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More about Vita & Terra Olive Oil ®

What is Extra Virgin Olive Oil ?

According to the International Olive Oil Council, Extra Virgin Olive Oil is the highest quality of olive oil produced. It has a free acidity, expressed as oleic acid, of no more than 0.8 grams per 100 grams (0.8%). It is obtained only from the olive, the fruit of the olive tree, using solely mechanical or other physical means, in conditions, particularly thermal conditions, which do not alter the oil in any way. It has not undergone any treatment other than washing, decanting, centrifuging, and filtering.
It is to be noted that 90 % of the olive oil produced in Crete is Extra Virgin.

Olive oil production

The olive starts gathering oil in the cell around late July or early August, it builds up during the autumn months and peaks around mid November to January. The exact calculation of the best stage of fruit maturity appropriate for harvesting depends on the cultivar, weather conditions, region and soil fertility. This stage seems to coincide with the time when the skin of the olive starts changing colour – from green-yellow to inky-violet.

                    Vita & Terra Olive Oil Production

After harvesting and in order to retain their various valuable vegetative substances, olives are transported directly - without interim storage - to the oil-press, where they are rinsed with water and then grounded with special machinery in low-temperature (< 27° C) and cold press conditions. The pressure forces all juices and oil out of the flesh of the olive.

Health benefits

Since antiquity the natural extract of olives has constituted the basis of the diet for all people in the Mediterranean who have used it as the main source of fat. Olive oil is considered an elixir of health and longevity and ranks amongst the 10 most beneficial foodstuff, as it has been shown to constitute a protective shield for our health against heart diseases, atherosclerosis, cancer and diabetes, as well as metabolic and other diseases.

            Vita & Terra Olive Oil              Olive Oil Heart

Evidence suggests that consuming olive oil, rather than other fats or oils, increases the levels of 'good' cholesterol (HDL) and decreases the levels of 'bad' cholesterol (LDL) while at the same time it reduces the amount of triglycerides in blood, thus building a highly balanced lipid system. In combination with its increased content in natural antioxidants and the rest of its highly beneficial features, olive oil ranks first in the list of foods which contribute to sustaining low levels of cholesterol in the blood protecting hence from cardiovascular diseases, such as the coronary heart disease and the myocardial infarction.

Besides fats, olive oil contains quantities of other ingredients beneficial to the human body, such as vitamins and provitamins (A and E), metals (such as selenium) and a whole class of antioxidant substances, such as tocopherols and hydroxyphenyl that shield the organism by protecting cells from oxide stress, active oxygen and free radicals which are considered the principal injurious factors in a number of chronic diseases.

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