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Virgin olive oil

History of Olive oil

The olive tree and its fruits have been present in the history of the men and have occupied an excellent place in the old civilizations. In the Bible they only can be up to 200 references to the olive tree or its oil. The olive oil is, the older nutritional oil after the sesame oil. In the antiquity, the olive oil was used like food, in medicine and religious ceremonies. It is difficult to determine where it appeared the olive tree but one thinks that it appeared to borders of the Mediterranean, between Syria and Greece. Its culture began in these coasts more ago than 6000 years and it was used of immediate way with nutritional aims (the olive) and with medicinal aims (the oil that they extracted with rudimentary methods).

The words from which they derive the denominations olive tree and oil in all the Mediterranean towns, have two unique sources: the Greek term Elaia that gave rise to Swells in Latin and, later to olive, olive tree, trims off lower branches of, oil, I swell, etc and the Hebrew word Zait that was transformed into the Zaitun Arab - from where oil, olive, acebuche and others come. Oil is a word that originally it designated only to the olive oil. One arameo came from the union of mote Arab and that literally meant the juice of the olive. Oil is synonymous of oil but it is only used in the Christian sacraments.

The olive crop was boosted in Greece and was considered very important. Greeks and Phoenicians carried olives and olive oil-extraction techniques wore olive oil refined-3000 years throughout the Mediterranean. In Athens, for example, the olive tree was the symbol of the city and its sacred tree. The Phoenicians were the ones who brought cultivation techniques to Spain back in 1050 ac together with the Greeks years later. There is no doubt that his legacy is important but who planted olive trees on the peninsula were the Romans.

The emperor Hadrian came to mint coins with an olive branch and an inscription that read 'Hispania'. The Romans improved cultivation techniques and processing olive oil, being a big city Rome importer of oil.

Later the Arabs increased their culture until the fall of its empire reduced the consumption in Africa. In the Average Age only an interest moved the world, the war, therefore the olive oil stayed relegated to the high class and as article of luxury. With the arrival from Columbus to America the 1942, Andalusia and Extremadura contributed at that the olive tree arrived besides the seas, mainly in Peru, Chile, Argentina and Mexico. At present also they can would find in California, Chile and other places of South America. Although nowadays it is possible to be found anywhere in the world, it is the Mediterranean zone, its origin, where production concentrates most of and, Spain is the country with more olive trees and major olive oil production of the world.

The olive oil, has an historical tradition in Spain that goes back to the time of the Phoenicians. One thinks that they were those that propagated the culture of the olive tree by the Greek islands until arriving at the coasts of Spain more ago than 3,000 years. The olive oil, has crossed a long way from the time at which the Romans used the olive oil like medicine, until arriving at our days in which the prestigious olive oil gourmet uses chefs of kitchen to elaborate refinings plates or is present more in laboratories of famous scientists who tell us because of their properties.

The olive oil production, includes from Extremadura to Catalonia following a route that would take to us through the fields of Andalusia, Murcia, Castille-La Mancha, Valencia and Aragon, marking the different denominations from origin of the olive oil. The olive grove that designs the landscapes in each zone depends largely on the history of the place and the olive that has adapted more to the conditions of the ground, climate and to the needs of the agriculturist. The olive oil consumption, is fundamental part of the Mediterranean and Spanish diet, occupying in addition Spain the first position in the production and sale to olive oil in the world.

Classification of Olive oil, according to its Organoleptic quality.

The extra virgin olive oil, owns many benefits for the health and is by which the increasing olive oil sale has also generated an increase in the production and the culture of the olive, although the price of the continuous olive oil being higher than the rest of oils. It is very good for the cardiovascular system, favors the growth of the bones and the calcium absorption, excellent to avoid the aging of the skin, prevents the cancer and the diabetes.

All the types of olive oil are not equal. like in wines, they have a complexity sensorial, aromatic as gustatory as much very high. These differences in the olive oil, depend on the Earth, the elaboration and the variety of olive used in the oil mill. Most experienced gourmets will know to differentiate all the shades from a good olive oil. The cooking greatness of the olive oil is not only the one to totally change a plate as far as its presence, aroma and flavor. Within the types of olive oil and in sequence of quality they are possible to be classified:

