Properties & quality characteristics of olive oil

More than 2.000 scientific researches have proved that olive oil is a ‘’medicine’’ too ,as it has ‘’good’’ unsaturated fatty acids including  60-80% of monounsaturated fats (oleic acid mostly) ,a lot of antioxidants as polyphenols , flavonoids , vitamin E , provitamin A ,minerals and elements making it valuable for health.

Olive oil combines the soothing properties of a vegetable oil with the antiiflammatories and antioxidant components of the olive . In this way not only it moisturizes and soothes the skin but it also helps it to stay young and elastic.

Olive oil acidity

Acidity of olive oil is the quantity of free fatty acids in the oil. The smaller is the quantity is the better the quality of olive oil will be. Therefore , the lowest the acidity ,the better in quality and taste. Extra virgin olive oil is considered to be the olive oil whose content in free fatties is not over 0.8gr. in 100gr (0.8). Virgin olive oil has acidity not over 2%. Lampante olive oil is considered the one acidity is under 2%.

Positive organoleptic properties of olive oil

  • Fruity (about taste and scent)
    The olive oil which is produced by olives that have been collected during total maturation. The fruity property is perceived directly from the nose or the rear part of it and it depends on the olive varieties.
  • Bitter (about taste).
    This property is not considered a fault. On the contrary , most of the times it is an advantage. Prevailing culinary direction of olive oil which comes from olives which have just blackened.
  • Spicy (about taste).
    Feature of olive oil which is produced at the beginning of olive’ s harvest period , mostly by olives which are still immature.

K Indices

  • Index Κ232 : It reflects the average oxidation rate of olive oil’s components when it is controlled with light of wavelength 232nm.The lower the index value , the better quality of the olive oil. According to the currents the extra virgin olive oil should have numbers K232 less than or equal to 2.5.
  • Index Κ270 : It reflects the reduction percentage in resistance to oxidation when olive oil is controlled with light of wavelength 270nm. The lower the number index value , the better in this case ,fresh also the olive oil is. High index values show that the olive oil is old or mixed with older oil. According to the currents the extra virgin olive oil should have K270 values less than or equal to 0.22.
  • Index ΔΚ : It is main criterion for the definition of the olive oil.It derives from a mathematical type of the Κ266,Κ274 and Κ270 values and it shows possible blending with other ,not extra virgin , olive oil.The index’ s value should be negative for the extra virgin olive oil (max. value 0.01).