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Health Benefits of Extra Virgin Olive Oil:

  • Oxidation - Excessive oxidation increases the risk of heart disease, cancer, and general aging. The main type of fat in vegetable oils, polyunsaturated fat, encourages oxidation. In contrast, EVOO contains a rich amount of monounsaturated fat, preventing oxidation. EVOO also contains a number of phenols that act as antioxidants, which will lower oxidation. EVOO with a high phenolic content has been shown to decrease LDL oxidation as well as DNA oxidation. Impeding the oxidation of LDL and DNA will respectively lower the risk of heart disease and prevents the initiation of cancers.
  • Blood Levels of Fasting Insulin and Glucose - Higher blood levels of both insulin and glucose have been related to an increased risk of heart disease and several types of cancer. Two tablespoons of EVOO a day has been shown to decrease blood levels of glucose and insulin. Besides decreasing your risk of heart disease and cancer, EVOO also improves blood glucose control for diabetics.
  • Blood Pressure - Two to 3 tablespoons of EVOO a day has been shown to lower blood pressure. EVOO with higher phenol content has been shown to lower systolic blood pressure in men compared to olive oil with lower phenol content.
  • Inflammation - When high levels of inflammation are measured in the blood in conjunction with illnesses like heart disease or cancer, the outcome of the disease has been less favorable. Found in some EVOO, Oleocanthal is a natural anti-inflammatory agent and causes the “burning” sensation when we swallow olive oil. It works like ibuprofen to limit the production of inflammatory compounds in the body. When studied in a test tube, it has also been shown to kill cancer cells selectively. Future studies will determine if it can kill cancer cells in humans.
  • Blood Coagulation - Blood that clots easily will increase your risk of heart disease and cerebral vascular accidents (strokes). EVOO high in phenols has been shown to decrease blood from clotting.
  • Body Weight - There may be some concern that because “olive oil is a fat” consuming it often will lead to weight gain. However, patients who used EVOO as part of a weight loss program lost more weight than when they went on a low-fat diet. Other studies have shown that people who use EVOO as their main dietary fat also tend to have a lower body weight and gain less weight over time. A meal containing fat leads to satiety, causing us to stop eating because the meal has satisfied us. Additionally, meals containing fat extend the length of time it takes us to get hungry again for our next meal. In this way, using extra virgin olive oil helps control body weight.
  • How to Include EVOO in Your Diet - The health benefits of EVOO start at about 2 tablespoons a day and many studies show that the benefits increase with higher intakes. A good way to use EVOO is to prepare vegetables with them or use on a salad using1 tablespoon of EVOO per cup of vegetables. Although extra virgin olive oil costs more than vegetable seed oil, if we consider the price per tablespoon, then it ends up being not as expensive. Meals made with extra virgin olive oil, vegetables and a starch-like, pasta, rice, or potatoes-cost less than those that contain even small amounts of meat. Plus, how can you pass up the almost infinite health benefits of extra virgin olive oil? It is more medicine than food!

Resource: Dr. Mary Flynn researched the effects of an olive-oil-and-plant-based diet on overweight women who had previously undergone treatment for invasive breast cancer.

 

Health Benefits of Aged Balsamic Vinegar:

