Extra Virgin Olive Oil Terminology

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Extra Virgin Olive Oil Terminology

Here is some general info on what to look for in a good quality EVOO:

Extra Virgin Olive Oil is regarded as a superfood, olives contain natural disease-fighting polyphenols, antioxidant vitamin E, oleic acid, and monounsaturated fat. It has been suggested that olive oil is not only good for heart protection but, also for cancer protection.


FFA (free fatty acid)  – the value speaks to the quality of the fruit at the time of crush, processing and storage. Max allowable value is 0.80%. De Robertis EVOO FFA value (Harvest November 2017) was 0.20% well below the max value.  High FFA may be caused by damaged or overripe olives, oxidized oil, overheating during production oe excessive delay between harvest and crush.

PV (peroxide value) – measures the primary oxidation products formed when oils are exposed to oxygen.  Oxidation takes place naturally over time, and may be accelerated by improper storage( e.g. high temps, exposure to light). The max allowable  value is 20 meq O2/kg which ensures a fresh product.  De Robertis EVOO value (Harvest November 2017) 3.7 meq O2/kg well below the max value!

A high value would indicate decomposition (i.e. rancidity).

Polyphenols – measures the amount of healthy polyphenols, a class of antioxidants found in a variety of foods. Antioxidants inhibit oxidation in the body, making a higher polyphenol count desireable. A high polyphenol count also lengthens the shelf-life of the oil.  Having said this, consuming fresh, well-made Extra virgin olive oil with high polyphenol content is crucial  when looking to obtain the max health benefits commonly associated with extra virgin olive oil. A low polyphenol count may be caused by age, improper processing, or exposure to heat/light/air.

De Robertis polyphenol (Harvest November 2017) count is 666 which is considered high and excellent.

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