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All About Olive Oil

Among cooking oils, olive oil is touted as one of the healthiest. Olive oil contains monounsaturated fat, which can lower total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL or “bad”) cholesterol in the blood. Olive oil is made only from green olives. And just like fine wine, olive oil flavour, colour, and consistency of olive oils vary. This is due to different olive varieties, location, and weather. The olive oils of some small producers are treated and priced just like fine vintage wines.

Choosing olive oil is therefore an art. There are different grades, and some are more flavorful and offer more health benefits. The August issue of Mayo Clinic Women’s HealthSource offers tips on choosing an olive oil. Virgin, extra-virgin or refined: Virgin and extra-virgin olive oils tend to be higher in polyphenols (a powerful antioxidant) than are the more-processed, refined olive oils. Antioxidants are considered beneficial because they help the body rid itself of unstable molecules called free radicals and minimize harmful cellular inflammation. A recent study comparing virgin olive oil, refined olive oil and the combination of both found that virgin olive oil appears to have greater heart-health benefits.
Freshness: The fresher the oil, the greater the antioxidant properties. Quality olive oils generally include a packaging date. At purchase, it should be no more than one year old.

Extra-Virgin Olive Oil:  All olive oils that are less than 1% acidity and produced by the first pressing of the olive fruit through the cold pressing process is called extra-virgin olive oil. Most olive oils today are extra virgin in name only, meeting only the minimum requirement. Extra virgin is a chemical requirement that does not indicate quality and taste.

Virgin Olive Oil:  It is made from olives that are slightly riper than those used in the production of extra-virgin oil. Virgin olive oil is produced in the same way, but it is essentially defective or low-grade extra virgin oil. This oil's acidity is a slightly higher level of 1 1/2%.

Refined Olive Oil:   Olive oil known as "refined olive oil" is made by refining the virgin olive oil. The final product is basically a tasteless olive oil. The acidity level is higher than 3.3%. It also has a not-to-nice flavour and an unpleasant aroma.

Pure Olive Oil:  Pure olive oil, usually called just olive oil, comes either from the second cold pressing or the chemical extraction of the olive mash left over after the first pressing. This grade is also called commercial grade oil. Pure olive oil is much lighter in colour and blander in taste than virgin olive oil. It is a general-purpose (all-purpose) olive oil. Pure refers to the fact that no non-olive oils are mixed in.

Refined Olive-Pomace Oil:   Oil which is obtained by treating olive pomace with solvents is refined using methods which do not lead to alterations in the initial glyceridic structure. Don't buy this grade, as it is bad for you.

Olive-Pomace Oil:  Olive oil which consists of a blend of refined olive-pomace oil and virgin olive oil. Don't buy this grade, as it is bad for you.

Light & Extra Light" Olive Oil:  The olive oil that you see on the supermarket shelf advertised as "light" or as "Extra Light" olive oil contains the exact same number of calories as regular olive oil and is a mixture of refined olive oils that are derived from the lowest quality olive oils available through chemical processing. 

Storing Olive Oil
Most users of the oil don’t quite realize that Olives are fruit and therefore, olive oil is a fruit juice. Therefore, much care and attention should be given to its storage as Air, heat, and light will cause olive oil to turn rancid (rancid is the flavour which is imparted in an oil after it has undergone the process of oxidation. Since prolonged contact with oxygen is the rot cause of oxidation, rancidity is a common defect, so it should be stored in a cool place in an airtight container that is preferably dark so to block ultraviolet completely. If your oil has a buttery taste, then it's probably rancid and must not be used.

The ideal temperature for storing olive oil is 57°F or 14 degrees C, although a normal room temperature of 70ºF works very well if the olive oil is stored in a dark area where the temperature remains fairly constant. A kitchen cabinet located away from the stove and away from direct sunlight will work quite well. If you have a wine cellar, store your olive oils there and keep a small amount in your kitchen. Do not put olive oil in a container without a tight cap.