  • Antioxidant - When oxidation takes place in your body, energy is produced. This energy hampers the formation of free radicals. Free radicals are known to destroy cell membranes. They also manifest as premature aging, which hardens your arterial walls. The antioxidants found in balsamic vinegar destroy the free radicals and as a result, protecting your cells from destruction. The balsamic vinegar has also been seen to slow the process of aging.
  • Fighting Cancer - The grapes that are used in the formation of balsamic vinegar contain quercetin, which is a bioflavonoid with antioxidant properties. Along with having Vitamin C, the antioxidant also strengthens your immune system thereby making it easy for you to fight infections inflammations and even cancer.
  • Reducing Heart Attack Risk - Since balsamic vinegar contains low cholesterol and saturated fat, it is not harmful to your health more so to the heart. Substituting dressings that have high cholesterol levels with balsamic vinegar will improve your heart health because unwanted fats won’t deposited in your blood vessels. What’s more, balsamic vinegar contains low sodium and this means reduced blood pressure and enhanced heart health.
  • Pain Reliever - Balsamic vinegar was used in ancient times to relieve people of pain. People suffering from headaches and migraines can also find relief from their agony by taking some balsamic vinegar. This vinegar can also be used to treat infections and wounds as it has anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties.
  • Digestion Promotion - Balsamic vinegar also contains polyphenols, which stimulate the pepsin enzyme activity in your body. Pepsin is a digestive enzyme that helps break down proteins into amino acids. Moreover, they assist your intestines to expeditiously absorb amino acids. Efficient absorption of amino acids makes it easy for your body to utilize repair and build cells. It also helps in the maintenance of the body’s work.
  • Weight Loss - Balsamic vinegar can also be used as dressing for salads hence a wonderful substitute for fatty acids like mayonnaise. Since this vinegar also contains calories that only come from the grapes’ sugar content, it makes for a good weight control substitute. Balsamic vinegar is also known to keep you feeling full and for longer. Therefore, you will eat less food hence controlling your weight.
  • Diabetes Control - Research conducted revealed that consuming about three to four balsamic vinegar tablespoons would enhance your insulin sensitivity. The higher your insulin sensitivity is, the better your chances of controlling diabetes.
  • Bone Health - Acetic and pepsin help improve the absorption of important minerals into your body like magnesium and calcium. These two minerals are important in the formation of strong and healthy bones. Balsamic vinegar is a great source of both minerals.

Source: http://www.newhealthguide.org

Definitions: What Does It All Mean?:

Standards

 Chemical Parameters IOOC- EVOO USDA - U.S EVOO COOC - California EVOO Australian Standards- EVOO UP Standard
Free Fatty Acid
≤ 0.8
≤ 0.8
≤ 0.5
≤ 0.8
≤ 0.3
Peroxide Value
≤ 20
≤ 20
≤ 20
≤ 20
≤ 9
Phenolic Content
n/a
n/a
n/a
n/a
≥ 130
K232
≤ 2.50
≤ 2.50
≤ 2.50
≤ 2.50
≤ 2.0
K270
≤ 0.22
≤ 0.22
≤ 0.22
≤ 0.22
≤ 0.20
ΔK
≤ 0.01
≤ 0.01
≤ 0.01
≤ 0.01
≤ 0.01
Oleic Acid (C18:1)
55.0 – 83.0
55.0 – 83.0
n/a
53.0 – 85.0
≥ 65
DAGs
n/a
n/a
n/a
≥ 35
≥*90
PPP
n/a
n/a
n/a
≤ 17
≤5

(*within 30 days of crush date)

What Does It All Mean?

 Chemical Parameters Determination Indicators Extra Virgin Standard UP Standard
Free Fatty Acids (FFA)
Free Fatty Acids are formed due to breakdown of the triacylglycerols in oils during extraction. Fatty acids are "free" when the are no longer bound to any other molecules.
An elevated level of FFA can indicate poor quality or mishandled fruit, too much time between harvesting and extraction, poor storage and/or high temperature during extraction.

Units: % as oleic acid

IOC limit ≤ 0.8

Units: % as oleic acid

UP limit ≤ 0.3

Oleic Acid
The major fatty acid in olive oil triacylglycerols is Oleic acid making up 55 to 85% of olive oil
The higher the oleic acid monounsaturated fat content translates to increased durability and shelf-life.

Units: % as oleic acid

IOC limit ≥55

Units: % as oleic acid

UP limit ≥ 65

Peroxide Value
Peroxides are primary oxidation products that are formed when oils are exposed to oxygen causing defective flavors and odors
Primary measurement of rancidity in oil. Higher peroxide levels indicate oxidized and/or poor-quality oil & give an idea of the freshness & storage conditions.

Units: mEQ O2/kg oil

IOC limit≤20

Units: mEQ O2/kg oil

UP limit ≤9

UV Absorptions
UV spectrophotometric determination Secondary measurement of rancidity in oil. Elevated levels of UV absorption indicate oxidized and/or poor quality oil, possible refining and/or adulteration with refined oil.
Secondary measurement of rancidity in oil. Elevated levels of UV absorption indicate oxidized and/or poor quality oil, possible refining and/or adulteration with refined oil.

