As the time pass, vegetable oil (especially the olive oil) has started to change animal fat in our daily ration. Now when eating, it is quite usual to choose poultry or fish instead of pork or beef in order to avoid malicious cholesterol which contracts blood-vessels. And that’s true – no matter how was the meat prepared – smoked, fried, boiled or roasted – cholesterol stays in it and then it gets absorbed by our body.
To eliminate or avoid it, doctors recommend using oils obtained from plants. Studies have also shown that oil which was obtained from olives has the most beneficial effect. However, according to supply producers have started falsifying olive oil, so how do we know which is the best?
Firstly, good olive oil has a fruity flavor, so open the bottle and try to feel the smell and taste it. Strength or bitterness means that oil is pure and natural.
Another good quality of olive oil is a low per cent of the fatty acids. Sadly, fatty acids can hardly be tasted or smelled, so manufacturers must label their content. This requirement is completed by writing down their percentage or using the agreed terms – “Virgin” or “Extra Virgin”. The word “Virgin” means innocence, but in this case it means that fatty acids do not exceed 2 per cent. If the oil is labeled as “Extra Virgin”, the fatty acids must not exceed 0.8 per cent and no more.
The fourth factor which affects taste of oil is olive species used for obtaining it. In this case, oil is like a wine where grape type predetermines the final taste of the product. You can find Spanish olive oil bottles that indicate olive species: Picual, Hojiblanca and Arbequina, so try various oils to see the difference.
Pay attention to the temperature of oil extraction. Only when the temperature was less than 30 degrees, you can say that olive oil was obtained by cold pressure.
It is very common to see the label which indicates that oil is first press, as it is a sign of high quality. However, that’s just a words game, because neither a second nor a tenth time of pressing will get something. After the first time of pressing, crushed olives still have some fat, that usually are pulled out in a different way – with a help of chemicals. Of course, such oil can’t be called “Virgin” or “Extra Virgin” and has no fresh or fruity aroma.