Aegean Waves Olive Oils
Olive trees have supported Mediterranean civilizations for centuries, and the Aegean Coast is home to some of the finest olives in the region. The olives cultivated on the Aegean Coast, such as the “Memecik” Olive, are ideally suitable for olive oil production and offer a rich taste due to their high oil content.
From Olive to Oil
There are 2 different systems to extract oil from olives which are the traditional system and the modern system.
-Traditional System: This method consists of extraction by pressure with the manual use of stone mills and hammers. Until the introduction of the modern system, this has been the only existing procedure for obtaining olive oil.
-Modern System: As the name of the system clearly suggests, the modern system brought technology and modern equipment to the olive oil industry. With having the metal mills, hammers, pumps, and centrifugal discs, it helps the olive oil producers to save time and reduce the cost of the olive oil processing.
The modern system can be seen in two different versions as the three-phase system and the two-phase system. Basically, the three-phase system can separate the oil, the water and the solid materials during the centrifuge stage, while two-phase can separate only the oil and paste.
- The journey begins with the harvesting of the olives. It is based on picking the olives from their branch, manually or with the help of equipment, and collecting them with giant nets stretched out between the trees floating above the ground. Avoiding the olive oils to contact the ground is a very important point of harvesting as the bacteria in the soil would directly affect the taste and quality of the oil.
- Once the olives have been collected, they need to be washed and separated from leaves, stones, dirt, and any other foreign materials, as these would directly affect the sensorial properties such as taste and smell and decrease the quality of the oil.
- After the washing and separation process, the olives are prepared for crushing and pressing, to release the oil droplets from their cells. This process is carried out with stone mills in traditional methods or metal mills and crushers in modern methods.
- Crushed and pressed olives turn into a paste which will then go through the kneading process. The kneading process allows us to gather all oil droplets together and extract the oil from the paste. At this stage, kneading time and paste temperatures play a significant role to achieve the best quality olive oil. The optimal time and temperature would be 75-90 mins with 30 °C.
- In the traditional system, the extraction stage is handled by the manual press. As for the modern system, the centrifuge decanter plays a huge part to separate oil from the paste. Oil might contain some water after the first centrifuge process. This leads us to a second and faster centrifuge, so we can have cleaner olive oil to be bottled.
- At the end of this journey the only thing left is to bottle them with precision so that they do not interact with air.
The Variety of Olive Oils
There is a variety of olive oils that can be used for different purposes.
-Natural Olive Oil (Extra Virgin and Virgin Olive Oil)
Natural Olive Oil is extracted from the olive with cold pressing methods that help keep the natural olive taste intact, alongside having a low acidity level, high nutritional values and antioxidants.
This oil is not ideal for cooking due to its low smoke point. The best way to use natural olive oil is for salad dressings and dipping. This can also be used for health purposes as its health benefits are extensive.
Acidity Level: Less than 0.8%
-Refined Olive Oil
This type of olive oils are obtained by refining olive oils which have a high acidity level in order to lower their harmful acidity levels and make it taste smoother.
This oil is good for cooking as its smoke point is higher.
Acidity Level: Less than 0.3%
-Riviera Olive Oil (Pure Olive Oil)
Riviera Olive Oils are a blend of natural oil and refined oil.
Riviera Olive Oils can be used as a substitution for butter and vegetable oil as this type of oil has little taste. This is also good for hair and skin health.
Acidity Level: Less than 1%
-Olive Pomace Oil
After the olives are pressed and their oil and water are extracted, they leave sediment still containing a certain amount of oil. Olive Pomace Oil is extracted directly from this sediment and blended with natural oils to improve its quality.
It is a healthy substitute for high heat cooking and frying as it retains its features at high temperatures.
Acidity Level: Less than 1%
-Infused Olive Oil
Blending any type of olive oil with dried herbs, fruits and vegetables or their essence reveals Infused Olive Oils. Ingredients differ by brand or the gusto of the person who practices the blending at home.
How to use different kinds of olive oil?
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The health aspect
The taste aspect
Advantages over other edible oils
“Make Sure to Get the Right Type
Buying the right kind of olive oil is extremely important.
Extra virgin olive oil retains some of the antioxidants and bioactive compounds from olives. For this reason, it’s considered healthier than the more refined variety of olive oil.
Even so, there is a lot of fraud on the olive oil market, as many oils that read “extra virgin” on the label have been diluted with other refined oils.
Therefore, examine labels carefully to ensure you’re getting real extra virgin olive oil. It’s always a good idea to read ingredients lists and check for quality certification.”