Frequently Asked Questions

On this page we answer some of your questions. We are always at your disposal to solve further questions. We will be happy to hear from you!

A good olive oil consists exclusively of the pure, pure juice of the whole olive fruit.

Below are some of the most frequently asked questions about "liquid gold" that we have heard from all of you!

 

1. What does Apirooil stand for?

άπειρο- Adj. [apiro-, apeiro-] = infinite

Apiro is the Greek word for infinity and according to Greek mythology, it was the goddess Athena who offered olive oil through the olive tree to the Athenians as a priceless gift.

Our values are the preservation of traditions and their combination with the most modern way of thinking, always with respect to people and our environmental commitments! Whatever nature lovingly gives us is returned back to nature. An important example is that we do not burn the olive branches, but break them into small pieces that will serve as fertilizer for our olive trees! It is very important for us to be authentic and transparent to our customers and we always want to offer the highest possible quality. No limits! This is Apirooil!

2. How do we recognize a high - quality olive oil?

A very important question that plagues many consumers!

Unfortunately, one can rarely distinguish the quality of olive oil from the label alone! But looking for clues is a good start.
The more information given the better. For example, information about the
country or region of origin, variety of olive, etc.
In addition to the mandatory information such as the expiry date or the quantity contained, the indication of the year of harvest is a good indication of the quality of the olive oil. In general, the older the olive oil is, the more aroma it has lost. But even if the aroma is missing, it is still not necessarily bad, especially if the olive oil does not come from a mass production like a super market or a discount store.

Small producers always want to offer their customers olive oil of excellent quality! They also want this olive oil to be offered in a beautiful package or bottle. That is why they often face the problem of having more bottles produced than can be sold in a harvest year.

Furthermore, the acidity and the content of valuable polyphenols distinguish a high - quality olive oil.

Acidity and polyphenol content.

An extra virgin olive oil can have a maximum acidity of 0.8% and no taste defects. However, a really good olive oil has a much lower acidity at levels between 0.2 - 0.6%. The higher the acidity level, the more tough the oil is. Knowledgeable people explain that good olive oil ranges in polyphenol values from 250 mg/kg. Premium olive oils reach values of 500 mg/kg and above. Super market olive oils, on the other hand, contain at best 100 mg/kg.

Taste

A high quality olive oil always has a strong and fresh taste, while its general taste range varies from fruity to bitter and slightly spicy. It can sometimes even leave a scratchy sensation in the throat as an aftertaste. How bitter it tastes is determined by the type of olive and the ripeness of the olives used. The unripe green olives give the oil a spicier taste. Oil that has almost no flavour is usually of inferior quality.

Aroma

Good olive oil is distinguished by its pleasant aromas, such as fresh grass and herbs and of course the unripe freshly cut olive fruit.

These wonderful aromas result from non-oxidative processing during pressing.

Definitely a bad sign is the slight smell of vinegar or wine or rancid butter as well as old nuts.

Also, injured olives, olives infected by parasites, left for several days (in plastic bags), as well as their improper treatment in the mill, give oils with bad smells and unpleasant fermentation notes.

Price

Price does not automatically say something about quality. However, it should be clear to everyone that one cannot get a good quality and responsibly produced olive oil for €3.99 / 500 ml or even less.

Half a litre of high quality extra virgin olive oil should be available on the shelf at a price of at least 10€.

However, the best and most delicious olive oils are not available for less than 20€ per 500ml.

Does that sound expensive? 

The average Austrian or German consumes about 1 litre of olive oil per year.

Assuming that a litre costs 40€, that's 0.11€/day.

This amount is very small considering the health benefits of olive oil.

The best olive oil is varietal, which is harvested by hand.

Varietal olive oil is pressed only from a certain type of olive and is suitable for all those who are looking for a particularly aromatic oil.

Particularly spicy and distinctive olive oils are obtained from green, still unripe olives.

