Virgin Olive Oil

Olive Oil
Olive oil is the fat extracted from olives (fruit of the olive tree) during the pressing in an oil mill. It is a cornerstone of Mediterranean cuisine (or Mediterranean diet and main source of omega -9).

Olive oil has been known since antiquity: the ancient Greeks and Romans used it for cooking (the origin of the Mediterranean cuisine) and their cosmetics, and the Hebrews in time when the Temple existed, to light their candle.

Olive oil can be used both raw (in salad dressings or in place of butter in the pasta for example) or cooked (cooking meat or vegetables or frying). It is important however not to use too high temperature (above 210 ° C), beyond which it deteriorates. However it is more resistant to heat than other oils (about 180 ° C). This is called the point of cracking.

It has properties beneficial to health, including cardio-vascular, thanks to its vitamin A, vitamin E and monounsaturated fatty acids. The benefits are mainly related to vitamins observed in cold oil consumption, as in salads, as vitamins are destroyed beyond 40 ° C. Compared to other unsaturated fatty acids, olive oil is quite stable during cooking and storage in this case its beneficial effects on cholesterol. It helps to fight against breast cancer.

Its organoleptic characteristics vary with soil and agronomic practices, variety (or cultivar), and stage of maturity at harvest. Today it is a staple product, but enthusiasts choose bottles priced rivals sometimes with great wines. Indeed, several olive oils are classified as Appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC).

The organoleptic characteristics are grouped into three such important topics:

* Taste: bitter taste is the only one that can present the olive oil. It determines the intensity at the tasting.

* Flavors: aromatic sensations all of its oil is fruity, it determines the intensity at the tasting, category (ripe fruit, green fruit, fruity black) analogue and its description (reminiscent of apple, tomato ...).

* Kinesthetic and tactile sensations: an olive oil can make a specific sensation, the ardence (or hot), and differences in creaminess. It determines the intensity of spice to the taste, the smoothness can be comments, but there is no scale for the sensory sensation.

None of the sensations above is considered a defect.

The defects are recognized by professionals:

* The rancid (oxidation), musty, homer (excessive fermentation of olives in a heap), the lees (fermentation of pulp particles in unfiltered oils with or without sedimentation).

These defects have in common their origin in a lack of attention to the quality of work, and their consequences in a disappearance of bitter and pungent attributes.

Characteristics and composition
The characteristics of olive oil are the following:

* Smoke point: 210 ° C against 180 ° C for the normal temperature frying.
* Density: 0.92 (1 liter of olive oil weighs approx. 920g).
* Calories: 9 kcal per gram
* Conservation: olive oil rancid less quickly due to its low iodine: 78/88 83/98 cons for peanut oil and 120/132 for the sunflower oil. It keeps best if stored cool and protected from light. It is best to use within two years after its manufacture.

Olive oil is composed of about 99% fat. The remaining 1% is the minor compounds, which is essentially (in order of importance): squalene, triterpene alcohols, sterols (β-sitosterol), phenols and derivatives of tocopherol.

The fat of olive oil is composed of triglycerides. These consist of fatty acids of various kinds, whose distribution is characteristic of olive oil, and a further level of detail, different varieties or place of production. When triglycerides are degraded fatty acids which were sheared off and roam freely in the oil: they are so called "free fatty acids. Their percentage in the oil is what is known as "acidity" of the oil, and is expressed in "grams of oleic acid per 100 grams of free oil." This acidity does not perceive as taste sour, but in the form of specific degradation, such as a musty taste.

In retail, there are only two categories of virgin olive oils: extra virgin olive oil (HOVE) and virgin olive oil (HOV). The category extra virgin olive oil is better according to criteria of chemical and organoleptic criteria. Free acidity (see above) is limited to 0.8% for HOVE, so it can reach 2.0% for the HOV. The parameters of oxidation were also slightly more severe. Organoleptic criteria are evaluated by panels appropriate, the HOVE is free of defects, while a HOV may contain defects such as lees or day off to a level of 2.5 on a scale of 10 points.

There are categories of virgin olive oils lower (current and lampante), but they can not be used to benefit consumers and are reserved for trade or industry.

There are also olive oil obtained by refining industry and commerce, after assembly with HOVE or HOV, under the name: "Olive oil composed of refined olive oils and oils virgin olive". These oils are less common in the retail trade.

The different categories of olive oil are a name corresponding to the criteria set by the regulation:

* The "virgin olive oils" are obtained from the fruit of the olive tree solely by mechanical or other physical conditions (heat) that do not damage the oil and n 'having undergone any treatment other than washing, decantation, centrifugation or filtration, to the exclusion of oils obtained using solvents or mixtures with other oils. They are pure fruit juice and the acidity of the oil is low, the better the quality. It ranks them in descending order of quality "extra virgin olive oil" (absence of sensory defects, presence of fruit, acidity and less than 0.8% expressed as oleic acid), 'virgin olive oil "(intensity Maximum defect organoleptic 3.5 out of 10, presence of fruit, acidity, maximum 2%), "ordinary virgin olive oil" (maximum intensity of organoleptic defects sur10 6 and maximum acidity 3.3%) and "olive oil Virgin lampante (organoleptic defect greater than 6 in 10 and / or acidity level of 3.3%). In European legislation, the category "ordinary virgin olive oil" does not exist and the corresponding oils are grouped as "virgin olive oil lampante.

* The "refined olive oils" are obtained by refining (industrial) of virgin olive oil, whose free acidity expressed as oleic acid may be greater than 0.3 g per 100g and the other characteristics are that are prescribed for this category.

* The "olive-oil composed of refined olive oils and virgin olive oils" are made of a blend of refined olive oil and virgin olive oils other than lampante which free acidity may be greater than 1.0 g per 100 g.

* The "oil crude olive" are obtained by solvent treatment of olive pomace, excluding oil obtained by any mixture with oils of other kinds.

* The "olive-pomace oils refined" are obtained by refining crude oil crude olive pomace, whose free acidity may be greater than 0.3 g per 100 g.

* The "olive-pomace oil" are obtained by cutting oil refined olive pomace and virgin olive oil other than lampante which oleic does not exceed 1.0 g per 100 g .

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