Olives and Olive Oil Are Not All Created Equal
Olives and olive oil are staples of the Mediterranean diet, which has been linked to lower rates of heart disease and early death. Unfortunately, not all olive oils are created equal.
Many cured and canned olives contain too much sodium; to reduce consumption, consider seeking out low-sodium varieties whenever possible.
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Olive oil is packed with Vitamin E, iron and copper – essential components that help manage diabetes while improving digestion, liver health and risk reduction of cardiovascular issues and hypertension. Furthermore, its increased metabolism provides energy boost while providing plenty of nutrition – but beware as its high sodium levels may pose potential hazards.
Raw uncured olives can have their salt content significantly decreased by soaking them in a dilute lye solution for several days before being transferred to brine solution. A Hanna Instruments digital refractometer is the ideal tool to monitor brine concentration as it offers instantaneous response time and greater accuracy than manual refractometers, allowing olive producers to customize the brine solution according to quality of olives produced and desired end products.
Olives are naturally salty, containing roughly 60 mg of sodium per olive. Olives also boast high concentrations of phenolic compounds like Oleanolic Acid (OL) and Oleoside-11-Methyl Ester (oleoside), both known to have antioxidant properties.
Destoning and stuffing produce significant losses of water-soluble phenolic compounds such as OL during table olive processing; however, research indicates that oleoside-11-methyl ester and maslinic acid (MA) may be bioavailable forms of these compounds(15).
Lye is used in this process to facilitate hydrolysis of olive lipid (OL), producing non-bitter oleosides such as oleoside-11-methyl ester and other non-bitter oleosides; these bioactive compounds have been associated with bone protection, wound healing support, hormonal balance and many other potential benefits for health.
Achievement and Honors
Olives are one of the hallmarks of Mediterranean diet, representing abundance, peace, and wisdom. Consumed for over 6000 years and eaten unsalted they offer numerous health benefits that make this fruit so beloved by so many.
At the 5th Table Olive Festival, Ronkaldo-Adamic Farm and Olea Organic Family Farm were awarded quality awards for organic Ascolana olives in brine; both farms received top scores on sensory evaluation, earning premiums.
Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) salt enriched with KIO3 enriches olive fruit flesh with numerous microelements compared to simple brines prepared with NaCl alone, providing Carolea and Leucocarpa cvs fresh leaves with 109 and 38 mg/100 g, respectively, of iodine.
Naomi Duguid of Toronto describes an olive-centric winter salad as an embodiment of salt, sweet, and acid balance in harmony. In her ninth book The Miracle of Salt (Artisan/Thomas Allen, $57) she details this phenomenon with recipes and harvesting photos showcasing this essential ingredient from around the world.
Masaki Ishii was farming cattle that were considered low-quality for his local brand of Sanuki Beef, and searching for ways to enhance their quality and increase profitability. While feeding dried olive lees left over from pressing for oil increased their oleic acid content, and inspired his ambitious idea to develop olive-based meat. After some initial trials he ultimately succeeded in creating olive-beef.
Olives contain high levels of oleic acid, an essential dietary fat which helps prevent LDL-cholesterol oxidation and protect against bone loss. Furthermore, they boast antioxidants such as oleuropein which is proven to combat inflammation while fighting the signs of aging.
This natural and unrefined black olive salt adds flavorful flair to any dish with its robust taste. Use it to enhance meat dishes, vegetables, cheese and soup dishes by enhancing textures and adding textural components.