Learn about how Olive Oil is made and more information about our products!

 

 

up-logo-lrg-1-.pngUltra Premium Olive Oil

We carry several varieties of Ultra Premium Olive Oil. These exceed world standards for olive oil quality and are the freshest and finest olive oils in the world today. To find out more about the Ultra Premium standard, click the UP logo to the right.

https://upextravirginoliveoil.com/what-is-up 

 

bal-sam-ic vin-e-gar               
(noun) dark, sweet Italian vinegar that has been matured in wooden barrels

Balsamic vinegar has become all the rage in America, thanks to creative chefs at upscale restaurants. It is difficult to believe that this robust product of the vine has only come to be appreciated within the last two decades in America, when Italians have been enjoying it for centuries.

Its flavor and complex fragrance is exalted over its lowly cousin, red wine vinegar, just as red wine vinegar leaps ahead of white vinegar. 


What is balsamic vinegar?

How does a lowly vinegar come to reap such praise? As far back as 900 years ago, vintners in the Modena, Italy region were making balsamic vinegar which was taken as a tonic and bestowed as a mark of favor to those of importance.

Although it is considered a wine vinegar, it is not a wine vinegar at all. It is not made from wine, but from grape pressings that have never been permitted to ferment into wine.

Sweet white Trebbiano grape pressings are boiled down to a dark syrup and then aged under rigid restrictions. The syrup is placed into oaken kegs, along with a vinegar "mother," and begins the aging process. Over the years it graduates to smaller and smaller kegs made of chestnut, cherrywood, ash, mulberry, and juniper until it is ready for sale.

All of these woods progressively add character to the vinegar. As it ages, moisture evaporates out, further thickening the vinegar and concentrating the flavor.

 

Do you know your oil?

 

           

 

  Extra-virgin olive oil

comes from virgin oil production only, contains no more than 0.8% acidity, and is judged to have a superior taste. Extra Virgin olive oil accounts for less than 10% of oil in many producing countries.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

 

Virgin olive oil

Is produced by the use of physical means and no chemical treatment. , has an acidity less than 2%, and is judged to have a good taste. Over 50% of the oil produced in the Mediterranean area is of such poor quality that it must be refined to produce an edible product

Pure Olive Oils

Oils labeled as Pure olive oil or Olive oil are usually a blend of refined and virgin production oil. Over 50% of the oil produced in the Mediterranean area is of such poor quality that it must be refined to produce an edible product. No solvents used used to extract the oil but it has been refined with the use of charcoal and other chemical and physical filters                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

 

 

 

Refined olive oil

is the olive oil obtained from virgin olive oils by refining methods which do not lead to alterations in the initial glyceridic structure. It has a free acidity, expressed as oleic acid, of not more than 0.3 grams per 100 grams (0.3%) and its other characteristics correspond to those fixed for this category in this standard. This is obtained by refining virgin olive oils which have a high acidity level and/or organoleptic defects which are eliminated after refining. Over 50% of the oil produced in the Mediterranean area is of such poor quality that it must be refined to produce an edible product. Note that no solvents have been used to extract the oil but it has been refined with the use of charcoal and other chemical and physical filters. An obsolete equivalent is "pure olive oil"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

 Olive Oil

is a blend of virgin and refined production oil, of no more than 1.5% acidity, and lacks a strong flavor.

 

Olive pomace-oil

is refined pomace olive production oil possibly blended with some virgin production oil. It is fit for consumption, but may not be described simply as olive oil. Olive-pomace oil is rarely sold at retail; it is often used for certain kinds of cooking in restaurants.

Pomace Olive Oil

is extracted from the pomace using chemical solvents, mostly hexane, and by heat. Sometimes blended with some virgin production oil. It is fit for consumption, but may not be described simply as olive oil. Olive-pomace oil is rarely sold at retail; it is often used for certain kinds of cooking in restaurants.