  • Extra Virgin olive oil:This type of oil is of high quality, is obtained directly from olives in good condition, only by mechanical means, with an unimpeachable taste and smell and free from defects and may not exceed their acidity (loss acid Olive) 0, 8. The rating organoleptic, given by a qualified Tasting Panel, should be equal to or greater than 6.5 points.
  • Virgin olive oil: This oil is still the same parameters that the extra virgin olive oil, on methods of production. The difference is that it can not exceed 2 degrees acidity and the score by a tasting panel of qualified must be equal to or greater than 5.5 points. In other words, the defects should be almost imperceptible to the consumer.
  • Olive oil Refining: This type of oil is obtained from oil refining defective, who have not reached the quality parameters above. As an observer, has lost the word "virgin". This is because in its development process involved other chemical elements cleaning aromas, flavors and colors. After this process, is mixed with a certain amount of virgin olive oil. The degree of acidity that olive oil can not exceed 1.5 .
  • Olive pomace oil : This type of oil is the result of refining, by average chemicals, of the residues or morcas, coming from the milling of the olive. The obtained vegetal fat is mixed with a certain proportion of virgin olive oil, and the obtained final graduation, in oleic acids, will not be superior to 1.5 .

Another type of oil, this one noncommercial, is the lampante virgin olive oil. Its name comes to him from the utility that occurred in times last like fuel for the lamps or oil lamps him. Today he is the one that is used to refine and comes, like the virgin and the extra, solely of olives, but of low quality, which had to a large extent to the olives of the ground, the frosts, bites, etc.. but always and only of olives, without another factor that takes part in the obtaining process.

The olive oil, as much the virgin as the extra, is rich in vitamins To, D, and K. Favors the mineral absorption like calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and zinc; he is effective in the digestive process, avoiding the gastric acidity and facilitating the intestinal transit. It improves the control of the arterial pressure.

Aid to control theglucose level in blood (glucaemia is seen).

The high amount of polyphenols (a natural antioxidant) in the olive oil helps and prevents degenerative diseases like the Alhzeimer, and acts against the aging.

It reduces the risk of suffering cardiovascular disease, increasing to the HDL or good cholesterol.

By its fatty acid composition, the virgin or extra olive oil is the food but similar to maternal milk.

Consuming Extra Virgin Olive oil it is enjoyed a unique sensorial experience and power is conserved and the Health.

The Tasting Olive Oil Virgin

The professional tasting of the virgin olive oil is realized with the purpose of to classify and to separate for its later commercialization, the virgin oil of the extra virgin oil. It is possible to be gotten to confuse an extra virgin oil and a virgin oil. Two oils with an acidity degree inferior to 0.8 could, a priori, be considered virgin extra. In fact, a virgin oil and an extra virgin oil are a natural product and authentic juice of olives. The difference is in the rank of acidity and the score that they receive in sensorial analysis. In the extra virgin olive oil the median of the defects is equal to the zero and median of the frutado superior to zero. In the virgin oil the median of the defects is superior to zero and inferior or 2.5 equal to and the median of the frutado one is superior to zero.

An approach to the professional tasting would be the one that follows:

  1. The temperature of tasting of the olive oil is of 28 degrees. Between each oil sample, to clear the taste of the previous one, a piece of apple eats and it drinks I suck of water.
  2. One drinks in glass and it is shaken to impregnate his walls.
  3. The nose in the glass is introduced to receive the aromas of the oil.
  4. Notice that the fruity aromas of olives and apple, grass, tomatoes, almonds ...
  5. Test, introducing itself a little in the mouth so that it is impregnated finds out.
  6. Then you may notice the bitter (on the back of the tongue), spicy (throat) and sweet (at the front of the tongue).

The extra virgin olive oil has a flavor and odor irreproachable in other words zero defects. If the virgin oil was detected, although some barely perceptible aroma or flavor that belongs to the category of defects (Avina, atrojado, rancid, humidity), will not be extra virgin. It is extremely difficult for a consumer not trained in the taste, noting these defects imperceptible, so the professional tasters and designations of origin will have a prominent role in ensuring we buy really extra virgin olive oil.

Denominations of Origin of the Olive oil in Spain

The Denominations of Origin are the means used in Spain for the recognition of the quality and the origin of products based on their local characteristics differentiate that them from others due to the production techniques, elaboration, tradition, culture, as well as the geographic situation.

The Regulating Councils of the different Denominations from Origin, are the one who guard by the fulfillment of the norms and that guarantee that the products commercialized under the denomination fulfill all the requirements. The Denominations of Origin are in addition very important at international level because they give credibility to imported products.