Refrigeration does not harm most grades of olive oil, but it is not recommended for expensive extra virgin varieties because condensation may develop in the bottle, affecting the flavour. When chilled, or in cold weather, the oil may turn cloudy and even solidify. Such oil will clear again as it warms, so cloudiness should not be taken as an indication that the oil is past its prime. Be sure bottles are tightly sealed. Refrigeration will extend the life of olive oil without harming the oil. Doing so will cause it to congeal and turn cloudy, but should not affect flavour. If refrigerated, olive oil will return to its original, liquid state when warmed to room temperature again.

Tinted glass, porcelain, or stainless steel are the best materials for containers; oil should never be stored in plastic or in reactive metals. Stay away from plastic containers as the oil can absorb PVCs. 

Buying oil in small sizes, or splitting larger bottles with friends, is a practical way to buy expensive oils. Oil purchased in bulk should always be poured into smaller containers, preferably in a can or a dark-coloured bottle.

Buying Olive Oil
Taste is largely determined by the variety of the olive and its degree of ripeness when picked. Both the timing and method of harvesting have a huge impact on the finished oil. In autumn, the olives need to be picked when perfectly ripe but before they start falling from the trees.Unlike wine, olive oil does not improve the longer it is kept and once opened it will begin to slowly deteriorate, so don't buy your oil in large quantities. Try to buy your oil either in dark glass bottles or metal containers and avoid buying oil that has been standing under bright supermarket lights in clear glass bottles, no matter how tempting the labels.

Hand-picked olives produce the best result but, as this process is labour-intensive, add to the final cost of the oil. Mechanical methods, which use machines to shake the fruit from the tree, can sometimes damage the fruit. Either way, once picked, olives should be pressed as quickly as possible to minimise deterioration.

Extraction methods vary from the artisan and traditional to the industrial and high-tech, but the basic steps are the same: first grinding or crushing the olives; then pressing them to extract the liquid; then separating the oil from the water and solids. The method of extraction is a major factor in the taste of the finished oil. The first pressing gives oil of the highest quality. Olives may undergo a second or third pressing; the oil will decrease in quality with each pressing.

Extra virgin olive oil is the oil from the first pressing and is a pure, pale greenish-yellow in colour. The pulp is then pressed again to yield a darker oil that is less flavoursome than the first pressing and sold just as ‘olive oil’ or ‘pure olive oil’. Extra virgin olive oil is cold-pressed, which means that heat (which can adversely affect the quality) was not used to extract the oil.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 
1 1tsp (4.5 g)
Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat 
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 
Saturated Fat 
Polyunsaturated Fat 
Monounsaturated Fat 
Total Carbohydrates 
Vitamin A 0% Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 0% Iron 0%
* Based on a 2000 calorie diet
See more extended nutritional details

Olive oil labelled as 'pure' olive oil or simply 'olive oil' is usually a mix of refined olive oils and virgin oils from the second and third pressings. It doesn't have the vibrant flavour and aroma or virgin oils, but is good for general cooking, such as frying, sautéing or baking. Some oils are also sold as 'unfiltered'. Unfiltered olive oil is more opaque because it still contains tiny suspended particles of the olives. The particles will sink to the bottom over time and create some sediment. Whether you prefer filtered or unfiltered oil is a matter of preference.

Commercial extra virgin olive oil is similar to vin de table - the large brand names buy oil in bulk and blend it to standard specifications. The result is consistent, inexpensive oil, useful for cooking, but which can be boring compared to the best artisan oils. Artisan oils, whether made from olives of a single variety, from olives grown on a single estate, or expertly blended from different varieties of olives from recognised growers, will have a more individual character, aroma and taste than commercial blended oils will have. They will also tend to be more expensive.

The high price of the finest olive oils generally reflects the fact they are made in limited quantities, and the care taken from picking to pressing. In most cases, you get what you pay for but you may get bargains if you shop around. It's also a question of personal choice: some may prefer a mellow, fruity flavour and others a pungent and peppery one. Top quality artisan-produced olive oil isn't cheap but compared to a bottle of wine, which lasts just one meal, a bottle of good olive oil (which has taken just as much effort and care to produce) will last far longer.

