On the 16th November, 2010 the Mediterranean diet received by UNESCO the status of Intangible Heritage of Humanity. It was defined as: “a marker of identity and a space for sharing and dialogue which is transmitted from generation to generation, particularly through families, and which provides a sense of belonging and sharing for those who live in the Mediterranean basin”. This definition certifies its complex nature, as a bulwark of the environmental respect and of the development of traditional activities such as fishing and agriculture, to the table and traditional cuisine. Even the olive tree has been enlisted among the Protected Species, as it has always given sustenance and nutrition to many families of different countries: the olive tree is rooted in the collective imaginary as a symbol of hope and new life, and its fruits have always been powerful allies of our well-being.
At the base of the Mediterranean food pyramid, the extra virgin olive oil is introduced as the only fat daily-used, which represents a precious ally for our health thanks to its multiple benefits.
EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL BENEFITS:
– prevents cardiovascular diseases: extra virgin olive oil is low in saturated fats and rich in monounsaturated fats which regulate the sugar level, cholesterol and triglycerides in our blood.
– reduces skin aging: olive oil is rich in polyphenols, precious natural antioxidants which contribute to the cell protection from aging. In addition the union of monounsaturated fats to phenols helps to reduce the risk of tumoral diseases.
– helps to lower the blood pressure: every-day use of extra virgin olive oil lowers the blood pressure, thanks to the polyphenols action.
– tackles diabetes: the fat acids in the olive oil contribute to the production of insulin. A balanced diet rich in carbohydrates and fibers, along with a constant use of extra virgin olive oil, is effective in maintaining the glucose levels low.
– moisturizes the skin: since the Greek-Roman era the use of oil as healing ointment was widespread, to fight skin irritations and burns.
HOW MANY CALORIES HAS THE EVO OIL
Since it is composed entirely by fats, the nutritional value of oil is high: 100 grams, in fact, contain about 885 kcal. Its calories do not vary if used for cooking or for dressing the final dish, but in the latter it maintains unchanged all the organoleptic and healthy characteristics for our health, if correctly stored away from light and heat sources. The recommended daily consumption is 3-4 spoons per person, e.g. about 10 grams per person, with a caloric intake of 110 kcal for spoon.
WHAT IS THE DENSITY OF OIL
Explaining the specific weight of olive oil is not an easy task. The knowledge dates back to the school years when it was used to confront the oil weight and water weight to find out how the first one was lighter, and this was supported by the empirical test of the glass filled with the two liquids.
Actually, talking about density of oil instead of specific weight is more correct. Often this is a knowledge which is acquired by those who are familiar with the final product, producer or usual buyer at the mill. Density is an element which can be often misinterpreted.
The definition of oil density indicates the ratio between mass and volume, defined in kilograms on cubic metres. The International Measuring System has declared that the density of oil is 916 grams per cubic decimeter, that is 0,916kg/dm³. Despite the official definition, little variations can happen depending on the different cultivar used as well as on the oil extraction process, which can slightly modify this oil characteristic.
We need to correctly interpret this concept: the amount of oil density allows to verify that the right weight has been bought. As a matter of fact, while on the shelves extra virgin olive oil is commercialized with a price for liter, for every oil producer, like we do with our favola is of the utmost importance to know the specific weight of the oil to verify the olives’ yield. The yield varies depending on the harvesting year, on the olives variety, on the extraction process. On average per 1000KG of harvested olives, we can expect to obtain about 150 KG of oil. However, this value can easily vary, with a yield that goes between the 8% and the 16% here at our mill Agricola Oliva in Siracusa. To know to how many liters correspond our 150 KG of extra virgin olive oil, it is sufficient to divide it for the average value of 0,916 kilos per liter. The final result will be 163,75 liters.
After having assessed the oil characteristics, benefits, calories and density, to conclude we can certainly define this product as much more than a simple ingredient, which we recommend always to taste before buying it to understand all the organoleptic as well as nutritional qualities.
Try always to choose an high quality extravirgin olive oil, which means an oil produced from the best cultivar of the original territory, for example the Sicilian cultivar, with an aroma such as the tomato leaves of favola Tonda Iblea and a balanced spicy and bitter notes such as in favola Opunzia to fully appreciate its benefits when you pair it to different dishes.