Years ago people were harvesting the olives and were squeezing them in stone mortars. Later on, more modern and sophisticated methods were developed.
Olive oil is a common Mediterranean food, whose quality is determined by a chemical analysis and depends on a number of factors.
Olive oil’s nutritional value and its content of pharmacologically active principles are the reasons that it is celebrated so much. Olive oil belongs to the nutraceutical family and it is known as a super food.
Olive oil contains oleuropein (Olp) which contains hydroxytyrosol known for its anti-oxidant properties. Also contains poly-phenols. High amounts of poly-phenols are in leaves, which in the Mediterranean region are very important for the feeding of the goats and sheep, also for the cows, with the goal of providing a natural anti-inflammatory molecule, which promotes animal health, very important for dairy farms.
Oleuropein (Olp) is a molecule that is considered a marker of quality, which it can represent a different way of labeling the production of a great quality of extra virgin olive oil. It increases blood flow and shows anti-arrhythmic and spasmolytic effects. Also shows anti-oxidative properties. Other effects include the potentiation of cellular and organismal protection, antiviral activities against herpes mononucleosis, hepatitis, bovine rhino-virus, canine parvovirus.
In oleuropein also found a potent antiviral activity against Para 3 which is para-influenza virus. Para-influenza is a main cause of hospitalization in children under 5 years old suffering from respiratory illness.
The oleuropein when it is exposed to enzymatic and chemical treatments undergoes degradation. The food processing techniques effect the integrity of this molecule.
The oleuropein is higher in extra virgin olive oils that are produced from the olive fruit. It is a trace element in extra virgin olive oil and a marker of quality. Its role can not be underestimated also as a pro-oxidant. It is a phenolic secoiridoid glucoside that is spread in the family of Oleaceae, with a wide range of biological activities, is a bio-marker which can be used to trace the entire chain of production of extra virgin olive oil.