 

Lampante

is not suitable as food because it is made usually from olives that are spoiled or insect infested.; the term lampante comes from olive oil's long-standing use in oil-burning lamps. Lampante oil is mostly used in the industrial market. It must be chemically refined before it can be consumed. The resulting oil, after refining, is known as A-Refined, or Refined-A olive oil. It is not, strictly speaking, "olive oil." It is used as the primary ingredient for a new product that is sold as "Pure Olive Oil.

CHEMISTRY

Objective, verifiable chemical standards form the foundation of the UP grade. Chemical analysis of EVOO has proven to be a fundamental indicator of sensory quality, predictor of perishability, and authenticity of olive oils. UP is the highest quality standard in the world because it utilizes the broadest array of available tests and enforces the strictest limits on all chemical standards.

Chemical Parameters

Determination

Indicators

Extra Virgin Standard

UP Standard

6.1 Free Fatty Acids (FFA)

Free Fatty Acids are formed due to breakdown of the triacylglycerols in oils during extraction. Fatty acids are "free" when they are no longer bound to any other molecules.

An elevated level of FFA can indicate poor quality or mishandled fruit, too much time between harvesting and extraction, poor storage and/or high temperature during extraction.

Units: % as oleic acid 
IOC limit ≤ 0.8

Units: % as oleic acid 
UP limit ≤ 0.3

6.2 Oleic Acid

The major fatty acid in olive oil triacylglycerols is Oleic acid making up 55 to 85% of olive oil

The higher the oleic acid monounsaturated fat content translates to increased durability and shelf-life.

Units: % as oleic acid
IOC limit ≥55

Units: % as oleic acid
UP limit ≥ 65

6.3 Peroxide Value

Peroxides are primary oxidation products that are formed when oils are exposed to oxygen causing defective flavors and odors

Primary measurement of rancidity in oil. Higher peroxide levels indicate oxidized and/or poor quality oil & give an idea of the freshness & storage conditions.

Units: mEQ O2/kg oil 
IOC limit≤20

Units: mEQ O2/kg oil
UP limit ≤9

6.4 UV Absorption

UV spectrophotometric determination Secondary measurement of rancidity in oil. Elevated levels of UV absorption indicate oxidized and/or poor quality oil, possible refining and/or adulteration with refined oil.

Secondary measurement of rancidity in oil. Elevated levels of UV absorption indicate oxidized and/or poor quality oil, possible refining and/or adulteration with refined oil.

Units: K1%/1cm 
IOC limits 
K232 ≤2.5, K270≤0.22, DeltaK≤0.01

Units: K1%/1cm
UP limits 
K232 ≤2.0
K270 ≤0.20, 
DeltaK ≤0.01

(immediately after production)

6.5 Phenolic Content (Polyphenols)

Phenols are healthful anti-oxidant substances in olive oil which aid in slowing down the natural oxidative processes.

Phenolic content decreases over time and is an indicator of freshness, with higher amounts improving shelf-life and oxidative stability.

N/A

Units: (as ppm caffeic acid) 
UP minimum 
limit ≥ 130

6.6 DAGs

Fresh olive oil has a much higher proportion of 1,2-diacylglycerols to Total diacylglycerols while olive oil extracted from poor quality fruits and refined oils have a higher level of 1,3-diacylglycerols

The ratio of 1,2-diacylglycerols to the Total diacylglycerols are a useful indicator of fruit quality and acts as a snapshot of olive oil freshness. Low values can also indicate oxidized oil & sensory defects.

Units: %Total 1,2-diacylglycerols 
AOA limit≥35

Units: %Total 1,2-diacylglycerols
UP limit ≥*90
(immediately after production)

6.7 PPP

Upon thermal degradation of olive oil, chlorophyll pigments break down to pheophytins and then to pyropheophytins

The ratio of pyropheophytins to the total pheophytins is useful for distinguishing fresh olive oil from soft column refined, deodorized, or backblended oils.

