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Extra virgin oil: an extraordinary food
Olive oil is unique among vegetable oils in that it is produced from simply pressing the olives, without the use of solvents or an industrial refining process.
The extraction process preserves all the fruit’s natural substances in the extra-virgin oil, giving it a unique smell and taste typical of the production areas and of the varieties used.
But in addition to its pleasant characteristics, olive oil – and extra-virgin oil in particular – is important also for its nutritional characteristics.
Below is an explanation of the nutrition information panel on our extra-virgin oils:
NUTRITION INFORMATION EU Regulation 1169/2011
Average values for 100 ml
3404 Kj / 828 Kcal
of which: Saturated fatty acids
Monounsaturated fatty acids
Polyunsaturated fatty acids
of which Sugars
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)*
(*) 142% of recommended dietary intake
100 ml of Oil weigh 92 grams, which (as all pure oils and fats) are made up of 100% fat.
Since a gram of fat produces 9 Calories or 37 kJ, the total energy is obtained by multiplying 92 grams by 9 or by 37.
Of the 92 grams contained in 100 ml of oil, only 14 g are saturated fatty acids, while the rest is made up of unsaturated and largely monounsaturated (75%) fats.
As with all pure fats, olive oil doesn’t contain carbohydrates, sugars, dietary fiber, protein or salt.
We guarantee at least 17mg of vitamin E in our extra-virgin oils, which is above the recommended daily intake by 142%.
For olive oils whose chemical composition is verified, three nutritional and health claims among those recognized by EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) can be made and are legally allowed.
RICH IN MONOUNSATURATED FATS
Substituting saturated with unsaturated fats in the diet contributes to maintaining normal blood cholesterol levels.
The daily fat intake for an adult is 70 g, and choosing a fat rich in monounsaturated (such as olive oil) or polyunsaturated fatty acids (such as the majority of vegetable oils) over fats rich in saturated fatty acids (animal fats) contributes to maintaining normal blood cholesterol levels.
Furthermore, olive oil’s higher content of monounsaturated fatty acids compared to polyunsaturated ones makes it more stable during cooking.
Vitamin E contributes to protecting cells from oxidative stress
If a foodstuff contains a minimum amount of 1.8 mg of vitamin E per 100 g, it can be considered a “source of vitamin E”, whereas if it contains at least twice that amount (3.6 mg) it should be considered a food “high in vitamin E”.
Of course, a good extra virgin olive oil can contain more than 20 mg of vitamin E, or more than 166% of our daily requirements of vitamin E.
OLIVE OIL POLYPHENOLS
Olive oil polyphenols contribute to protecting blood lipids from oxidative stress.
The bitter, spicy flavor of good extra-virgin olive oils comes from the presence of special antioxidants called “olive oil polyphenols”.
These substances contribute to protecting blood lipids from oxidative stress; a daily intake of 20 grams of extra-virgin olive oil, which contains 25 mg of polyphenols, has a beneficial effect.
Thanks to studies conducted on the so-called Mediterranean diet, since 1970 people have believed that a healthy diet contributes to a higher life expectancy. The Mediterranean diet is a symbol of sociality and one of the most sustainable nutrition models both for the environment and for health; in 2010 it was included in UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
The Mediterranean diet combines the different social, agricultural and cooking practices of the people of the Mediterranean basin, which share a cuisine based mainly on bread, pasta, vegetables, legumes, fruit, nutseggs, fish, dairy, reduced consumption of foods of animal origin and, to dress it all, olive oil.
The unique organoleptic characteristics of extra-virgin olive oil and its versatility make it a key ingredient for some of the most famous recipes in the world.