Apirooil oil, for example, is a pure olive oil from the Koroneiki olive, which is harvested by hand using traditional methods.

Harvested by hand, the olives are subjected to as little damage as possible.

Bruising of the pulp quickly leads to fermentation, which can have a negative effect on the quality.

Therefore, it is also important not to add olives fallen into harvest nets to the crop or to store the harvested olives for a long time in plastic bags.

The ripening enzyme has a negative effect on the oil and oil connoisseurs can taste it later. At Apirooil we harvest the olives, put them in jute bags and bring them to the mill the same day.

So when it comes to picking, traditional manual labor has its advantages. The situation is different when it comes to the production of the oil, since the traditional process with stone mills and press mats involves oxidation processes, among other things.

That is why today olives are processed almost without exception with modern machines.

Furthermore, there are also quite natural influences on the quality of olive oil.

Besides climatic conditions, flies, for example, are a great enemy of the olive tree.

So it comes that also our olive oil has different analyzes depending on the year of harvest.

3. What should be written on the bottle?

If you want to buy a good and healthy olive oil, the label should at least indicate that it is an extra virgin olive oil. Here, again, the quality criteria are broader.

Therefore, make sure that the olive oil you choose is exclusively from a selected vintage, from a specific region and not the result of admixtures.

The blending of oils is not always aimed at producing lower quality olive oil, but at adapting to the taste preferences of customers.

Consequently, the real taste experience is no longer given. Such an "Extra Virgin Olive Oil" must then have the indication e.g. "Blend of Olive Oils from the European Union" as designation of origin.

Disregard advertising slogans such as "100% Italian" or "First pressing" because these are meaningful and speak only rarely about quality. For example, the machines that should be used for pressing nowadays are so efficient that a second pressing is not necessary.

In general, the more anonymous a product presents itself, the less likely it is to be of good quality.

4. Why does Apirooil not indicate the harvest date on the bottle?

An indication of a high quality olive oil is when the year of harvest is written on the label of the bottle.
In the super market the producer cannot give direct information about his olive oil.
At Apirooil the reason why we do not mention the year of harvest is purely business.
We want to produce very high quality olive oil and offer it to the consumer appropriately. Our bottle is specially designed for us.
However, the quantities purchased exceed the amount of oil that can be bottled in a harvest year.

In order not to leave unused bottles with the wrong vintage, we only mark the bottles at the time of bottling, so technically we can only mark the expiry date.

At Apirooil our extra virgin olive oil has a minimum shelf life of about twelve months.

In this way we ensure that every bottle sold during this period is aromatic and retains all the health benefits that extra virgin olive oil is known for. Our customers can deduce the year of harvest either from the expiration date or through our website!

 

5. Is Apirooil organic olive oil?

More and more people are watching their diet and it is important for them to use fresh organic products.

But how can you tell if an olive oil is really organic?

First of all, the term organic is defined by the European Union in EC Organic Regulation No.834/2007.

Those who practice "controlled-organic" agriculture avoid the use of chemical pesticides, mineral fertilizers and genetic engineering that are common in conventional agriculture and thus load the products with as few pollutants as possible.

Most people look at the labels of products that offer organic products. In fact, there are countless labels promising that the product is organic. Unfortunately, we can never be sure.

Add to that the fact that small producers who do produce organic products and have to meet certain standards also have to pay to be able to use a reliable label when they cannot afford it.

At Apirooil we also do not have an organic certificate for the latter reason. However, we have applied to the Greek certification body "BIO HELLAS" in November 2020, which provides certification according to European Regulation 834/2007. The certification process takes three years and until we have the certificate in our hands, we can guarantee our dear customers the following: 

our olive trees grow without genetic modifications and of course without the addition of fertilizers or pesticides...

