Amarillo Grape and Olive
Making olive oil starts with freshly harvested olives, either green or black. Here at Amarillo Grape and Olive, we know that the most nutrition comes from freshly harvested olives. First, the olives are washed thoroughly, and the leaves or debris are picked out, afterward, the olives are set to dry. Now it is time for pressing, typically steel rollers mash the olives, and it's pits into a paste. Next, the paste undergoes malaxation; this term is used when water is slowly stirred into the paste, allowing the olive oil particles to clump together and concentrate. The olive oil is now mixed, resulting in the mix picking up more flavor. However, exposure to much air can affect the olive oil poorly. Now, the oil will be put onto mats and pressed further. What is left is called pomace or marc and can be used to produce brandy. It is now time for refining the oil, and this reduces the acidity and bitter taste. Afterward, the oil is taken through the bleaching process, which removes chlorophyll, carotenoids, and pesticides. All that is left is deodorizing, and this process removes the aroma. Typically the oil is held in a temperature-controlled container at about 65 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent breakdown before it is bottled.
1. Extra virgin olive oil or EVOO is by far the best olive on the market. To qualify as EVOO, the oil must come from olives that were harvested within 24 hours. They must be extracted by nonchemical and without excessive heat. Also, the acidity level must be less than 0.8%, and the olives must be defect-free. This allows the best tasting EVOO to be produced.
2. Virgin Olive Oil has a milder taste than EVOO and has an acidity level of 2%.
3. Refined olive oil uses agents like acids, alkalize, and heat to be processed. Refined olive oil is fattier, and it contains more acid. It also lacks taste, aroma, and natural antioxidants.
4. Pomace oil is the lowest grade of olive oil. The marc is heated, and the remaining oil is extracted, therefore creating pomace oil. This oil is commonly bland and low in antioxidants.
5. Lampante oil is usually made from bad fruit or fruit that has server defects. It is not fit for human consumption.
Here are five factors to look at when buying olive oil.
1. Look at the bottle. Usually, dark bottles are key in storing olive oil because it reduces light exposure. Light, heat, and oxygen are olive oil's biggest enemies. Although there are great olive oils packed in clear bottles, you can be reassured they are stored in a dark area.
2. Next, taste should be a factor in choosing the right olive oil. Fresh olive oil should taste like fresh olives, grassy, green, and even fruity. Olive oil that has passed its date or has gone rancid will taste like a box of crayons and smell like rancid walnuts. What you do want to look for is a peppery, bitter, pungent bite. This means that olive oil is rich in phenol and polyphenols.
3. The date should also be looked at when buying EVOO. If the label has the harvest date or the press date, this could indicate that it is a higher quality olive oil.
4. Now, look at the type of oil. Does the label say olive oil, light tasting, or virgin olive oil? If so, this could mean that it is a refined oil and not as pure as EVOO.
5. An easy way to measure the polyphenol levels is by taste. The bitter, pepper, pungent taste of olive oil indicates higher polyphenol levels.
Producing olive oil can be considered a craft, and in turn, the artisan tends to be more precise when creating the oil. At times olive is processed in small batches that lead to a higher quality product. EVOO must also pass a chemical and sensory test to qualify to be called extra virgin olive oil. This test is usually performed in labs by trained sensory panels. Therefore, this process can become time-consuming, meticulous, and cost the manufacturer additional costs. Overall, the harvesting requires precise coordination, and to most vendors, the quality will always trump quantity.