Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Let’s Talk Chemistry
Our Ultra Premium EVOOs are the first cold press, meaning there is no heat involved during the extraction, and the oil is of highest quality-below 1% acidity. They go beyond the IOCC (International Olive Oil Council) testing standards by including key factors to determine the oils worthiness of the ultra-premium standard. Our oils are all-natural and have no artificial additives or flavour enhancements. Each bottle of our extra virgin olive oil we sell is bottled fresh and meets the exact chemistry which we proudly display on our product description cards, including crush date since fresh crushed EVOO’s yield the most flavour and nutrients.
All of our olive oils and specialty oils are Non-GMO Project Verified, gluten free, dairy free, and soy free.
Objective, verifiable chemical standards form the foundation 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.
4 Main Chemical Parameters
Free Fatty Acids (FFA)… Indicates the condition of the olives at time of crush! Healthy fruit, processed immediately should produce oil with low FFA!
The lower, the better. An oil with a low FFA will have a higher smoke point than an oil with a higher FFA.
The IOC (International Olive Council) 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!
Peroxide Value (PV)… 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 colour and aroma changes as the oil oxidizes. Our average PV at time of crush is around 3.2!
Oleic Acid… A higher level is better! Oleic acid is responsible for some of the health benefits of EVOO, and its high resistance to free radicals helps to slow down the spread of damaging chemical chain-reactions. Because of its high degree of resistance to attack by oxygen free radicals, higher levels of aleic acid in an olive oi help keep it fresher for longer, by preventing the formation of peroxidized (rancid) fats.
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. Our average oleic acid content is around 77%!
Biophenols… Biophenols are the antioxidant like substances that are naturally occurring in Extra Virgin Olive Oils. Phenols extend the shelf life of extra virgin olive oil and also determine the ‘stye’ in terms of bitterness and pungency. Generally, when an oil has a high phenol count (presented in parts per million), it will have more “pepper” or more “bitterness”. Many consider phenols to be free-radical “scavengers”.
The following chart shows the existing EVOO standards and the far right column shows the UP standard which exceeds all other standards in the world.
Other Chemical Components
Diacylglycerols (DAGs)… Fresh olive oil made from sound fruit should result in a DAG content of 85% or higher whereas the processing of rotten and/or fermented olives will produce fresh oil with low DAGs indicating a very short shelf-life.
DAGs typically drop between 20-30% per year depending on storage conditions and FFA. They are highly influenced by heat but not light.
DAGs are import shelf life indicators and can be used to determine the shelf life (or lack thereof) of an oil at any time in its life.
Recent studies show that many grocery store oils fail DAGs (35% is considered falling in the voluntary Australian standard) which shows a high correlation with sensory defects, more so than any other test. The degradation of DAGs (rate) are highly predictable over time if initial quality (FFA) is known and storage conditions.
Pyropheophytin A (PPA)… Most sensitive method (ratio) able to detect the presence of deodorized (soft-column refined, thermally treated) oils.
Recent studies show that many grocery store oils fail PPP (17% is considered falling in the voluntary Australian standard). Freshly made oil should have a PPP of close to zero.