Olive Oil preparation
Olive oils are graded according to their aroma, flavour, colour and the level of acidity. The highest-quality oils have the lowest acidity levels. Extra virgin olive oil is the highest-quality oil in terms of taste and aroma, with the lowest acidity level (a maximum of one per cent). Best used to flavour cooked dishes or drizzled over uncooked salads rather than as a cooking oil, as heat reduces its flavour and aroma. Virgin olive oil is a high-quality oil with excellent taste and aroma; may have slightly more acidity than extra virgin. Virgin olive oil can be used for everyday salads and cooking. Light or delicate dishes need a mild oil; robust ones can take a fruity, stronger oil.

Chemical composition

Olive oil is composed mainly of triacylglycerols (triglycerides or fats) and contains small quantities of free fatty acids (FFA), glycerol, phosphatides, pigments, flavor compounds, sterols, and microscopic bits of olive. Triacylglycerols are the major energy reserve for plants and animals. Chemically speaking, these are molecules derived from the natural esterification of three fatty acid molecules with a glycerol molecule. The glycerol molecule can simplistically be seen as an "E-shaped" molecule, with the fatty acids in turn resembling longish hydrocarbon chains, varying (in the case of olive oil) from about 14 to 24 carbon atoms in length.

Here are some of the main charactristics of the main olive oil catagories:

Virgin Olive Oil
Oils obtained from the  fruit of the  olive tree solely by mechanical  or other physical eans under conditions that do not lead to alteration in the  oil, which have not  undergone any  treatment other than washing, decantation, centrifugation or filtration, to the exclusion of oils obtained using solvents  or using adjuvants having  a chemical or biochemical action, or by  reesterification process and any mixture with oils of other

Extra virgin olive oil
Virgin olive oil having a maximum free acidity, in terms of oleic acid, of 0,8 g per 100 g, the other characteristics of which comply with those laid down for this category.

Virgin olive oil
Virgin olive oil having a maximum free acidity, in terms of oleic acid, of 2 g per 100 g, the other characteristics of which comply with those laid down for this category.

Lampante olive oil
Virgin olive oil having a  free acidity, in terms  of oleic acid, of more than 2 g per 100 g, and/or the other characteristics of which comply with those laid down for this category.

Chemical analysis
In this paragraph we will give only a brief account of the most common analysis techniques in the field of oil. They may or may not be instrumental. Amongst the not instrumental techniques there is titration, of which the best-known example is the determination of acidity. Instrumental determinations have been used on oils more and more since the 1960s. Gaschromatography (GC) was the first to find an application. 

Another instrumental technique of more recent application in the oil sector is the High Pressure Liquid Chromatography (HPLC). The general principles are the same as those for GC. The main differences consist in the fact that instead of using a gas as a carrier, a liquid is used (mobile phase) which is pushed through the analytical column by a pump which can reach pressures of over 400atm. The column is much shorter and stronger than that for GC. This technique is more suitable for substances which are difficult to vapourize, mainly because of their high boiling point.

Finally, another technique consists of measuring the differences in intensity of the electromagnetic radiation before and after going through the sample under examination. If the sample contains substances able to absorb this radiation, the variation in intensity will be greater as their concentration increases. In the most common case of oils, the radiation is ultraviolet and the presence of conjugated dienes and trienes (see Fatty acids paragraph) increases the absorbences in proportion to their concentration.

EC Regulations on Olive Oil
Before studying the aims of the EC Regulations, it may be useful to consider the meaning of the words Quality and Purity. The intended meaning of Quality is “the totality of requisites and functions of the aliment which can satisfy the consumer’s needs”. Hereunder we can place sensory characteristics, stability to oxydation, absence of xenobiotics, nutritional values (e.g. essential fatty acids, relationship between saturated fatty acids, mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids etc.), natural antioxidants etc.