 

6. What is the difference between extra virgin, virgin and refined olive oil?

 Extra virgin olive oil

Cold pressing without excessive action temperature, with an acidity of about 0.8%. There are also other chemo-analytical limits, as well as specific requirements for sensory properties. Both the sensory characteristics and the chemical parameters of the oil must be free of any defects. Extra virgin olive oil is obtained when the olives are harvested directly from the tree at the optimum ripening stage, without bruising the fruit, and processed in a modern mill that avoids oxidation and fermentation.

Virgin Olive Oil

It follows the same production process as extra virgin olive oil, with a maximum acidity of 2%. Further chemo-analytical limits apply here as well, as well as special requirements for sensory properties.

Olive oil in this case is not perfect. A virgin olive oil is obtained when the olives are not perfectly healthy or fresh or the processing has not been done in a modern mill.

Lampante Olive oil

It is a virgin olive oil whose acidity is over 2%. There are clear sensory defects and chemical analytical limits are exceeded. Lampante oil is in the lowest quality category among virgin oils and is not approved for direct consumption and must be refined. It is obtained from olives with defects harvested from the ground and subjected to fermentation.

Even an initially good olive oil can become rancid and turn into lampante due to poor storage.

The term lampante refers to the traditional use of this particular olive oil as a fuel for oil lamps.

Refined olive oil

This type of olive oil is obtained from refined olive oils with an acidity of no more than 3%. A generally odourless and tasteless oil, which as a result shows no sensory defects and contains significantly fewer nutrients.

 

 

 

 

7. What is "extra virgin", "cold-pressed" and "exported" olive oil?

Anyone who has stood in front of a supermarket shelf of olive oils will surely have wondered what the difference between the oils is, as it is certainly not only about the aesthetics of the packaging. The differences between the olive oils can be found in the type of olives used and the process used to extract the oil.

In order to extract the oil from the olives, it is first processed to prepare the olive paste. At this point there are two processes, which have in common that fermentation takes place under controlled atmospheric pressure and the fermentation temperature does not exceed 27°C, which is necessary to maintain the high quality and nutritional value of the olive oil.

Usually, producers use cryo-extraction as the less the olive paste is exposed to oxygen, the more the quality is preserved.

Extra virgin olive oil is oil that meets higher quality standards than regular virgin olive oil. It is a natural product. If the "extra" is missing, the oil is not perfect and has quality and taste defects. If the olive oil comes from lower quality olives, it is refined, chemically treated and most obviously has been blended with virgin olive oil to give it more color and flavor.

Olive Oil

If you find the label "olive oil" without the addition of "virgin" it is a blend resulting from mixing refined and virgin olive oil. Its acidity is greater than 10%.

The blending ratio is not indicated, so theoretically the percentage of refined oil can be as high as 99%. Of course, the higher the proportion of high quality olive oil, the stronger the taste impression.

However, for purely economic reasons, a maximum of 15% is virgin olive oil. This type of oil is not produced by pressing the olive tree, but is produced artificially and is the result of a chemical process in which lampante oil is converted into edible oil.

8. Why is olive oil one of the healthiest oils?

Fresh, extra virgin olive oil is among the healthiest fats because it is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids, antioxidants, vitamins and other valuable substances beneficial to the human body.

Some of these are:

  • B - Carotene
  • Folic Acid
  • Omega - 3 and Omega - 6 fatty acids
  • Retinol
  • Vitamin K

minerals as well as phytochemicals.

 A very high quality extra virgin olive oil also has a very high content of polyphenols, which are known for their antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties.

Replacing other fats in the diet with olive oil has been shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular problems, neutralize free radicals and mitigate other health risks such as cancer, diabetes, elevated cholesterol, constipation and gallstones.

And perhaps Greek olive oil is also responsible for the fact that the oldest people in Europe live in Greece and more specifically in the Aegean Sea. On the small island of Ikaria, inhabited by just 8,500 people, a 100th birthday is not unusual - but diseases such as cancer, heart disease and dementia are.

