We have largest olive grove in the world that is single handedly managed with over 30,000 acres and over 10 million trees Our state-of-the-art bottling facility is complemented by its on-site quality control lab – the only lab of its kind on U.S. soil, which helped make it the first olive oil plant in the world to obtain Safe Quality Food (SQF) Level 3 certification and is currently the only industry player to hold International Olive Council Certification for olive oil testing in the country. Each of our oils are tested on average 7 times between the harvest and when it arrives on a grocery store shelf to make sure it is uncompromised in quality and taste.
Olive oils can be classified in accordance with different criteria. There are four categories among the most commonly commercialised and recognised in the legislation of the European Union (Regulation EC 1019/2002): Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Virgin Olive Oil, Olive Oil and Olive Pomace Oil. The varieties of olive, soil, climate, production and form of harvest are the variables which determine their quality, flavour and aroma.
* Extra Virgin Olive Oil: Obtained directly from olives and only through mechanical procedures. This is the oil of highest quality among virgin olive oils. Its acidity must always be equal to or lower than 0.8%. Through sampling (between 7 and 12 samplers), the median defect must be zero and the median fruitiness greater than zero. In other words, it must have practically no defects, and have an intense and fruity aroma and flavour.
* Virgin Olive Oil: Obtained directly from olives and only through mechanical procedures. Among virgin olive oils it is second in terms of quality. Its acidity must be equal to or lower than 2%. In terms of the sampling determinants, its median defect must be equal to or less than 2.5 and median fruitiness greater than zero. In summary, it may have some defect with low intensity and fruity flavours and aromas.
* Olive Oil: Exclusively contains olive oils which have been subjected to a refining treatment and oils obtained directly from olives. Its acidity must be equal to or less than 1%. As it is a colourless, odourless and tasteless oil, after refinement it is mixed with a certain quantity of virgin or extra virgin olive oil to give it flavour, aroma and colour.
* Olive Pomace Oil: Exclusively contains oils from olive pomace oil processing and oils obtained directly from olives. It is obtained from a three phase process. Firstly, the olive pomace oil is extracted by chemical treatment, which will have an acidity of over 2%. It is then refined, with a maximum acidity of 0.5%. Finally, virgin or extra virgin olive oil is added to it, the final mixture having to have a maximum acidity of 1.5%.
Spiciness and bitterness are two of the main positive attributes of an extra virgin olive oil. They are associated with the quality of the oil and are characteristics which we should seek, value and know how to recognise. Bitterness is a characteristic flavour of a good extra virgin olive oil. It is due to the fact that it has been obtained from olives harvested when green or turning colour, when they still have not changed colour. What causes the bitterness in the fruit are phenolic compounds, highly antioxidant micronutrients. The greater their presence in the olive, the more bitter, and also the longer-lasting the oil’s flavour will be. The spicy flavour of extra virgin olive oils is also related with the age of the olive at the time of harvesting and the quantity of phenolic compounds of the fruit. The bitter and spicy nuance of olive oil is an indicator of its quality, high stability and the presence of natural antioxidants.
Every cell in our body has a membrane which is mainly made of fats (lipids). This membrane is responsible for controlling everything that goes in and out of the cells. For the proper function of the cells and the membrane, the ingestion of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats is very important. These fats are present in vegetable oils, avocado, olives, nuts and fish, and are essential for the proper function of the immune system. Studies show that diets with a medium or high level of fats are associated with a stronger immune system than diets which are free of fats. It is from fats that various hormones in our body such as testosterone (oestrogen) and vitamin D are formed. These hormones are essential for the metabolism, fertility, balanced blood pressure and also for bone and muscle mass; good reasons for following a diet rich in healthy fats such as those found in olive oil. Another very important function of fats for the body is to provide satiety, which leads us to eat less in subsequent meals.
The types of fats we ingest are extremely important for keeping our brain healthy. Omega 3 fatty acids (present in vegetable oils, fish and walnuts) are essential for the function and development of the brain. Their consumption is associated with better cognitive performance and also with improved memory. A diet lacking fats is associated with higher levels of depression, dyslexia and dementia, among other conditions. Trans fats (present in cakes, biscuits, pastries and fast food, among other products) must be avoided, as they negatively affect the heart, as well as its function.
By seasoning your salad or cooking your vegetables using olive oil, you are not only enhancing their flavour, but also increasing the nutritional benefits of foods. Some of the vitamins and antioxidants present in foods are only absorbed by the body if we consume them along with fats. This is the case for vitamins A, D, E and K, and for several protective compounds present in vegetables, such as carotenes.