The Purity of an aliment refers to the fact that “it has not been subjected to technologies different from those traditionally used, nor has any substance extraneous to its nature been added”. It is evident that a large part of the aims of the EC Regulations is dedicated to ascertaining the purity of olive oils which, due to their high cost, are the object of illegal practices. Finally we feel it necessary to emphasize that, as demonstrated by the number of tests necessary, one single analysis is not yet available which can establish unequivocably the purity of an oil.

Tests on quality of Olive Oil
The acidity expresses the percentage content (in weight) of the free fatty acids in the oil under examination. Free fatty acids are normally present also in oils obtained from sound olives: when the triglycerides are formed, there is a progressive increase in acidity due to the action of enzymes (lipase) naturally present in the fruit, which help the fatty acids to detach from the molecule of triglyceride (lipolisis). The same lipolitic phenomenon can be caused by enzymes produced by micro-organisms which grow on the fruit. Thus, in order to obtain a product which is organoleptically better and which has lower acidity, it is necessary to preserve the olives well in the store.

Olive Oil acidity is determined by means of titration:
To a known quantity of oil a suitable solvent is added along with a substance which in the example is phenolphtalein (indicator). Measured volumes of a potash solution, at a known concentration, are added. The indicator turns red as soon as all the free fatty acids have reacted with the potash. When this happens, the amount of potash used is measured and acidity may be calculated simply.

The peroxide value
Peroxides are formed because of the oxygen dissolved in the oil and other factors present at the same time like pigments (chlorophyll and pheophytin) or metals which catalyze their formation. In particular, two types of oxydation can be distinguished: auto-oxydation and photo-oxydation. In both cases, at a certain point in the succession of reactions which are activated, a free radical is formed from an unsaturated fatty acid which reacts with an oxygen molecule and gives rise to a peroxidic radical. This reacts with another molecule of fatty acid and eventually forms a hydroperoxide (auto-oxydation). In the case of photo-oxydation, ultraviolet radiation activates a molecule of pigment (e.g. chlorophyll) which initiates the process of oxydation by using oxygen.

Tests on purity of Olive Oil
Determination of the composition and content of sterols. 
Sterols are compounds which are normally found in oils and natural fats, in concentrations and compositions which vary depending on the origin of the fatty matter. Olive oil has quantities of around 1200 – 1800 mg/Kg (= sterol content). Vegetable oils contain roughly the same type of sterols but in different relationships and the characteristics for each are different (=sterol composition). This specificity should allow the mixture of olive oils with foreign oils to be recognized. In fact, the addition of appreciable quantities of foreign oil to an olive oil will alter its natural sterolic composition. This makes it possible to recognize fraud. However, the careful choice of foreign oils and the amount used may make it difficult to discover fraud. This analysis is carried out by means of gaschromatography

ScientificPsychic has a good article on the subject.

Green or ripe, olives are a delightful little fruit that was once considered sacred. The Greeks considered it a symbol of goodness and nobility. Even today the branches of the olive tree are a symbol of peace. Although the tree was first grown around the Mediterranean, it is now cultivated in subtropical areas in the United States, Latin America, and the Mediterranean.

Health Benefits: The juice of the olive, otherwise known as olive oil, is a delicious source of antioxidants. This oil is monounsaturated, and it has a positive effect on the cholesterol level in our blood streams. Monounsaturated fats are not considered “essential”, but they should be an important part of our diets. These oils act to keep cholesterol from sticking to our artery walls. Not only that, but they help to control blood sugar, a big plus in a controlled carbohydrate diet. After all, when the blood sugar is under control, so is the insulin. And, insulin is a huge factor in our bodies’ storing food as fat.

Olives contain substances that are believed to help us to ward off cancer, polyphenols. Polyphenols give the olive its taste and aroma. One of the polyphenols found in olives is thought to act as an anti-inflammatory.

