Chemi-physical properties

Extra Virgin Olive Oil dietary values

Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVO) stands for an oil got from an olive tree’s first drupe’s squeezing. The Olive Oil extraction are only mechanical with no chemical procedures at all in order not to weigh on the final quality of the got olive oil that must be unsophisticated and genuine. Oil’s acidity level is what guarantees the suitability of the adopted working procedures (olives picking up, their storage and their productive steps); EVO’s pH together with its dietary values are the right parameter to be considered in order to give a right evaluation of the product. 

NB. EVO’s pH is expressed in terms of oleic acid (C 18:1) and, as per law, it has not to be higher than 0,8% of C 18:1.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil’s gastronomic properties

EVO is mainly made of 99% of lipids.  The saponifiable components of such fats is organized in basic triglycerides (triacylglycerols) and/or complex ones (esteri with three fatty acids).
EVO’s chemical-physical properties are just estimated both at the fatty acids quality and at its gastronomic usage. In parallel, the not saponifiable portion of extra virgin olive oil brings many micro-essential molecules (fat-soluble vitamins - B-carotene and tocopherols), very useful for the human body (phytosterols and polyphenols); well, some of these molecules contribute, together with the typical fatty acids, to determine the physical-chemical properties of the final product (antioxidants).
The fatty acids mainly present in the EVO’s triglycerides are: oleic acid (monounsaturated - predominant over the other), palmitic acid (saturated), linoleic acid (polyunsaturated) and α-linolenic acid (polyunsaturated). The oleic acid predominance gives to the olive oil incomparable properties as: 

• A right smoking point for a proper FRYING – this is a parameter directly given from the fatty acids saturation (saturated fats have a higher smoking point than the unsaturated ones and the monounsaturated have a higher one else than the polyunsaturated ones) and from the free fatty acids quantities (> free fatty acids < smoking point). It is true that substances like lard or refined oils and/or seeds oils and/or hydrogenated oils better resist to the high temperatures, but it is also true that the quantity of fatty acids they have and their concerning impact on the metabolism are so far away from those reachable in the EVO.

 • An oxidative stability useful for its SHELF LIFE – differently from the other kind of the above mentioned fats, these acids are too solid to be oxygenated so, they are able to determine the right shelf life features typical of a packaging for immersion. 

• At the same time,  the micro-molecules such as glycosides unsaponifiables (polyphenols) and antioxidant vitamins (tocopherols / vitamin E + Β-carotene or carotenoids in general) contribute to increase EVO’s shelf life properties, too. Anyway, it must be well known that in case of some particular treatments with heat (cooking or frying or a simple pottery heating to preserve products dipped in EVO) the quantity of antioxidant molecules and polyunsaturated fatty acids integrity can suffer a notably molecular decrease.