9. Is olive oil bad for my dog?

Olive oil is considered rather harmless and good for dogs, but some may be sensitive, so watch out for signs of diarrhoea or vomiting when giving olive oil for the first time.

The same quality standards that apply to humans also apply to dogs. Only fresh, very high quality extra virgin olive oil has the potential to provide health benefits and be beneficial to the skin and coat.

For dogs with weight problems you can be more sparing with the amount of olive oil as it has a lot of calories.

Vitamin A greatly helps the dog's vision and the vitamin B complex strengthens the nervous system and metabolism.

Vitamin E strengthens the immune system and protects cells from aging.

Vitamin K is important for blood clotting and wound healing.

Magnesium helps the health of the muscular system.

 

 

 

 

10. How can the large differences in olive oil prices be explained?

 As with many other products, many consumers don't want to pay a lot for an olive oil, but still want it to be of supposedly good quality. The food industry, wanting to satisfy them, packs low quality oils in nice packaging and through good marketing promotes them to the market.

It is not possible to sell a good, healthy and responsibly sourced olive oil for €3.99 / 500ml or less.

This should be clear.

On the one hand, the very low prices can be explained by poor quality olives. On the other hand, the harvest can also be blamed. The British newspaper "The Guardian" after an investigation published in 2016 an article entitled " Our hands and faces of slavery " : exploitation in migrants in Sicily.

Also, Deutschlandfunk (available only in German) reported on how African oil pickers in Sicily are being exploited in order for super market chains to offer bargain hunters quality products at really low prices.

The effort of olive growers to look after their trees in a responsible way to produce a very high quality product is enormous and in the end the producer, the mill, the bottler and the retailer have to earn their fair share. 

Therefore, half a litre of high quality extra virgin olive oil should be displayed on the shelf with a price of at least 10€.

However, in order to buy the best and highest quality olive oils you should spend at least 20€ per 500ml.

11. Is expensive olive oil better and healthier?

Yes! A good, quality and healthy olive oil cannot be cheap. Just consider the effort that goes into the care and extraction of olive oil. Harvesting olives consists of a great deal of manual labour.

Only a good quality olive oil contains all those quality characteristics that make olive oil one of the healthiest oils.

The alleged opportunities are certainly qualitatively inferior and the product is not produced under the right conditions.

 

12. Can we fry with olive oil?

Olive oil can be heated without hesitation! Olive oil is suitable for frying and is a very popular and favourite choice of our grandmothers!

A 2007 Spanish study confirms that olive oil can indeed be heated (Journal of Agricultural & Food Chemistry) and is even suitable for deep frying (Elsevier - Food and Chemical Toxicology). A prerequisite is that you use extra virgin olive oil that is low in acidity.

However, certain nutrients are always lost during frying. This is also the case with other oils.

13. What information does the best before date give us about an olive oil?

A high quality olive oil can be used for several years if stored properly. The quality depends on many factors, especially the harvest. However, in order to be able to give our customers a guarantee of quality and taste at every point of sale at Apirooil we indicate the ideal date of use for our olive oil before twelve months.

14. How many kilos of olives are needed to make one litre of olive oil?

This depends on many factors and varies greatly from variety to variety. Ripe olives contain more oil, but have a higher acid content and are poorer in polyphenols.

For high quality extra virgin olive oil, unripe olives are used because their oleic acid content is low and they are rich in polyphenols.

In general we can say that to produce 1 litre of olive oil we need 6 to 9 kilos of olives.

15. Which country consumes more olive oil?

Greeks consume around 15 litres of olive oil per capita per year, making them the absolute leaders in terms of consumption.

The Spaniards follow with 11.5 litres and then the Italians with 10.5 litres per year.

Portugal, Syria, Morocco, Syria and Tunisia also consume around 8 litres of olive oil per year.

In more northerly latitudes, e.g. in Austria and Germany, about 1 litre per season is consumed.

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