What means bitter olive oil?
According to its definition, bitter is the elemental flavor characteristic of oil obtained from green olives. The chemical responsible for this taste are the phenolic compounds, their presence or not in the olive oil will cause this attribute to be found to a greater or lesser degree.
The polyphenols give to the olive oil that bitter taste due to the oleuropein, a polyphenol exclusive to olive oil.
Why some olive oil taste spicy?
When we speak of pungency, we refer to the tactile sensation of itching, characteristic of the oils obtained at the beginning of the campaign, especially of still green olives.
Pungency is due to the presence of oleocanthal, another olive oil polyphenol, with anti-inflammatory effects similar to ibuprofen.
The extra virgin olive oil has to be bitter and spicy. If not, its not an extra virgin. Its intensity will depend mainly on the type of olive and the harvesting period, as well as other factors.
Olive Oils from green olives have a high content of phenolic compounds (polyphenols).
Cold pressed olive oil
These characteristics just mentioned have the high quality olive oil:
- from olives
- processed in the olive oil mill by exclusively mechanical procedures.
- without industrial refining processes.
First of all we would like to clarify: when we talk about first cold pressed olive oil we mean that a press has been used to obtain it, but to be exact we should call it first extraction olive oil. Because currently all commercial olive oils are obtained by more sophisticated industrial machinery, and therefore we should not call them pressed olive oils.
And the reason aside from the efficiency, it is also a question of hygiene and safety in the process, since it is necessary to obtain a sanitary registration certificate to be able to market any food product, and the use of presses greatly hinders this aspect.
High quality extra virgin olive oils are obtained by first cold extraction to alter as little as possible the flavor and the original properties of the fruit, giving rise to a natural juice of olives. However, not all extra virgin olive oils are obtained in this way with absolute respect for quality.
Cold pressed or cold extraction to be accuaracy, is a technique that allows to obtain best quality olive oils, rich in aromas and flavors, and very pleasant to the palate.
Olive oil polyphenols
The fact that an olive oil is bitter and spicy is the result of the presence of polyphenolic substances. The greater the presence of polyphenols, the greater the intensity of that bitter and pungent taste.
The extra virgin olive oil has gained in the last years a prominent place in the panorama of the healthy foods thanks to the high concentration of polyphenols. Polyphenols are antioxidants with many benefits for our health.
For this reason, the bitter and pungent taste is considered positive characteristics: they are, in fact, the trial by fire for the presence of polyphenols in the oil.
Unfortunately, most of the time, the presence of polyphenols is poorly understood by consumers. Being bitter and spicy are not defects but great virtues, of a good quality extra virgin olive oil.
These extra virgin olive oils with complex and decisive features present:
- intense and persistent fruity and vegetables aromas
- flavor is full of pungent and also bitter harmonic tones.
Real extra virgin olive oil
It is important to understand that an extra virgin olive oil with bitter and pungent characteristics, shows a wide range of compounds, called minor, with a high value for health; Which is unparalleled in any other fat in our diet.
The induction of highly positive effects for the health of the people makes the extra virgin olive oil a unique product, extraordinary.
The amount of these compounds is determined, firstly, by the olive variety from which olive oil is extracted; And, subsequently, by various agronomic and technological factors.
On the other hand, if we learn to appreciate them, these characteristics also produce pleasant sensations. So thank you they have given us a bitter and punngent olive oil!
As part of the positive attributes, there are also a number of olfatory aromas capable of characterizing and typifying the different types of extra virgin olive oils. For example, aromatic vegetable and floral notes (herb, herbs, flowers, tomato, artichoke, apple, banana, berries, almond, pepper ...).
The polyphenols have a slightly bitterness and pungent taste that determines the characteristic fruity aroma, and bitter and pungent taste of the high quality olives. They are valuable substances because of the high antioxidant effect present in olive oil unique among vegetable fats because it is able to retard the aging or oxidation of the cells of our body. So we recomended, if you want real olive oil, try to consume always EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL.