This is the reason why there may be sediment or even a gelatinous substance at the bottom of the bottle or canister.
Our olive oil is produced without additional filtration processes, so it retains all its natural characteristics and has a more intense and pure flavor and aroma. This can be reminiscent of the aroma and taste of fresh green olives.
Our olive oil cannot be found in any supermarket. You can check by yourself by buying a commercial one and comparing it with ours.
Our oil is packaged very fresh (usually the same day the olives have been harvested) to avoid the loss of its numerous medicinal properties and to avoid the oxidation process. However, this can lead to the appearance of bodies or mucilages with a gummy appearance in the lower third of the bottle or canister. These are actually bonds of waxes, gums, and phospholipids naturally present in olive oil.
Like some solids in suspension (pulp or pieces of olive skin) that tend to accumulate at the bottom of the bottle but this is not indicative of a bad state of the oil and can be easily separated by filtering.
Our aim is to offer the highest quality olive oil with a high content of polyphenols together with other medicinal components, and with a flavor and aroma as natural as possible. That is why we advise you to consume it raw to be able to take advantage of its great properties and to store it in a cool, dark place.
Another type of deposit that can form in the bottle or canister is that caused by low temperatures. When the temperature drops, the fatty acids will become solids and the oil will become more opaque, even creating whitish lumps. As the temperature rises, this effect will disappear. Again, this does not affect the oil, which keeps all its properties intact.
The advantage of extra virgin olive oil is that you can easily detect when it starts to go bad by changing its taste to a more rancid tone.
Unfiltered oil does have a slightly shorter shelf life than filtered oil, which is why choosing a cool and dark storage place is highly recommended.
Every year we aim to enhance the quality of our extra virgin olive oil. Through regenerative techniques, we are increasing the amount and diversity of microorganisms in the soil.
We are improving the water-holding capacity of the soil and increasing the levels of organic matter through the application of compost, wood chips, and the use of cover crops.
We have also started applying biofertilizers and compost teas that nourish and protect the olive trees through the leaves (what is called foliar application).
And we can monitor all these changes and the quality of our preparations thanks to our soil lab. (yeah :))
We are happy to see the first improvements on our trees and in the veggie garden. Happier and healthier plants tell us that we are going in the right direction.
We confirmed the effectiveness of our regeneration efforts while checking soil under the microscope and discovering a wider range of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa in the samples.
We have also confirmed that we are on the right track by conducting consecutive oil analyses and comparing the levels of compounds such as polyphenols and phenols in our olive oil (see below).
When we claim that our olive oil is medicinal we are not only referring to the fact of not adding any synthetic compounds in the form of pesticides, fungicides, fertilizer, or using tillage therefore disturbing the soils.
We also refer to the impact on the soil and biology contained in it which improve the level of medicinal compounds found later in the oil.
Let’s take a look at the medicinal compounds
Olive oil, apart from having a beneficial lipid composition for human health, is also an excellent source of phenolic substances with excellent health protection properties. European Regulation 432/2012 distinguishes olive oils in terms of their effect on health, depending on the content of these substances. Actually, olive oils with a polyphenol content of 250mg/kg or more can claim to be designated “health-protecting food products”.
Do you know the polyphenol level of our extra virgin olive oil?
It contains 438 mg/kg of total polyphenols and we are working hard to further increase this value 🙂
One of the most interesting phenolic compounds are Oleocanthal and Oleacein. They have received much scientific interest due to their outstanding biological properties such as anticancer and anti-inflammatory activity similar to ibuprofen able to inhibit the progress of Alzheimer’s disease. Oleacein presents anti-inflammatory, antiatherosclerotic (Atherosclerosis is the buildup of fats, cholesterol, and other substances in and on the artery walls.), antioxidant, and neuroprotective activity.
All these polyphenols are found in olive oil in different concentrations, depending, among others, on the harvest season and the oil production conditions.
During the 2023 harvest, we produced a very early olive oil to get a product higher in some polyphenols such as Oleocanthal and Oleacein, and it worked: The values doubled in comparison to our oil from 2021.
