Olive Oil: Conservation standards



In order for oils to produce their true beneficial effects for health, it is essential to perform a series of conservation methods to avoid oxidation, the chemical reaction that causes deterioration and alteration. Even though virgin oils are quite stable and resistant to oxidation, especially the Picual variety, oil oxidizes with time and the products that are the result of oxidation affect its taste as well as its nutritional value. With oxidation, oleic and linoleic acids disappear as well as some healthy vitamins in the fats. Temperature, air, light, metallic traces, and organic catalysts arise as external factors that accelerate the oxidation process. For its part, tocopherols and polyphenols are the most effective natural antioxidants. Olive oil is rich in these antioxidants.

We should pay attention to the maximum temperature the oil can reach. We have to avoid the temperature getting too high. We also have to be careful about the bottle facing solar light, so the bottle should be positioned in the darkest place possible. We also have to pay special attention so that the oil does not get too much air, making sure the bottle, preferably non-metallic, is closed tightly after use. In addition to these external factors, the oil’s own acidity and unsaturated degree favor oxidation. The more acidic a virgin oil is, the lower the quality will be and it will oxidize sooner. As the unsaturation increases, the oxidation rate progressively increases. The monounsaturated fat acids are the best at resisting oxidation. Among the different types of olive oils, those from the Picual variety have a higher proportion of oleic acid than those from other varieties, so they are the most resistant to oxidation.

However, some natural antioxidants, such as tocopherols and polyphenols, are very effective at slowing the oxidation process. The presence of tocopherols and vitamin E are only in virgin olive oils since they disappear during the refining process.

The nutritional and therapeutic value of the oils with the largest amount of polyphenols is gaining in appreciation. In terms of quality, our well-made Picual oils are guaranteed to be unparalleled, given their flavor, scent and color. From a nutritional and therapeutic standpoint, they are the most resistant to oxidation, given their composition of fat acids and the large amount of polyphenols and tocopherols they contain.