Early harvest olive oil (also known lately as premium quality olive oil) is growing enormously in popularity, both nationally and internationally. In fact, a significant amount of the prizes of the competitions of the extra virgin olive oil are directed to oils of this type, since they take into account the complex nuances of smell and flavor, characteristics in which it emphasizes this olive oil of Early harvest.
It is growing fast, and this is also proven in the consolidation that has already experienced at marketing level; There are already denomination labels on the extra virgin bottles, made in part by the push of the cooperatives to the various producers.
Early harvest olive oil market growth data
The acquisition of early harvest olive oils is undoubtedly a consensual reality. This opinion is reflected in official relative production data from last year, which indicates that 20 percent of processed olive oil was of the early harvest type. If two years ago produced quantities close to 200,000 tons, last year almost reached 300,000 tons (by almost 1.5 million global). Looking further back at the data, the extraordinary upward numbers of production of early-harvest olive oil are confirmed, when in 2011 barely reached 7 percent of the distribution of olive oil.
Early harvest olive oil characteristics
The early harvest olive oil obtain its name to the early harvest of the olive, which usually dates in December or January (a month or another depending on the altitude of the area) but in our case is advanced until October or November to produce high quality olive oils.
In these months, the olive is not fully ripenned, which does not mean that it will result in an oil of bad or worse quality. It simply means that the resulting product will have a more golden color (the unripe olive has a lighter color than the ripened one, specifically green) and more intense smell and flavors, ideal to consume it raw in fresh produce. It will also offer a perfect balance between aroma and taste, with bitter and spicy touches that are precisly for all types of palates.
Its properties include a high contain of phenols, which has anti-inflammatory, and clot-preventive properties, which we know thanks to a research by Dr. Francisco Pérez Jiménez, from the Reina Sofía University Hospital in Córdoba. It was observed that the response and function of the blood vessels improved during the first four hours after meals with phenol-rich oils
Early harvesting depends on multiple variables, especially meteorological ones, although the olive varieties to be harvested are also very influential, as is the terrain in which the olive groves are located. This type of harvesting also guarantees the quality that can be lost in the old olive, susceptible to the harmful action in enzymes.
Early harvest olive oil production
Early harvest olive oils are considered a very unique product, in part because of their difficult production. It is first because the olives are more complicated to release from the tree, which is often necessary the use of specific machinery. Second because is more difficult to extract the oil from the olive. It is said that to produce a liter of oil we need at least eight kilos of early olives. The production of early-harvested olive oil is therefore costly, hence the increase in the final price. However, when tested and tasted, we know where we have spent the difference.
If you need more information about early harvest olive oils, please do not hesitate to contact us, and we will help you as fast as we can.