Units: K1%/1cm

IOC limits

K232 ≤2.5, K270≤0.22, DeltaK ≤0.01

Units: K1%/1cm

UP limits

K232 ≤2.0 K270 ≤0.20, DeltaK ≤0.01 (immediately after production)

Phenolic Content (Polyphenols)
Phenols are healthful anti-oxidant substances in olive oil which aid in slowing down the natural oxidative processes.
Phenolic content decreases over time and is an indicator of freshness, with higher amounts improving shelf-life and oxidative stability.
N/A

Units: (as ppm caffeic acid)

UP minimum limit ≥ 130

DAGs
Fresh olive oil has a much higher proportion of 1,2- diacylglycerols to Total diacylglycerols while olive oil extracted from poor quality fruits and refined oils have a higher level of 1,3-diacylglycerols
The ratio of 1,2-diacylglycerols to the Total diacylglycerols are a useful indicator of fruit quality and acts as a snapshot of olive oil freshness. Low values can also indicate oxidized oil & sensory defects.

Units: %Total 1,2- diacylglycerols

AOA limit≥35

Units: %Total 1,2-diacylglycerols

UP limit ≥*90 (immediately after production)

PPP
Upon thermal degradation of olive oil, chlorophyll pigments break down to pheophytins and then to pyropheophytins
The ratio of pyropheophytins to the total pheophytins is useful for distinguishing fresh olive oil from soft column refined, deodorized, or back blended oils.

Units: %Total Pheophytins

AOA limit≤17

Units: %Total Pheophytins

UP limit ≤5 (immediately after production)

*IOC= International Olive Council, AOA= Australian Olive Association

 

How Do You Say That?:

Do you ever wonder how to pronounce different single varietal oils? Well here is how you say some that we carry!

  • Picual: PIK-WAL
  • Arbequina: AR-BEH-KEY-NUH
  • Arbosana: AR-BO-SAW-NUH
  • Coratina: CORA-TEENA
  • Picholine: PEE-SHOW-LEAN
  • Cobrancosa: CO-BRAN-SO-SUH
  • Nocellara: NO-CHA-LAR-UH
  • Koroneiki: COR-OH-KNEE-KEY
  • Frantoio: FRAN-TOY-OH
  • Leccino: LEH-CHEE-NO
  • Hojiblanca: OH-HEE-BLAN-KUH
  • Manzanillo: MAN-ZAN-EE-OH
  • Biancolilla: BEE-ON-CO-LEE-LAH

 

Butter To Extra Virgin Olive Oil Conversation Chart:

 Butter / Margarine  Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tsp
3/4 tsp
1 Tbsp 2 1/4 tsp
1/4 Cup 3 Tbsp
1/3 Cup 1/4 Cup
1/2 Cup 1/4 Cup + 2 tsp
2/3 Cup 1/2 Cup
3/4 Cup 1/2 Cup + 1 Tbsp
1 Cup 3/4 Cup

 

 

Sugar To Honey Conversation Chart:

When baking with honey, there are a few characteristics that make it different than baking with sugar.

Here are the 3 main differences:

  1. Honey browns more quickly in the oven or even in the frying pan (like with pancakes). The solution is baking honey-sweetened batters at a lower temperature.
  2. Honey is heavier, denser and wetter than sugar. Increasing the quantity of leavening just slightly helps to counteract this.
  3. Honey is sweeter than sugar AND has a stronger flavor. Decreasing the amount of honey in a recipe that originally called for sugar will prevent your baked good from being too sweet or tasting too strongly of honey, which doesn’t allow other flavors to come through.
 Sugar Honey Baking Soda Notes
1/4 Cup 3 Tbsp Not Required

Reduce Oven Temperature by 25 Degrees

1/3 Cup 3 Tbsp + 1 tsp Not Required

Reduce Oven Temperature by 25 Degrees

1/2 Cup 1/3 Cup 1/4 tsp

Reduce Oven Temperature by 25 Degrees

1 Cup 3/4 Cup 1/4 tsp

Reduce Oven Temperature by 25 Degrees

2 Cups 1 Cup + 2 Tbsp 1 tsp

Reduce Oven Temperature by 25 Degrees