Here Are Some Terms To Help You Select a Quality EVOO!
FFA – (Acidity)
Free Fatty Acid – The lower, the better. The IOC requires that this number be below 0.8 in order for an olive oil to be considered Extra Virgin grade. Our average is about 0.18! Also, the lower the FFA, the higher the smoke point of that particular oil.
**(Indication of the olive condition at time of crush –Fruit processed immediately should produce oil with low FFA)**
Peroxide Value – (PV)
This number must be equal to or less than 20. This is the primary measurement of the rancidity of a particular extra virgin olive oil. Peroxide value is affected by procedures used in processing, and storing of the oil. Peroxide is responsible for color and aroma changes as the oil oxidizes. Our average PV at time of crush is around 3.2!
Polyphenols – Healthful (Antioxidant Substances)
Antioxidant substances that we measure in Extra Virgin Olive Oils. The higher the better! Polyphenols extend the shelf-life of an oil & also determine the “style” in terms of bitterness and pungency. Generally, when an oil has a high polyphenol count (presented in parts per million), it will have more “pepper” or more “bitterness”. Many consider polyphenols to be free-radical “scavengers”.
Oleic Acid – (Healthful Monounsaturated Fat)
In order for an oil to be called extra virgin olive oil, the Fatty Acid Profile must be comprised of at least 55% Oleic Acid. The higher the oleic acid, the better. Our average oleic acid content is around 77%! Because your body will absorb any peroxidized fats that you consume and incorporate them into your cells, oleic acid’s superior resistance to free radical attacks also protects your cell membranes, proteins, and DNA from being damaged, even as it protects the oil from spoiling.
Also, substituting oleic acid for saturated fatty acids in animal fats improves cholesterol balance. This is why monounsaturated fats are often regarded as “the good fats”.