchen shelf!”