Did not happen to you that you try to find any information about a whole package of your favorite food and no way?
Have you taken a quarter of an hour to find the origin of the raw material used to make a product that has only one ingredient?
Advertised as Quality products have not mentioned how they had been made?
Ads are speaking about your health and well-being but are not able to give a single example of its origin?
Unfortunaley, it is happening to me all the time. I like to know what I buy, what I eat and what I give to my children. Besides watching the price(it’s very important),I try to get information from the labels of the products , we have to kno what is in them.
More than once I’ve gone crazy looking ahead, back up or down for the source of an oil, or he variety from it is made, the year of harvest etc.
I want to talk then what is important when you look at the labeling of olive oil, what does it mean and why is it so.
Table of Contents
IN OIL WE TRUST
In the last post on this blog I talked about choosing the best olive oil according to the criteria which are advised by the studies and experts-
Those are the same that we should look on the labeling of olive oil to ensure our safety as consumers and due to guarantee a great experience tasting the best EVOO .
After all this is the point. Enjoying 🙂
1.-Production process in EVOO labelling.
The quality of raw materials and control of the production methods (control over product and process), ensure a superior quality of product range.
In the case of extra virgin olive oil, it is necessary to know the origin of the olives, the collection methods in the olive grove and the extraction system.
The olives must be healthy, (definitely nobody would want their oil comes from olives unhealthy).
In healthy olives, (free of disease, pests, frost …) oil has no negative attributes. It is due to the process of collection or processing method, including storage, so you can add up negative attributes to this natural fruit juice.
The collection procedure indicates the effort that has been required to obtain this EVOO.
Since it is different ,the effort required to get EVOO in olive hedgerow with a collecting machine, that collects an acre per hour than in an olive grove with mountain slopes exceeding 30%, which can not be machined at all.
Getting EVOO in these situations is a titanic work that deserves to be recognized by the consumers and should appear on the labels as a reason of pride.
Imagine: “EVOO obtained from olive tree (not bushes) by traditional methods of manual or mechanical shaking down on slopes between 10 and 30%” .
This does not directly influence the quality, but the courage to do this way, adds the quality itself.
The extraction system will give clues about the volatile (minor components which are concentrated on antioxidantal properties) that have been lost in the process, maximum temperature and beat mixing time should be shown to have another indicator of quality in the process. In my opinión, this should also appear on the label.
2.-Variety in EVOO labelling
This is one of the most important points that usually is more hidden than desirable.
Variety provides information about the organoleptic characteristics, of the stability in time of EVOO. In the same way that wine lovers have their zone or favorite type of grape, can give you the key if to choose your favorite one.
Each variety brings a different pairing.
In case it would be a coupage or blend of several varieties, it should at least indicate what these varieties are. It will be outstanding to see a note that indicates the percentage of the mixture.
3.-Month of collection/production in EVOO Labelling
The time of collection is one of the factors that influences on the quality of the oils ,found by consumers in recent years.
Historically, when the olives went from green to black the point, called envero, was the ideal, harvest time.
The ideal time to harvest concurres with the maximum content of polyphenols, in the case of Picual variety is 3.5. Each variety has its optimal time to harvest and a different index of maturity.
The delicate balance between fat yield (oil per kilo of olives), economic performance in collecting and excess quality obtained with respect to a later harvest, requires that the consumer would like to have more and more accurate information when the oil was produced.
If food traceability systems have achieved a standard that can identify a patch of grass eating the calf’s determined mother of a steak that will eat Barack Obama in an Argentinean restaurant while his visit in Buenos Aires next year , isn’t it possible to determinate when bottling EVOO the data of production of that?
I think it’s possible and this simply information, give more quality to the consumer, with little additional effort, it can be made.
4 – Other factors to consider in EVOO labelling
Furthermore, as a consumer I think it would be interesting to know an oil through its label.
I personally like to know the history of what I buy and specially of what I eat.
If it has a history, of course.
In this sense, there are many small producers around the world who are fighting to differentiate themselves in this market which makes true works of art in this world.
In my view, using organic farming techniques, wanting to give a bonus to the consumer, while not being certified, should appear on the label.
The general support for the rural world, the entities of social economy, the use of certifications like the economy of the common good, supporting movements like slow (food, life, sex, cook …).
Have you seen any bottle of wine ,with which food bits best, that are not specifically indicate?, Why not EVOO?
5 – Briefly.
Production Process (collection and oil extraction)
Type of operation
History behind this oil
Summing up, try to always buy in small shops where you know the products, where they know how to help clients with their preferences and they almost certainly know the story behind a bottle of EVOO.
As a last resort, I am convinced that if you write an email to any EVOO producer asking for information about your product, they will answer gladly.
I hope you enjoyed this article, if so, please share it with your circles to spread the culture of olive oil to the ends of the universe.
If you have something to say, please feel free to leave a comment, and if you also want to continue to receive articles like this, I encourage you to subscribe to our blog.
Be Olive Oil my friend. Olive yourself.
Olive trees in high slope picture from PUERTA DE LAS VILLAS EVOO
Thanks a lot to Maria del Mar Manrique and Julia Stenka