The olive was native to Asia Minor and spread from Iran, Syria and Palestine to the rest of the Mediterranean basin 6,000 years ago.It is among the oldest known cultivated trees in the world - being grown before the written language was invented.
The range found in extra virgin olive oil is between 55-83%.
Extra virgin olive oil high in oleic acid has greater resistance to oxidation.
This degradation of chlorophylls to pyropheophytin was found to take place at a predictable pace, making it possible to gain information about the age of an olive oil.
The rate at which the degradation occurs can be accelerated by even short periods of high temperatures – such as that which is utilized during the deodorizing or soft column refining process – making it a useful indicator of the presence of deodorized olive oil as well as the age of the oil.
DAGs Test/Score: Measures the proportion of two forms of diacylglycerol: 1,2 and 1,3.
In oil freshly made from sound olives of good quality, the prevalent form of DAG is the 1,2 form where the fatty acids are bonded to a glycerol molecule in the 1 and 2 positions.
As the Romans extended their domain they brought the olive with them.
1,400 years ago the Prophet of Islam, Muhammad, advised his followers to apply olive oil to their bodies, and himself used oil on his head.
Peroxide Value: Based on USDA & IOOC (International Olive Oil Council) standards the maximum peroxide value for extra virgin olive oil is 20. Unsaturated free fatty acids react with oxygen and form peroxides, which create a series of chain reactions that generate volatile substances responsible for a typical musty/rancid oil smell.
These reactions are accelerated by high temperature, light and oxygen exposure.
During baptism in the Christian church, holy oil, which is often olive oil, may be used for anointment.