Choosing olive oil: When you’re shopping for olive oil, always purchase oil that has been cold-pressed. The label could also say “expeller-pressed.” Heat processing destroys the better properties of oil. Extra-virgin olive oil is probably the healthiest. It is the “first pressed” and has a lovely flavour, however, it is fairly distinctive. Extra-virgin is the lowest in acidity and is the purest. Virgin oil also has a nice taste, but the acidity is higher than in extra-virgin oil. But chosen well, it can have low acidity just like Extra Virgin yet without the distinct olive oil smell that is not required for certain dishes. “Normal” olive oil is not as pure and has been refined, a process which can remove the benefits of the extra-virgin oils. Olive oil is stable and does not turn rancid as easily as seed oils, but it is best not to buy it in huge quantities. Try to purchase no more than can be used in a month.

Vitamins in Olive Oil
Vitamins can be divided into the fat soluble and water soluble varieties. Fat soluble vitamins, such as the ones found in olive oil, are generally not broken down by cooking. They are stored in the liver and body fat for long periods so it is not essential to eat them with every meal. Cured whole olives have both water and fat soluble vitamins.

Vitamin E (a natural antioxidant): Olives have 1.6mg, or 2.3 IU (International Units) per tablespoon. One tablespoon provides 8% of RDA for vitamin E.

Vitamin K: The richest sources of vitamin K are green, leafy vegetables. One serving of spinach or collards, for instance, or two servings of broccoli provide four to five times the RDA. The greener the vegetable, the higher the content, say the researchers, because the vitamin is associated with the chlorophyll. According to the USDA , vegetable oils such as olive oil are the second best source.

Olive Oil and Cholesterol
Researchers at the University of Minnesota, for one, have discovered that while Greek, Cretan and other Mediterranean men consumed almost as much dietary fat as Americans, they had much lower rates of heart disease. The difference was attributed to the Mediterranean’s consumption of extra virgin olive oil, which is largely monounsaturated fat.

Researchers at the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid in Spain found in a study that a diet rich in extra virgin olive oil helped to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and, perhaps more importantly, stimulated an increase in HDL (good) cholesterol.

Researchers at the University of Nijmegen in the Netherlands discovered that simply following a low fat diet reduced total cholesterol but HDL cholesterol also declined; in contrast, a high fat diet based on extra virgin olive oil also reduced total cholesterol but HDL cholesterol actually increased.
This is all very good for those concerned about their cholesterol levels, especially the good HDL cholesterol, and the effects on the human circulatory system.
About Cholesterol
Cholesterol is not a water-soluble substance: it floats around in our bodies, attaching itself to proteins and making them lipoproteins. Two types of cholesterol are formed. LDL or low density lipoproteins, is the so-called “bad” cholesterol; it accumulates in bodily tissues and sticks to artery walls as plaque, causing arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) if left unchecked. The other type is HDL or high density lipoproteins, the “good” cholesterol, which helps prevent artery-clogging deposits. The levels of these two cholesterols are affected by the types of fat that we take in daily.

The structures of different fats are described as saturated, mono-unsaturated, and poly-unsaturated. Saturated fats come primarily from animal meats. They are thought the greatest damage to our health, because they increase levels of LDL resulting in arteriosclerosis.

Poly-unsaturated fats come mainly from vegetables, seeds, nuts, and grains. They lower the body’s overall cholesterol level, but to do so they reduce both LDL and HDL. You may want LDL lowered, but you would want HDL increased.  There are also tests indicating that in higher doses polyunsaturated fats may do more damage than good, increasing the risk of nervous system problems, brain synapse connectivity, gall bladder stones, and perhaps even cancer, unless their action is controlled by antioxidants.

Monounsaturated fats are found in varying amounts in all fats. They lower LDL but promote increases in HDL. Thus, the best oil you can use is that has little saturated and polyunsaturated fats content but has plenty of monounsaturated fats.

