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What you need to know about the Olive Oil industry

Hey I'm Michelle Rudell, owner and founder of Nelson Olive Oil Co in Nelson BC.  We import the highest quality freshest Olive Oils from around the world, shipped right to your kitchen!  

Here's the truth...

Almost every recipe I make, from desserts to lasagne, calls for at least a small amount of extra virgin olive oil. Most people never think twice about the ingredient until they learn that olive oil fraud is real. Did you know that 70% of Olive Oil is actually fake? That’s more than two-thirds of olive oils on the shelves at your local supermarket. Since legitimate olive oil is expensive to produce, there are many diluted and counterfeit products that claim to be extra virgin olive oil but can actually be harmful to our bodies.

Would you trust this bunch??

Adulterated olive oils can contain a blend of inferior quality vegetable oils like soybean oil, sunflower oil, palm oil, or canola oil. Olive oil can go bad during a variety of commercial production processes. Olive oil becomes moldy when the olives have been crushed with dirt and mud. Old or rancid olive oils (often characterized by a wax crayon-like taste) are the result of inadequate storage and exposure to damaging light, heat, or air. A grubby or dirty-tasting olive oil is likely contaminated by larvae. When olive flies lay eggs in developing olives, the larvae feed on the pulp—and end up getting processed into the oil.

What you want to see...

All of our producers adhere to strict guidelines when it comes to "crushing" exquisite Olive Oil.  They lay down huge nets in order to catch the olives and avoid contamination to keep the olives from touching the ground. Then a branch shaker, or "scuotitore’ it used to shake and strip the olive branch. The branch shaker literally shakes the olive branch causing the olives to fall into the nets. The olives are then collected into bins and transported to the press "malaxer". The olives are crushed within 4 hours of harvest in order to ensure our oils are of the highest quality.  What you get is "Ultra Premium Olive Oil".  Not unlike any freshly squeezed juice, it is packed with nutrients, antioxidants and fresh green flavour!

*See below to learn more about our "Ultra Premium Standards 

The freshest olives on their way to be crushed!

'Green-ness' is not an indicator of high quality olive oil but what a sight to behold when it comes out like this!

The purest, healthiest liquid you can put into your body!

"Ultra Premium" Olive Oil exceeds world standards for olive oil quality. It is the freshest and finest olive oil in the world today, third party sensory evaluated, first crush and NON-GMO.

Ultra Premium (UP) is a new category of olive oil that distinguishes the highest quality olive oil in the world. The UP standard was created in response to the growing need to separate high quality extra virgin olive oils from what dominates the so called “gourmet” and “premium” olive oil markets, as well as the broader category sold in mass markets the world over under thousands of brands and private labels. The absurdly low standards created and fostered by numerous trade associations and government agencies responsible for policing them has only contributed to the confusion and misinformation. EU producers are actually given a perverse incentive in the form of government subsidies to keep their oils in storage until market conditions improve. This practice clearly demonstrates the governmental complicity with retailers and bottlers to sacrifice quality for price. Lack of enforcement and testing by these trade associations and governmental agencies has led to a marketplace dominated by inferior oils and rife with adulteration. These practices by some of the world’s largest olive oil producers and bottlers have led to a steep decline in prices of extra virgin olive oil and are driving quality oil producers out of business.

The self serving overemphasis on “Where” extra virgin olive oil is produced continues to dominate perceptions at the expense of the far more significant “When, What, and How” the oil is made. The UP standard has as its principal barometers Chemistry and Freshness. These two underappreciated variables can be objectively measured, quantified, and certified. Since the highest quality EVOO comes from high quality fruit coupled with high quality production processes, the UP standard encompasses strict requirements for both the end-product and the production process.

No matter how high the quality of fruit and production methods used, the best olive oils in the world are never as good as when they are fresh. There are no standards for shelf-life of EVOO, and the current IOC “best buy” date is intentionally misleading and utilized at the whim of the retailer and bottler. When a quality EVOO is fresh, there is significantly more positive sensory attributes detectable by the palate. As any EVOO ages, it naturally oxidizes losing positive sensory qualities as well as inheriting defects. Newly developed tests can objectively quantify the “Freshness” of an EVOO at various stages in its lifecycle and are referred to as the “Fresh Pack” tests encompassing both the Diacylglycerol Content (DAGS) and Pyropheophytins (PPP).

The UP standard is reserved for the finest extra virgin olive oils in the world, as such, the UP grade exceeds all existing European, Italian, Spanish, Greek, North American, Californian, or any other standard for the grade known as extra virgin olive oil. In order to qualify for the UP grade, the extra virgin olive oil must meet or exceed a comprehensive set of Production, Storage, Transportation, Testing, Chemistry, and Organoleptic requirements as set forth in the following document. Instead of placing an overemphasis on what is less important (Terroir) to the detriment of the most critical factors (Chemistry and Freshness), the UP program is intended to reward farmers for producing high quality oil. The UP program is intended to promote Fair Trade practices and help create a demand for a higher quality product thereby increasing the value.

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