Olive Oil Chemistry

The quality of EVOO is all in the chemistry! By knowing these different properties, you can easily select a high-quality, and tasty addition for your cooking!
 

Free Fatty Acid (FFA)[badge type=”default” ]FFA[/badge]

The lower, the better. The IOC requires that this number be below 0.8 in order for an olive oil to be considered Extra Virgin grade. Our average is about 0.18! Also, the lower the FFA, the higher the smoke point of that particular oil.
 
**(Indication of the olive condition at time of crush –Fruit processed immediately should produce oil with low FFA)**

 

 

Peroxide Value – (PV)[badge type=”default” ]PV[/badge]

This number must be equal to or less than 20. This is the primary measurement of the rancidity of a particular extra virgin olive oil. Peroxide value is affected by procedures used in processing, and storing of the oil. Peroxide is responsible for color and aroma changes as the oil oxidizes. Our average PV at time of crush is around 3.2!

 

 

Polyphenols – Healthful (Antioxidant Substances)

Antioxidant substances that we measure in Extra Virgin Olive Oils. The higher the better! Polyphenols extend the shelf-life of an oil & also determine the “style” in terms of bitterness and pungency. Generally, when an oil has a high polyphenol count (presented in parts per million), it will have more “pepper” or more “bitterness”. Many consider polyphenols to be free-radical “scavengers”.

 

 

Oleic Acid – (Healthful Monounsaturated Fat)

In order for an oil to be called extra virgin olive oil, the Fatty Acid Profile must be comprised of at least 55% Oleic Acid. The higher the oleic acid, the better. Our average oleic acid content is around 77%! Because your body will absorb any peroxidized fats that you consume and incorporate them into your cells, oleic acid’s superior resistance to free radical attacks also protects your cell membranes, proteins, and DNA from being damaged, even as it protects the oil from spoiling.
 

 
[alert style=”notice” close=”0″ ]Also, substituting oleic acid for saturated fatty acids in animal fats improves cholesterol balance. This is why monounsaturated fats are often regarded as “the good fats”.[/alert]

 

 

DAGS Test/Score[badge type=”default” ]DAGs[/badge]

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 positions is weak and easily broken, leading to the migration of the 2 position fatty acid to the 3 position. This results in the much more stable 1,3 DAG. This make 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 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 shore exposure to high heat that is characteristic of deodorizing (refining).

 

 

PPP Test/Score [badge type=”default” ]PPP[/badge]

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 obtain 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.