Olive Oil and Rheumatoid Arthritis
A study in Greece showed that people who had the lowest lifetime consumption of extra virgin olive oil had two and a half times greater probability of developing rheumatoid arthritis than those with the highest lifetime consumption. If you know somebody who suffers from rheumatoid arthritis, you must be familiar with the pain and inconvenience it can cause. A rheumatologist of the Arthritis Foundation, which did the research, cites that adding olive oil to your diet could help you protect yourself against rheumatoid arthritis. And, the spokesperson added, since the type of oil consumed in Greece is extra virgin olive oil, that offers additional protection.

Olive Oil and Antioxidants
Among the major components of extra virgin olive oil are antioxidants. Olive oil provides beta carotene (pro-vitamin A) and tocopherol (vitamin E) which are excellent buffers of acids produced in the gastrointestinal tract and those resulting from body metabolism. Extra virgin olive oil contains 88% of its vitamin E in the form of alpha-tocopherol, which is easily synthesised by the body. These are very important antioxidants that prevent the oxidation of LDLs. Such oxidation can cause damage to ordinary cells, nerve cells and arteries and lead to arteriosclerosis, coronary heart disease, or even cancer.

Olive Oil and Aging
Medical studies have indicated that diets which are deficient in vitamin E accelerate the breakdown of certain fatty acids, a process which invariably leads to aging. The vitamin E content in olive oil is thought to provide a defence against such effects, and thus help maintain mental faculties and muscular control longer and better. Among other benefits, the vitamin A helps prevent and minimise the development of skin wrinkles.
As we get older, our digestive capacity becomes markedly reduced resulting in more difficulty to absorb nutrients from food, especially vitamins and minerals. Olive oil is very digestible and its nutrients are easier to digest. It also has beneficent effects in aiding digestion and stimulating the appetite.

Another problem associated with aging – bone calcification – can be rectified by olive oil consumption. Studies have shown that a diet containing enough oleates as well as a moderate supply of essential fatty acids is needed for healthy bone mineralisation – a process that aids the developing bones in children and prevents calcium loss in adults.

Olive Oil, good for every body function
Olive oil is nature’s storehouse of many healthful nutrients like vitamins A, E, D and K. Other nutrients found in olive oil are:


  • - Magnesium-rich chlorophyll encourages formation of healthy red blood cells.
  • - Squalene, a precursor to phytoesterols, helps reduce acidity.
  • - Phytoesterols (in the form of beta-sitosterol) assists in preventing cholesterol absorption.
  • - Caffeic and gallic nutrients stimulate the flow of bile which helps alkalise food coming out of the stomach, reducing stress on the pancreas.
  • - Phenolic compounds protect against fermentation of fats and cholesterol, and may promote higher production of fat-digesting enzymes in the pancreas.
  • - Cycloartenol lowers the amount of cholesterol in free circulation and increases excretion of bile to mop up excess acidity and increase alkalinity of the food coming out of the stomach.



Olive Oil has been shown to have beneficial effects on virtually every aspect of body function, development and maintenance, including brain development, bone structure, digestion, aging process, the condition of skin and hair, metabolism, and on plaque formation in the blood vessels.
There is so much scientific evidence now that establishes the health benefits of olive oil. You will be hard put to find any other food that has so many positive effects on so many different parts of the body and their functions.

Effect of Dietary Fats on Cholesterol Levels
Found in
State at Room Temperature
Effect on Cholesterol Levels
Olives; olive oil, canola oil, peanut oil; cashews, almonds, peanuts, and most other nuts; avocados
Lowers LDL; raises HDL
Corn, soybean, safflower, and cottonseed oils; fish
Lowers both LDL and HDL
Whole milk, butter, cheese, and ice cream; red meat; chocolate; coconut milk, and coconut oil
Raises both LDL and HDL
Most margarines; vegetable shortening; partially hydrogenated vegetable oil; deep-fried chips; many fast foods; most commercial baked goods
Solid or

Raises LDL; lowers HDL


Source: explorecrete
General Health Benefits of Olive Oil:
The health and therapeutic benefits of olive oil were first mentioned by Hippocrates, the father of medicine. For centuries, the nutritional, cosmetic and medicinal benefits of olive oil have been recognized by the people of the Mediterranean.

