Olive oil is the greatest witness in our humanity. History, culture, government, even religion have changed, but everyone, without exception, has appreciated the benefits of olive oil and used its power. So let’s look into interesting facts about olive oil that you probably haven’t heard of.
1. Olive oil takes an important part in Mediterranean cuisine.
People across the Mediterranean region value olive oil not because of being the main ingredient in the Mediterranean dishes and their diet, but it also symbolizes health and reminds them the romantic rural life and ancient culture.
As well, one of the best oils is recognized to be Kalamata olive oil produced from Koroneiki olives grown in Greece.
2. Good quality olive oil can be kept for up to 2 years.
Olives are the only fruits whose juice (i.e. pure oil) retains all the properties of taste and aroma and does not lose important vitamins A, E, D, K for a long time.
Unopened and very well preserved olive oil is suitable to use for several years. Though exposure to sunlight, air, warm temperatures, and moisture reduce shelf life.
3. Different brands of olive oil taste differently.
There are more than 700 varieties of olive trees in the world. Therefore it is not surprising that the olive oil taste differently in every region.
The taste and aroma are influenced not only by the type of olive, the number of sunny days in that year, the time or method of harvesting, but also whether the olive trees grew nearby citrus trees. Depending on the variety of olives used to make the oil, the olive oil taste can be sweet, bitter, or sour.
To discover your favorite olive oil – try several brands from different regions and choose your favorite. Check if olive oil real or fake at home at by using 3 sensory techniques described in one of our articles.
4. Olive oil color changes over a length of time, it becomes lighter in a color.
The first pressed olive oil has not clear green color. However, olive oil color changes over a length of time as it ages, and becomes clearer and lighter. Eventually, it becomes a golden color.
5. Olive oil is super beneficial and is rich in vitamins and antioxidants.
This fact is beyond doubt for even the biggest skeptics. One spoon of olive oil contains 13% of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin E, 9% of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin K, as well as valuable saturated, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids.
There are many researches done that proven great olive oil health benefits and its positive effect on wellbeing.
6. Frying with olive oil helps to increase the nutritional value of your meal.
This happens because olive oil contains antioxidants that are resistant to hot temperatures, so they do not decompose but are absorbed into the finished meal.
7. There are roughly 884 calories in one tablespoon of olive oil.
Read more about Greek olive oil nutritional value and calories.
8. A spoon of olive oil and lemon juice every morning is a great way to detox.
It might come as a surprise, but several human trial studies have shown that spoon of olive oil every mornign is a way to detox. Why? The antioxidants found in olive oil lower incidences of cardiovascular disease, mortality, and type-2 diabetes.
Mix olive oil and lemon juice in a spoon and take it on empty stomach every morning – it helps to improve the digestion process and start your day healthy.
Interested more in this topic? Read our article about 7 benefits of drinking Kalamata olive oil.
9. Olive oil is used in beauty industry widely.
It is rich in vitamin E and antioxidants which fight aging. However, the main advantage of olive oil is that it can be used both internally and externally.
For instance, in ancient Greece, women used olive oil to make skin rejuvenating masks and prepared oil pastes for hair care. Now in the modern cosmetology era, we use olive oil in many skin and hair care products as our ancestors did.
10. Olive oil is a great natural remedy for a cancer prevention.
This is confirmed by numerous studies that claim a regular consumption of olive oil reduces the risk of breast cancer by 45% and reduces the growth rate of cancer cells due to the antioxidant properties of olive oil.
11. Olive oil plays an important role in helping to regulate cholesterol level.
Studies show that people in the Mediterranean region are the least likely to die from circulatory disorders and imbalanced cholesterol levels. For those who want to improve their health, it is beneficial to consume 1 – 2 tablespoons of olive oil a day.
12. Olive oil was kept as a valuable gift and a sign of respect in Ancient times.
Olive oil was a sacrifice to the gods and the dead, used in medicine and in cosmetics as a basis for essential oils.
As well, it was used in everyday life not only for food but also for heating, lighting, etc.
13. Since Ancient times, ladies use olive oil to soften their skin and use it as a spa ingredient.
Olive oil is still used as a key ingredient in nowadays cosmetics industry. And olive oil soaps are very popular among natural cosmetic lovers.
14. Greece is in Top 3 of olive oil production and export in the world.
Greece ranks third in the world in terms of olive oil production and first in terms of the volume of high quality extra virgin olive oil exported.
15. Greece is the world’s first largest producer of extra virgin olive oil.
In total 75 percent of all olive oil produced in Greece is extra virgin grade. 90 percent of Greek olive oil travels to other countries in the European Union.
16 . With recent estimates, it is consumed approximately 3.14 million tons of olive oil each year in the world.
People consume more and more olive oil each year. Unfortunately, the worldwide production for this year will be 3.4 percent lower than last year. This drop is due to reduced yield in several countries across the Mediterranean coast.
17. To produce one liter of olive oil from olives in kilograms, the standard ratio is 1 to 6.
This is an average ratio for Koroneiki olives grown in Kalamata, Greece. Depending on olive variety the ration can be higher or lower.
18. An estimate 5 billion EUR worth of fake olive oil is circulating in the global market.
There is a huge olive oil business worldwide with many fraudulent activities such as adulterating extra virgin olive oil with substandard pomace oils and sold as a high quality to the retail customers.
19. Mediterranean Olive Oil Producer Uses Blockchain to Fight Food Fraud
By connecting members of the supply chain and end consumer with a farmer via a network in the blockchain, such way not only provides traceability of food but all information on olive oil quality.
It adds an extra layer of transparency and you are very well informed that a bottle labeled as extra virgin olive oil is actually very high-quality olive oil.
Conclusion on facts about olive oil
Olive oil is not only used in the kitchen, but also it rejuvenates the body, improves skin quality, normalizes blood cholesterol levels, and is proven to be good for the heart. And that’s not all – there are more than a dozen useful properties of olive oil that you probably haven’t heard of.
I hope that you have learned many interesting facts about olive oil while reading this article which can help you to differentiate good olive oil, and learn olive oil benefits and a bit of history.
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