Next some of the main Denominations of Origin of Spain and the organoleptic characteristics of their oils appear:

  • Antequera (Mlaga): Closely marked by growing olives Hojiblanca, its flavor is fruity, very soft and low bitterness.
  • Bajo Aragn: Oils with fruity taste at the beginning of the campaign, with lighter flavors of almond, without bitterness, pulling a sweet and slightly spicy. The variety Empeltre is the most commonly used.
  • Baena (Crdoba): One type of oil fruity and intense bitter almond, and other ripe fruit. Weevil is the main variety.
  • Estepa: From flavored ripe fruit, soft oils are ranging from slightly bitter to slightly sweet. The variety is the most cultivated Hojiblanca.
  • Les Garrigues (Catalua): The fruity taste bitter and sweet almond sweetness. Variety main Verdiell and Arbequina.
  • Montes de Granada: With production mostly of the variety Picual, with a mild aroma and flavor ranging from slightly sweet to slightly bitter.
  • Montes de Toledo: Oils fruity aromas and delicate flavors of almond. Variety, Cornicabra.
  • Poniente de Granada: From ripe fruit flavor, slightly spicy flavor to sweet and bitter. Hojiblanca, pike, weevil and Picual are the most commonly used.
  • Priego de Crdoba: Oils intense fruity flavour to fragrant grass, apple and almonds, slightly bitter and slightly spicy at the end.
  • Sierra de Cdiz: The variety is the most important Lechn. From fruity aroma and intense flavor and slightly spicy.
  • Sierra de Cazorla: Oils intense fruity aroma of fresh green grass (hay), fruit-flavored fresh (apple, almond, fig) at its slight bitterness and itching. Almost all production comes from the variety Picual.
  • Sierra del Segura: Oils balanced flavors and aromas at maturity. Variety main Picual.
  • Sierra Mgina (Jan): Oils fragrant aroma, flavor very fruity and slightly bitter. Variety almost exclusively Picual.
  • Siurana (Catalua): The fruits are slightly almond flavor from Arbequina varieties, and royal Morrut.

Within the Denominations of Origin Extra Virgin Olive oil, is the Denomination of Origin Jaen Sierra Sur, to which this assigned our Cooperative, whose characteristics are:

  • - Oils mainly from the variety Picual, typical of the area, which accounts for 79% of production. As secondary varieties are: Picudo, Carrasqueo of Alcaudete, Hojiblanca and Lechn.
  • - From a sensory standpoint, are oils with a very strong personality, with high oil fruity, aromatic, with connotations green, with touches of wood and bitter, spicy nice to be mitigated with maturation, being intense in the mouth and envelopes. In expressing nose tomatera aromas and oils in general are very balanced and harmonious.
  • - They have a high content of natural antioxidants (polyphenols, tocopherols and pigments) and a high percentage of monounsaturated fatty acids (oleic acid). This high resistance to oxidation, gives them a great stability, allowing them to keep unchanged for a long time their sensory characteristics and nutritional value, while delaying its rancidity.
  • - Oils covered by the PDO "Jaen Sierra Sur" are necessarily extra virgin olive oil obtained by mechanical fruit from olive and which meet the following specifications:
    • Physico-chemical parameters:
    • Acidity (%): Maximum 0,5
    • Peroxide index: Maximum 15 m.e.q. of active oxygen by kg of oil (m.e.q. O/Kg).
    • K270 (absorbance 270 nm): Maximum 0,20)
    • Organoleptic characteristics:
    • Median fruity (Mf): Major or equal to 3.
    • Median defects: Equal to 0.
    D.O. Jaen Sierra Sur

Using food

The virgin olive oils are used in oil to spice salads, gazpacho and other cold soups. In various stews and pastries are used olive oil as a vital ingredient. Also in Andalusia and swallowed everything up, soaking the bread, for example in the paamb tomquet. Throughout Andalusia and elsewhere in Mediterranean regions is the traditional breakfast. It is raw as organoleptic retains all its properties intact, with the warming since lost some of them.

In Spain, especially in the producing regions, always it is used to fry and like condiment for everything. In the gastronomy Andalusian its use is omnipresent. If it is not warmed up in excess (if it does not arrive "humear"), its quality can be used several times maintaining.

El uso alimentario va a depender del tipo de aceite de oliva, ya sea la variedad o el estado de madurez de la oliva. Por ejemplo, los tipos herbceos, con picor, amargor, con compuestos voltiles y con color verdoso son los preferidos para condimentar ensaladas. The food use will depend on the type of olive oil, either variety or ripeness of the olives. For example, the types arable, with itching, bitterness, with volatile compounds and greenish is preferred to spice up salads.