When the olives are pressed they release aromas and especially during the mixing process, the finest fragrances make their appearance.
It is believed that the quality and superiority of extra virgin olive oil over other oils, depends on the content of its fatty acid components. Extra virgin olive oil is full of oleic, saturated, poly-unsaturated and mono-unsaturated fatty acids.
The truth is that extra virgin olive oil contains very important components, provided by its superior and incredible aromas and its popularity comes from its natural aromatic components, which are a combination of herbal, flowery, bitter, spicy and pageant characteristics. These characteristics distinguish the complexity of the extra virgin olive oil.
The preservation of the aromatic components of the olive oil is every producer’s main goal. Extra virgin olive oil and high quality extra virgin olive oil, depends on the preservation of the oil’s aromatic components and producers work hard to maximize it. This is the main reason that some producers are better then others.
The compounds to whom olive oil owes its unique flavours and aromas are many. The pleasant scent and satisfying taste of the olive oil are contributions of the aromatic hydrocarbons, alcohols, esters, furan, ketones and aldehydes. The scent and aromas also contribute to the resistance to attacks by insects and microbes. The aromatic compounds have an anti-microbial effect and an anti-microbial activity against micro-organisms.
Because of its taste and aroma, olive oil is considered a functional food.
The most important hydrocarbon aroma in olive oil is squalene, which contains 400-450 milligrams per 100 grams of olive oil. Squalene has anti-carcinogenic effects and it is used in the cosmetic, food and pharmaceutical industries.
Sterols are also important constituents of cell membranes. Cholesterol is a sterol that animals produce and extra virgin olive oil is free of cholesterol. 100 grams of olive oil, contains 110-250 milligrams of sterols.
A good extra virgin olive oil has an intense flavour with a strong bitter, peppery taste, a distinct fruity aroma, and will retain these characteristics for at least one year.