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One of the most common quality indicators for olive oils is their acidity, a percentage indicative of the number of free fatty acids, with ratings for Extra Virgin Olive Oil fluctuating between 0-0,8%.

Several factors can have an important impact on the olive oil’s acidity, such as the time and general practices during harvest, but also the procedures concerning the extraction of the oil and the storage of the final product. Keep in mind the general rule which is the lower the acidity the better the olive oil.

Always check if the olive oil is organic and whether it is stored in proper packaging. Show your preference to conscious and small-scale farmers, the products of which are typically filled with the unique and characteristic aromas of the land that nurtured them. Also, don’t forget to check the harvest or expiry date. In general, olive oils can be preserved in excellent condition for about 12 to 18 months, before the gradual deterioration of their characteristics.

Last but not least, as far as the organoleptic characteristics of the olive oils go, that is – the attributes we can perceive through our taste and smell, always prefer olive oils that are bitter, spicy and fruity! Keep in mind that the bitter and spicy taste are definite signs that the olive oil came from relatively early harvested olives, that it was extracted and stored following the proper procedures and thus contains a very high percentage of polyphenols. In other words, bitter is better.

Storing and preserving your Extra Virgin Olive Oil can be influenced by four factors: light oxygen, temperature and of course the material in which it is kept.

Despite nowadays trend to come across olive oils in transparent containers in order to display their beautiful color, this particular practice is downright wrong. Light can and will destroy and oxidize the olive oil, gradually changing its advertised color from green to yellow. Remember therefore to choose extra virgin olive oils stored in dark-colored, opaque containers, such as dark green glass bottles or -luggage safe- tinplate cans.

Furthermore, attention should be paid at avoiding the exposure of your olive oil to oxygen, and that is why it is important to store it in full and airtight closed containers. For instance, if you believe that the quantity of olive oil you have is going to last you for a while (let’s say more than a month), it would be best to divide it into smaller containers (e.g. one-litre dark-glass bottles). That way you can make sure that the greater part of your olive oil won’t be exposed to oxygen every time you want to take a bit more.

Moreover, remember to avoid high temperatures since they can accelerate the olive oil’s oxidation and to store your beloved product in a clean, dark, dry and cool place, ideally between 10-18°C. Make sure this place is humidity and scent-free, since olive oil has the ability to absorb its surroundings’ aromas.

Finally, beware of the packaging. The best materials for storing your extra virgin olive oil are dark-colored glass and tinplate containers. Both recycled and environmentally friendly materials are light-proof, while tinplate containers in particular have the extra benefit of being ideal for transportation, seeing that tinplate is shatterproof too. Olive oil does not contain preservatives and depending on its storage conditions and quality, it can preserve its characteristics intact for about 12 to 18 months.

Extra virgin olive oil is a fundamental part of the mediterranean diet and has been known for its therapeutic properties since the ancient times. Today we know it contains vitamins E, A, K and D, monounsaturated fatty acids and antioxidants, known as polyphenols.

Its great anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties render Extra Virgin Olive Oils, and early-harvested ones even more, as a crucial element of a healthy lifestyle. Take notice that Extra Virgin Olive Oil is effective in the prevention and treatment of several major health issues such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases, oxidative stress, blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis and even depression.

Yes, we do! According to the latest scientific research, frying with olive oil is finally justified. Olive oil is the most resistant in high temperatures and the healthier of all the vegetable oils. Moreover, studies show that frying vegetables with extra virgin olive oil is healthier than boiling them! Keep in mind, you can use the same amount of olive oil for frying, but no more than three times. And of course, remember to add a bit of raw extra virgin olive oil at the end of the cooking procedure; that way you are sure to enjoy the fullness of its aromas and beneficial characteristics.

Never throw the olive oil down the drain. That would be an environmental misconduct and a definite drain clogging cause. Instead, collect the used oil (this goes for all cooking oils) in a container and reject it in your country’s designated drop off sites. Therefrom, the used oil will be turned into biodiesel; that is, cleaner burning, non toxic, biodegradable fuel, which produces approx. 60% less CO2 than petroleum. Alternatively and depending on your mood, you can use the used oil in oil lamps, as a firelighter in your bbq or fireplace, or even to make your very own homemade olive oil soap.

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