Units: %Total Pheophytins 
AOA limit≤17

Units: %Total Pheophytins 
UP limit ≤5
(immediately after production)

*IOC= International Olive Council, AOA= Australian Olive Association

 

 

Extra virgin olive oil decreases in flavor and health benefits over time. Fresh crushed olive oil is like fresh squeezed fruit juice in that it contains the most flavor and nutrients. Old, poorly made and improperly stored extra virgin olive oil yields fewer if any health benefits and undesirable flavor. Becoming intimately familiar with a particular extra virgin olive oil's flavor characteristics and chemistry i.e. antioxidant content, oleic acid, FFA, and crush date will help you make an educated decision about which olive oil is right for you.

 

CRUCIAL OLIVE OIL CHEMISTRY DEFINITION KEY

 

Oleic Acid: is a monounsaturated omega-9 fatty acid found in olive oil. Olive oil is generally higher in oleic acid than other vegetable fats. The range found in extra virgin olive oil is between 55-85%. Extra virgin olive oil high in oleic acid has greater resistance to oxidation.

 

FFA: Based on IOOC standards the maximum limit for free fatty acid in extra virgin olive oil is 0.8g per 100g or (.8%). A low FFA is desirable. Free fatty acid speaks to the condition of the fruit at the time of crush. The higher the FFA the greater the indication of poor quality fruit such as damaged, overripe, insect infestation, overheating during production or too much of a delay between harvest and crush.

 

Peroxide Value: Based on IOOC Standards the maximum peroxide value for extra virgin olive oil is 20. A very low peroxide value is desirable. Unsaturated free fatty acids react with oxygen and form peroxides, which create a series of chain reactions that generate volatile substances responsible for a typical musty/rancid oil smell. These reactions are accelerated by high temperature, light, and oxygen exposure.

 

Polyphenol Count: Polyphenols are a class of antioxidants found in a variety of foods. Polyphenols such as Oleuropein, Oleocanthal, and hydroxytyrosol impart intensity connected with pepper, bitterness and other desirable flavor characteristics. Recent studies indicate that these potent phenols are responsible for many of the health benefits associated with consuming fresh, high quality extra virgin olive oil. Phenols in olive oil decrease over time or when exposed to heat, oxygen and light. Consuming fresh, well made olive oil with high polyphenol content is crucial when looking to obtain the maximum health benefit commonly associated with consuming extra virgin olive oil.

 

NEW TESTING METHODS BASED ON OLIVE OIL CHEMISTRY

 

DAGs Test/Score: Measures the proportion of two forms of diacylglycerol: 1,2 and 1,3. In oil freshly made from sound olives of good quality, the prevalent form of DAG is the 1,2 form where the fatty acids are bonded to a glycerol molecule in the 1 and 2 positions. The bond on the 2 position is weak and easily broken, leading to the migration of that 2 position fatty acid to the 3 position. This results in the much more stable 1,3 DAG. This makes the ration of 1,2 DAGs to the total DAG’s a good indicator of the quality of the olive fruit and the processing. It is also an indicator of the age of an oil, since the migration from 1,2 to 1,3 DAGs takes place naturally as the oil ages. Warmer storage temperatures, and higher free fatty acid levels will both accelerate this process, but DAGs are not affected by the short exposure to high heat that is characteristic of deodorizing (refining).

 

PPP Test/Score: This test was developed to measure the degradation of chlorophyll in olive oil. This degradation of chlorophylls to pyropheophytin was found to take place at a predictable pace, making it possible to gain information about the age of an olive oil. The rate at which the degradation occurs can be accelerated by even short periods of high temperatures – such as that which is utilized during the deodorizing or soft column refining process – making it a useful indicator of the presence of deodorized olive oil as well as the age of the oil.  

 

To Learn More:

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/60-minutes-agromafia-food-fraud/

https://www.aboutoliveoil.org/

https://www.oliveoiltimes.com/