Unfortunately, the fact of producing the olive oil so early has also an impact on the taste, which becomes less bright and zippy. Oleocanthal can activate some receptors in the oropharyngeal cavity and give a stinging feeling. This feeling is described as “pungency” and we feel it at the end of our throats.
Contact us if you want to try some of our early, highly medicinal olive oil (called “Verdone”) or our regular extra virgin olive oil. While both are highly natural, premium quality olive oils, the latter has a slightly more pleasant, rounded taste (although we won’t argue with anyone who prefers the flavor of the medicinal “Verdone”.)
What is the most reliable way to identify a good olive oil?
This year, 2021, we are happy to have harvested more than two tons of olives. Yeah!
We feel very fortunate to have had the help of volunteers and friends who joined us and enjoyed this experience with us.
We have been harvesting alongside Belgians, English, Dutch, Germans, Ghanaians, Polish, Swedish and Swiss… who offered their time and energy to make this happen 🙂
Together, we’ve picked the olives directly from the trees or we used light machinery to shake the olives into the nets on the ground to be collected immediately.
View from a net used during the olive harvest
After sunset, when all the olives were safely packed in sacks, we drove them straight to the oil mill to be immediately cold-pressed on the same day. This way, the oil is extracted before the fermentation process of the fruit can start, thus preserving all of its amazing properties.
It’s so rewarding to bring the olives to the mill and transform it into the beautiful amazing oil
In order to maintain a maximum quality standard, we do not use olives that have fallen from the trees prematurely, as they usually have already started to ferment or are otherwise damaged or attacked by insects.
Despite having had an extremely hot and dry summer, especially at the beginning, nature is generous and has provided us with high-quality olives from which we have made outstanding oil.
Why do we know it is outstanding?
First of all, there is our own sensory assessment. We have made it a ritual to try the freshly pressed oil every time we come back from the oil mill. Usually, there is a quite complex sensation: on the tongue and palate, the full range of flavors of green olives present itself, while a rather spicy aftertaste unfolds in the throat. This itchy feeling in the throat is mainly caused by a polyphenol called Oleocanthal.
Several studies have shown the medicinal properties of this component but Oleocanthal is just one of many sorts of Polyphenols that can be found in olive oil.
Polyphenols are a group of substances present in plants and in olive oil, with a high antioxidant capacity and with positive effects on our health.
The functions of polyphenols in the body are:
Antioxidant – They act on the skin and fight free radicals, thus helping to slow down cellular ageing.
Anti-inflammatory – They help reduce chronic inflammation and the risk of heart disease.
Protective – They improve the functioning of the inner walls of blood vessels. This produces a cardioprotective effect that reduces the accumulation of platelets.
The amount of polyphenols in olives is higher in young olives that are still green than in more mature ones. This requires a clear decision-making process by the producer in terms of quality vs. quantity. The earlier the harvest, the higher the quality but the lower the quantity of oil.
Our priority is to produce an oil with the highest concentration of beneficial elements, so we harvest early in the season in order to obtain the highest amount of polyphenols.
Agronomic factors affect the quality of olive oil as they directly affect the olive. These factors are classified as follows:
Intrinsic: Those that can hardly be modified, such as the variety of the tree.
Extrinsic: Those that can be controlled, with relative ease, by the farmer himself.
This is where our practice and experience can have an impact on the quality of the oil.
Through the application of regenerative methods, we focus on enhancing soil quality, improving water management, and increasing biodiversity.
In the coming months, we’ll keep adding organic matter which is food for soil microbiology. In turn, these beneficial microorganisms will be making nutrients available for our trees.
At the same time, we strive to increase the microbial diversity (especially fungi), with the application of compost extracts to our soils.
We also plan to apply bio-active compost teas on leaf surfaces and stems of the trees in order to protect them from parasites and diseases.
Finally, we try to avoid compaction of our soil by machines such as heavy tractors and keep it covered as much as possible with mulch or cover crops throughout the year.
It’s an exciting journey for us as we acquire new knowledge and continue learning about new techniques in this field. We will keep you posted about the progress in one of our next articles as soon as our efforts start to yield reliable results.
We hope that you share our enthusiasm and passion for producing high-quality olive oil that not only tastes great but provides such interesting medicinal properties.