Nutrition

  • Sensory analysis of the Olive Oil

    When we taste an extra virgin olive oil, its characteristics are immediately perceived by both smell and taste. But where do the aromas come from?

    Aroma and Taste

    The aroma and taste of an extra virgin olive oil are determined by the composition and the presence of certain volatile compounds that can give positive but also negative characteristics. Among the “positive” compounds we find aldehydes and 6C alcohols (with 6 Carbon atoms) while among the “negative” ones we find some monounsaturated aldehydes. The presence of these compounds is influenced by the type of cultivar, the degree of maturation of the drupe, the type of processing and the way the oil is stored.

    Bitter and Spicy

    The compounds responsible for bitter and spicy extra virgin olive oil are polyphenols, in particular the presence in large quantities of Oleuropein and Hydroxythyrisol is decisive.

    “The polyphenols in olive oil contribute to the protection of blood lipids from oxidative stress. This indication can only be used for olive oil which contains at least 5 mg of hydroxytyrosol and its derivatives for 20 g of olive oil. In order to support this information, the consumer is told that the beneficial effect is obtained with the daily intake of 20 g of olive oil “. Reg. (EU) 432/2012

  • Oleic Acid

    Oleic acid is a monounsaturated fatty acid consisting of 18 carbon atoms. It belongs to the Omega-9 family, since the first and only double bond present in the molecule is located between the ninth and tenth carbon atom of the chain.

    Oleic acid in olive oils

    Oleic acid is typical of olive trees, where we find it in percentages ranging between 60 and 80%, especially in the esterified form of triglycerides, although, usually, in high quality extra virgin olive oils this percentage is never less than 70%. An oil rich in oleic acid is much more stable at high temperatures so it allows the oil to be resistant to light, air and heat and to limit the formation of lipid peroxidation products, which have proven to be particularly harmful to human health.

    The acidity of the oil

    Oleic acid is present inside olive oil, also in free form, or separated from glycerol. This occurs when the conditions of the olives, the processing or storage of the oils have not been optimal. By acidity of the oil is meant the percentage of oleic acid which has separated from the glycerol and which is in free form in the oil. By law, in order to define an EXTRA VIRGIN oil, this value must be less than 0.8%

    It is important to say that from an organoleptic point of view it is not possible to detect the acidity values by tasting an oil, as the bitter and spicy attributes do not affect the quantity of oleic acid in free form. It is therefore necessary to resort to chemical analysis for the determination.