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The fats, essential nutritional substances with a predominantly energetic function are necessary elements for the sustainment of the tissues of cellular and intracellular structures.

The Extra Virgin Olive Oil has approximately an 80% of oleic acid, an ingredient that reduces the LDL cholesterol levels (“bad” cholesterol) in blood as it increases those of HDL cholesterol (“good” cholesterol). This diminishes the risk of suffering from arteriosclerosis and other cardiovascular diseases.

The remaining 20% is composed by linoleic acid in an 8% (Omega 6). One of its tasks is to maintain the correct functioning of the immune system and the formation of cell membranes and neurons. Furthermore, it is a vasodilator, an anticoagulant, and an anti-inflammatory.

According to their saturation degree, fatty acids can be saturated (namely those of animal origin, such as butter or cream, and some vegetable oils, such as coconut or palm) or unsaturated. The latter prevail in extra virgin olive oil, and are responsible for many beneficial attributes for our health. The main difference between saturated and unsaturated fatty acids as far as health is concerned is the kind of cholesterol they increase: whereas fatty acids increase LDL or “bad” cholesterol levels, unsaturated fatty acids increase the HDL or “good” cholesterol levels, thus reducing those of LDL or “bad” cholesterol.

There are two kinds of unsaturated fatty acids: monounsaturated, among which we can find oleic acid, and polyunsaturated, such as linoleic acid and alpha-linoleic acid. Unsaturated fatty acids are essential for our organism.

Its richness in antioxidants makes it a unique fat thanks to the positive effect it exerts on the ageing factors, resulting in multiple benefits for our health, from cardiovascular (blood pressure, cholesterol, arteriosclerosis) and metabolic (diabetes, obesity) to dermatological (atopic and dry skin, wrinkles, discoloration) and osseous (osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis) ones. This is due to the defense mechanism of antioxidant agents, vitamin E and beta-carotene, which perform as the immune system of the olive.

In conclusion, including Extra Virgin Olive Oil on the basis of our food pyramid makes our organism grow old more slowly and keep healthy for longer.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil is the star of the Mediterranean Diet, declared World Heritage by the UNESCO in 2010. This liquid gold not only improves the flavor of food, making it taste more delicious, but it also helps the organism digest it better. The presence of bread, pasta, vegetables, legumes, fruits and nuts, the use of Extra Virgin Olive Oil as the main source of fat, a moderate consumption of fish, and an occasional consumption of red meat characterize the Mediterranean Diet. This sort of diet has abundant properties and characteristics that integrate and sustain one of the best cardiovascular health levels in the world.

 

There is a scientific consensus on the benefits of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Our priority as producers, bottlers, and marketers is not only to obtain an extra virgin olive oil of superior quality, but also to contribute to the spreading of its health benefits through the collaboration in scientific studies focused on discovering and diffusing its uses and culinary properties.

Since Doctors Goldstein and Brown discovered the effects of cholesterol in cardiovascular diseases in 1985, which earned them the Nobel Prize, the works of Professor Grande Covián, and later countless scientific studies, have proven the advantage of incorporating Extra Virgin Olive Oil in the diet in order to balance the cholesterol levels and prevent the development of arteriosclerosis.

Studies carried out by the Cardiology and Clinical Biochemistry professorships at the University of Zaragoza Faculty of Medicine proved that substituting the consumption of sunflower oil for olive oil for 10 weeks reduces the cholesterol in blood by averagely 13%.

There is a wide scientific consensus on the countless benefits of Extra Virgin Olive Oil for our health, amongst which we must highlight:

  • Its antioxidant action prevents cellular ageing
  • It prevents the increase of the cholesterol excess
  • It reduces the risk of suffering from gastric ulcers
  • It improves bone calcification
  • It limits the loss of calcium due to ageing
  • It protects the skin, acting as a protector of the epidermis
  • It improves metabolism and regenerates tissues
  • It fights constipation efficiently
  • It diminishes the glycaemia levels in diabetics
  • It reduces the risk of suffering from breast cancer

The Olive Oil Interprofessional Association has established a recommended daily amount of 40 ml (37 g) of olive oil, according to the conclusions extracted from a Predimed study on prevention through the Mediterranean Diet.

 

Conservation and best-before-end date

Keep it in a dark, cool place in order to protect it from light and temperature changes, which accelerate the oxidation process of the oil. The ideal conservation temperature is 20º C.

When the room temperature is cold, light-colored pearls may show up on the bottom of the bottle. These lumps are completely harmless; they are precipitates of triglycerides of fatty acids that disappear as soon as room temperature increases. Nevertheless, it is a sign that the oil has been conserved at an excessively low temperature.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil’s best-before-end date depends on several factors, such as the variety of the olive, the quality of the oil and its chemical composition or the conservation method.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil is usually more resistant to oxidation than the rest of oils.

Among high-quality Extra Virgin Olive Oils, those coming from olives of the picual variety, such as those produced by MONVA, show a potentially bigger amount of oleic acid, antioxidants and natural pro-vitamins, which imply a better resistance to oxidation, as well as additional benefits for our health.

 

Olive oil chemical acidity

Acidity is one of olive oil’s chemical parameters, and it shows the levels of free fatty acids that the oil contains and that decompose it, accelerating its oxidation and deterioration. Therefore, the lower the acidity, the better the oil’s stability.

A low acidity level (below 0.4º C) defines an extraction process that has been carried out immediately after the collection of the olives, through natural, non-aggressive methods.

An oil’s acidity varies throughout time, and its evolution depends on its quality (from a purity and freshness point of view) and conservation methods.

The regulations in force in the European Union establish that it is not possible to inform about acidity without including information about other chemical parameters of the oil: peroxide index, K-270, K-232 and Delta K, which are other ways to measure the purity and quality of the oil.

 

Frying: pre-heat the oil and make the most of what’s left

Extra Virgin Olive Oil, once hot, covers most foods with a layer, which prevents them from becoming oily due to fat absorption – something that happens with seed oils. Frying must be carried out in small portions, so the oil’s temperature does not go down.

After frying, there may be traces of bread crumbs, flour, etc. Those reminders must be removed with a dense strainer. You may also use coffee paper filters.

Make sure your oil is always Extra Virgin. Non-virgin oils, whether they are olive oils or seed oils, do not resist high temperatures as much; they experience greater damage.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil can take up to 4 or 5 frying cycles, if carried out correctly. Once this amount has been overcome, there are two options for the remaining oil: taking it to a waste recycling centre (used oil must never be thrown down the sink) or making soap old style.