Olive oil finds its place in a wide range of foods from our table to health products. The fact that it acts as a shield against many diseases makes olive oil one of the indispensable nutrients for our health. Living in a very rich geography in terms of olives also provides a great advantage to benefit from olive oil. However, in order to maximize this benefit, it is necessary to follow some rules while buying, storing and consuming olive oil.
The acidity determines the quality
An indispensable part of our home and culture, olive oil has many varieties such as natural, natural first, organic natural, early harvest, cold press, refined, riviera. Things to know in order to make the right choice are actually quite simple. Olive oil is a food rich in fatty acids called oleic acid. There are many forms of oleic acid in the oil, but the less the free form, the more the flavor and quality of the olive oil. The leading acidity degree in olive oil quality criteria is determined by the free oleic acid form.
Do not choose Riviera olive oil
Natural extra virgin olive oil is known as the best quality version of its class, with an acidity of 0.8 percent without defects in taste and odor, and can be added to all foods from meals to salads.
The acidity degree of refined olive oil is 0.3%. It is obtained by refining the raw oil of olives with different methods without spoiling. It is preferred for fries rather than meals.
Riviera olive oil is obtained by mixing refined olive oil with different olive oils. In other words, it is created with a mixture not a pure product. The acidity is on average 1.5%. It can be added to meals according to people’s preference.
The taste of the amount of oleic acid in olive oil is not at a level that can be perceived or distinguished by the taste. However, when choosing, it is important to consider the information on the label in order to choose a quality oil. Attention should be paid to other information on the label, such as production year, filling year, and expiration date. Information about the method of obtaining it is also available on the label. Here, our preference should be cold pressed olive oil. Color is not a criterion for olive oil. Each type of olive oil can be sourced from harvest or processing, or different colors depending on the olive variety. There is detailed information on the label that it does not contain additives or preservatives, it will be useful to pay attention to these when purchasing.
“Early harvest” has the highest nutritional value
Another variety that needs to be further distinguished from this classification is “early harvest” olive oil. It is usually made by harvesting olives in October just before they turn dark. In the early harvest, the amount of olives and oil are not directly proportional. More olives are used for the same amount of oil. Therefore, its cost is high compared to all other varieties. However, its nutritional value is much higher than other oils.
Store in dark glass bottles or stainless chrome nickel cans
When the right olive oil is selected and comes to the kitchen, there are some rules that must be followed in its preservation. It is important to keep olive oil away from light, moisture, and odor as much as possible and to stabilize the storage temperature. Olive oil is best kept in dark glass bottles or stainless chrome-nickel cans. The storage temperature can be around 14-22 degrees depending on the environment we keep. It should not be forgotten that if olive oil comes into contact with air for a long time, oxidation starts, ie the oil gets bitter and deteriorates. For this reason, the covers must be closed.
The most important actor of the Mediterranean diet
Olive oil, which is a friend of the immune system with its rich content, is also rich in polyphenol compounds. At the same time, it contains tocopherol, vitamin E. The powerful antioxidant activities of olive oils have been proven to prevent the formation of free radicals in the body caused by air pollution, environmental pollution, stress, smoking, malnutrition and many other effects in daily life and eliminate these formations. As it is effective in cardiovascular diseases, olive oil is one of the most powerful agents of Mediterranean diet recommendations. Therefore, olive oil should have an important place in kitchens.
In addition to all these, the consumption amount of olive oil, which is considered harmless due to its vegetable nature, should still be controlled. It is beneficial to make daily consumption under a certain limit and to use spoon measures instead of eye decision from time to time. An individual with no health problems can consume an average of 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil per day. However, when evaluating this amount, it is necessary to consider the different oils used and the fats that are already in the content of the foods.