Olive oil or fat is a plant oil extracted from the fruits of olive trees. Olive trees are mainly found in the Mediterranean regions. These regions today are Palestine and Syria. Olive trees are today planted widely in other regions of the world. They can be found in China, Argentina, Spain, United States, Australia and others. Spain is the largest producer of olive oil with 43.8 percent oil production. It is followed by Greece accounting for 12.1 percent and Syria at 6.1 percent. Olive oil is used in cosmetics, making soap, cooking, pharmaceuticals and fuel in oil lamps. To extract olive oil from Olive fruits, first the fruits are taken through the grinding process. The oil is then extracted by chemical and mechanical processes. There are different types of olive oils. The oil is also said to be one of the healthiest in the world.
Types of olive oils
Different types of olive oil have different unique flavors. One is extra virgin olive oil. These oils are the best quality and are obtained from first grade olive fruits. They hold most aroma and flavors. They are also sometimes referred to as cold pressed. This is because they are not heated past room temperatures during their extraction process. There are no chemicals used in the production and treatment of these types of oils.
The second type is the pure virgin olive oil. These are made from second grades olive fruits. They are priced lower than extra virgin and are sold as regular olive oils. They also contain lower flavors than extra olive oils. Production of these types of oils uses filtration and chemical in refining it to neutralize flavors and acidity. There are also other grades of olive oils. Ordinary virgin oil is acid free. Another is refined olive oil which is obtained from virgin oils through the refining process. Another type is Olive-pomace oils which are a mixture of other oils treated with physicals treatments and solvent.
Health Benefits of olive oils
Olive oils have extra monounsaturated fats, low saturated fats and polyphenols. These help the heart to stay healthy and assist in controlling cholesterol levels in the body. The oils also contain Vitamin E and other antioxidants that help in prolonging life.
Olive oil can be applied on human skin, and it can help fight cancer. It moisturizes the skin with its linoleic compounds which prevent evaporation of water from the body.
Different studies have shown that olive oil can be used to reduce cancer risk. Using olive oils in diets therefore helps reduce incidences of cancer in a person. It also supplies the body with nutrients and vitamins making it grow healthy and strong.
Olive oil is also applied on the hair to reduce damage of hair and softens long hair by moistening hair locks. Olive oils can also used in animals feed like cats. It prevents hairballs and makes the cat’s fur healthy and shiny. Olive helps reduce snoring in a person. A spoon of olive oil just before going to sleep can ease snoring. Apart from the health benefits, olive oils can also be used as lubricants in many types of equipment to reduce wearing out and rusting. It can also used to polish furniture like wooden tables and leather items.
How to store olive oils
To maintain the flavor and quality of olive oils, proper storage measures are required. Olive oil loses its valuable nutrients. To avoid this, it’s advised to purchase extra virgin oils with tinted packages. Store the oil in a cool dry place away from heat.
It’s also advised not be store olive oil for a long time. It should be used within two years. This is because it loses its nutrients by increasing the acidity level as it ages.
Olive oil is a plant product with many benefits to human being and animals. One can use it for many benefits. It is thus worth investing in olive oil.