Olive oil was used to maintain skin and muscle suppleness, heal abrasions, and soothe the burning and drying effects of sun and water. Olive oil was administered both internally, and externally - for health and beauty.

Recent research has now provided firm proof that a Mediterranean diet, which includes olive oil, is not only generally healthy, but that consuming olive oil can actually help lower harmful LDL cholesterol. Olive oil contains antioxidants that discourage artery clogging and chronic diseases, including cancer.

here are three kinds of dietary fats: saturated (animal), polyunsaturated (plants, seeds, nuts, vegetable oils), and monounsaturated (olive oil). From a nutritional standpoint, all types of olive oil are approximately the same, with 80% monounsaturated, 14% saturated, 9% polyunsaturated fats on average.

Olive oil is rich in vitamins A, B-1, B-2, C, D, E and K and in iron. Olive oil, which is beneficial to the digestive system, does not necessarily keep you thin; it contains just as many calories as other oils (9cal/g).

Olive oil acts as a mild laxative, is a friend to the intestine and an enemy of ulcers and gastritis. Olive oil is a good tonic, with specific benefits for people suffering from heart disease.

Olive oil has been regarded as the "beauty oil". The body's cells incorporate the valuable fatty acids from the oil, making arteries more supple and skin more lustrous. The amount of oleic acid in olive oil is about the same as that found in a mother's milk and is thus the best growth supplement for infants.

Drunk before a meal, olive oil protects the stomach from ulcers. If a spoon or two is taken with lemon or coffee, it prevents constipation without irritating the intestinal tract. It is also effective in treating urinary tract infections and gall bladder problems. It is a perfect remedy for gastritis in children; it accelerates brain development and strengthens the bones. Olive oil dissolves clots in capillaries, has been found to lower the degree of absorption of edible fats, and consequently slows down the aging process.

Only animal-derived foods contain cholesterol. Olive oil is cholesterol-free. Cholesterol is not entirely harmful; it is an essential building block for cell membranes, nerve fibber coverings, vitamin D and sex hormones. The body manufactures all the cholesterol it needs, so any cholesterol in foods we eat is excessive. Excess cholesterol causes a gradual accumulation of fatty deposits and connective tissue, known as plaque, along the walls of blood vessels. Eventually, plaque builds up, narrows the arteries and reduces blood flow, in this way increasing the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

More on Cholesterol and Olive Oil:
Cholesterol is manufactured in the liver and is vital for the structure of cell walls. In order to circulate through the bloodstream, it is "packaged" in fatty-protein wrappings called "lipoproteins". The low-density lipoproteins (LDL) distribute cholesterol throughout the body, dropping it off where needed. The liver also packages another type of cholesterol called high-density lipoproteins (HDL), which picks-up circulating cholesterol and returns it to the liver for reprocessing, or excretion. The LDLs are the ones that build up the walls of the arteries and so are tagged "bad" cholesterol. HDLs carry cholesterol away. So the more HDLs there are, the easier it is to unblock paths and rid the body of unwanted cholesterol. What the body really needs is a good HDL/LDL ratio. Polyunsaturated oils lower LDL ("bad") and HDL ("good") levels. Monounsaturated oils (such as olive oil), lower only LDL cholesterol, leaving HDLs to help clean out arteries.

nimal fats, which contain saturated fatty acids, exponentially increase blood cholesterol levels. Polyunsaturated fatty acids lower both LDL and HDL levels in the blood, but they do not affect their ratio. Monounsaturated fatty acids on the other hand control LDL levels while raising HDL levels. No other naturally produced oil has as large an amount of monounsaturated fatty acids as olive oil, which mainly contains oleic acid. The modest amount of well-balanced polyunsaturated fatty acids in olive oil is well protected by antioxidant substances. It is widely believed that antioxidant substances such as vitamins E, K and polyphenols found in olive oil provide a defense mechanism that delays aging and prevents carcinogenesis, therosclerosis, liver disorders and inflammations.

