Greek Olive Oil
Greece has a long lasting tradition in olive tree cultivation and olive oil production, which span more than five millennia.
Not surprisingly, with such a tradition, combined with the perfect climatic conditions for olive tree growing, the world famous Greek olive oil, the basis of the Mediterranean Diet is by far the best olive oil in the world.
Greece produces more than 430,000 tons of olive oil annually, and more than 75% of that is Extra Virgin Olive Oil, which is the best type of olive oil.
In fact Greece is the world's largest exporter of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and the third in total olive oil exports. About one third of the total olive oil production (Extra Virgin and Virgin) is exported. The remaining quantity gives Greece the first position in per capita consumption at world level.
The Greek olive oil is the healthiest type of oil with minimum or even zero cholesterol levels and rich in Vitamins. The main Greek olive oil production concerns mainly the extra virgin olive oil, the virgin olive oil, and the fine Greek Pomace oil. The Greek olive oil, a marathon runner for the Greek exports is considered to be as one of the most sought after nutritional products globally.
Greek Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Taste, aroma and color are all indications of the unique quality of the Greek extra virgin olive oil. By far the best olive oil type in the world, the Greek extra virgin olive oil is virgin olive oil with an extremely fine taste and an acidity of not more than 1%. It comes from first pressings that meet the ultimate standards. The Greek extra virgin olive oil is unquestionably the healthiest type of olive oil with almost 0% cholesterol and rich in Vitamins against aging. It can be used in salads or added in the cooking process of almost any recipe, while it is perfect even for frying dishes. The Greek extra virgin olive oil is the best nutritional gift we can offer to ourselves.
The main established quality categories of olive oil by the International Council of Olive is:
• Extra Virgin Olive Oil: Is a virgin olive oil which acidity expressed in oleic acid,not exceed 0.8%, and with other characteristics which provided by this category.
• Virgin Olive Oil: Is a virgin olive oil which acidity expressed in oleic acid, not exceed 2%, and with other characteristics which provided by this category.
• Olive Oil: Result from the mixing of refined and virgin olive oil, whose acidity does not exceed 1%.
• Pomace Oil: Result from the mixing of refined olive pomace oil (extracted from the pomace) and virgin olive oil, whose acidity does not exceed 1%, and with other characteristics provided by this category.
Therefore, the main characteristic for the quality evaluation of olive oil is the acidity.
But it is wrong to focus only in acidity, because an oil with low acidity could have been oxidized and therefore degraded its quality characteristics. Apart from acidity, other quality evaluation characteristics of olive oil are oxidation, color and its organoleptic characteristics (flavor and aroma).The acidity mainly influenced by the qualitative state of olives, while changing very little after receiving. The color of olive oil is green at the beginning of harvest period. Over the ripeness olives get a yellow-golden color, while the ripened olives oil gives an intense brown. The color of the oil may also be affected by the treatment system used for the removal from the fruit.
Finally, it should be noted that the desire for easy money often leads to adulteration. Adulteration of olive oil can be done in several stages and for this reason control mechanisms should coordinate their efforts. Unfortunately, the consumer cannot see the fraud. Olive oil is very similar in several characteristics with other oils, so the small addition can pass undetected. For the adulteration of olive oil they use pomace, corn, sesame oil, cottonseed oil, sunflower oil, etc. Therefore, the consumer should not buy bulk olive oil, unless he knows very well and trusts the producer, and prefer the label of known and reliable companies.