Since olive oil is not tortured during extraction, these substances are left unspoiled, making the olive oil very stable even when frying. So contrary to common belief, olive oil undergoes a smaller degree of deterioration during frying than other oils.

Due to its chemical structure, olive oil is of unrivaled organoleptic value and thus the oil best suited for human consumption. It is very well tolerated by the stomach. In fact, its protective function has a beneficial effect on gastritis and ulcers. It is a cholagogue, activating the secretion of pancreatic hormones and bile much more naturally than prescribed drugs. Consequently, it lowers the incidence of cholelithiasis (gallstone formation). Its excellent digestibility promotes the overall absorption of nutrients, especially vitamins and mineral salts. It has a positive effect on constipation.

Bones need a large amount of oleates and what source could be better than olive oil? Promoting bone mineralisation, it is excellent for infants and the elderly who have bone calcification problems. It also has beneficial effects on brain and nervous system development as well as on overall growth. It shields the body against infection and helps in the healing of tissues, internal and external. Olive oil is a panacea, the perfect oil for all ages. And every time scientists look into the reasons behind an olive oil advantage empirically known and employed by the peoples of the Mediterranean, it is certain that they will come across evidence of yet another unique biological attribute.
Olive Oil Recipes
Butternut squash risotto with sage and 'Saffron Olive Oil'

August 28, 2011 02:34

Butternut squash risotto with sage and saffron Olive Oil is a lovely recipe that was originally created by Jaimee Mormann. He discusses how intimidated people are with risotto. And when you top that with how intimidated one can be with using saffron,...

Chicken with Tomato and ‘Saffron Olive Oil’ Vinaigrette with Mixed Greens

August 22, 2011 19:18

Very small quantity of Paprika and 'saffron olive Oil can be used here, both of which boost the colour to a vivid orange-red and give it a round, mellow flavour with strong aroma of Saffron. It coats sweet tomatoes, which release their juices and...

Intresting approach by Recipe Curation Site Gojee

July 09, 2011 12:23

There’s no shortage of food recipe sites around the world for virtually any kind of food. Finding good recipes for specific topic can take time and can be overwhelming with all of the options available. Recently launched foodie favorite Gojee, ...

Oven-dried tomato and thyme tart with blue vinny, 'Saffron olive oil' and rocket

May 30, 2011 00:13

Oven-dried tomato and thyme tart with blue vinny, olive oil and rocket by Rick Stein's Vinny cheese tart lends a deliciously creamy flavour, complemented by rich-tasting summery tomatoes. Some also use Goat Cheese and Black Olives with this that ...

Roast-garlic and 'Saffron Olive Oil' bread by James Martin

May 29, 2011 23:48

Roasting brings out garlic's sweetness with 'Saffron Olive Oil' by Eden Aromata. You can discover this in James Martin's delightfully simple recipe for a flavourful starter or snack. Roasting garlic in the oven mellows that harsh raw ...

Grilled Artichokes with 'Saffron Olive Oil', Lemon, and Mint

May 29, 2011 23:12

This dish is Oven Roasted Whole Salmon in Beer & Olive Oil and it is fork-cut ready at the end of Bake time. Cut and place on serving plate; pour a small amount of beer into the 'crisps' left from baking and spoon over each piece. The fre...

25 cl. Saffron Olive Oil

Traditional Pure Saffron

Restaurant show 2011

Eden Aromata has formally launched 'Saffron Olive Oil' at the Restaurant Show 2011 in Earls Court 2 (10 -12th October 2011)

Read more
Restaurant show 2011

Eden Aromata presented the new and unique product 'Saffron Olive Oil' at the UK’s leading trade event for local, regional, national and international fine food and drink.

Restaurant show 2011


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