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Extra Virgin Olive Oil Spheres

caviar aceite

One of the most innovative ways to consume extra virgin olive oil is to try olive oil pearls, more commonly known as extra virgin olive oil caviar.

Although it is an innovative product, it’s amazingly easy to use as decoration for any dish to immediately draw people’s attention. Its texture will make it explode in your mouth and your taste will be charmed by its softness. Finally, you will savour its smell and flavour mixed with other ingredients. Sight, touch and taste, all senses will be satisfied at a mouthful.

Our intention is to avoid complicated recipes and hard-to-find ingredients. We seek to make a dish that is unique in design and taste using quality ingredients that you will easily find in any supermarket or in your neighborhood store. We want to make things easy and save you time rather than spending hours looking for hard-to-find ingredients.

The number of uses of olive oil pearls is endless; limited only by the chef’s imagination. But for those who do not have much time, we make a few suggestions here to prepare simple and original tapas.

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Extra Virgin Olive Oil is a source of health.


Today on our blog we are posting an article on olive oil published by INTEREMPRESAS, INDUSTRIA DEL ACEITE (a website devoted to the olive oil industry). It is such an interesting article that you shouldn’t miss reading the full text. I hope the article confirms what we already know about our liquid gold, that it is a healthy and tasty gift that improves every dish.

Olive oil is considered to be one of the best oils from a nutritional standpoint, since its phenolic antioxidant compounds make it the best oil for human consumption. It is been associated with a decrease in cardiovascular problems in countries whose dietary patterns are based on the Mediterranean diet, where olive oil is the main source of fat. A large number of studies have proved its health benefits and health properties, which make it an excellent source of health.

Olive oil is the main source of fat in Mediterranean countries, whose diet has been associated with a low incidence of cardiovascular disease (1). Data from the EPIC (Spain) and Three Cities (Italy) has shown an inverse relation between olive oil consumption and cardiovascular disease (2-5).

Numerous studies have demonstrated the benefits of olive oil consumption on lipid profile, insulin sensitivity, oxidation of lipids and DNA, endothelial function and blood pressure (6,7).In consequence, in November 2004, the US Federal Drug Administration (FDA) allowed a health claim in olive oil bottles referring to «the benefits of consuming two tablespoons of olive oil on the risk of Cardiovascular disease due to the high presence of monounsaturated fat in olive oil «(8).

Olive oil components

The major components of olive oil are fatty acids. Among them, the predominant component is a monounsaturated fatty acid called oleic acid. Olive oil contains bioactive compounds, among which antioxidant phenolic compounds are the best-studied (7). Extra virgin olive oil with acidity levels inferior to 0.8 g has the highest phenolic content among olive oils in the market, compared with common olive or pomace oils, which have been mixed with refined olive oil and have lost virtually all their phenolic compounds.

Benefits of extra virgin olive oil

The key question is: what is the best oil from a nutritional standpoint? Available current data suggests the answer is Extra Virgin Olive Oil.


Apart from its well-known benefits on the improvement of lipid profile risk (decreased levels of LDL cholesterol, ‘bad’ cholesterol), lower oxidation of LDL cholesterol, improved endothelial function and insulin sensitivity, olive oil is also known for its great antioxidant and anti-inflammatory capacity due to the abundance of phenolic compounds. (7).

The phenolic compounds are absorbed by the human organism in a dose-dependent manner on the content present in olive oil (9).

Extra Virgin Olive Oil rich in phenolic compounds has been shown to protect LDL from oxidation (particle bearing bad cholesterol) more effectively than other oils. Cholesterol oxidation is a key process for triggering atherosclerosis that leads to angina pectoris, myocardial infarction, or stroke (10).

Data from EUROLIVE, a study conducted in 6 European countries with 200 healthy volunteers, has showed the benefits of olive oil rich in phenolic compounds compared with other types of olive oils with regard to HDL cholesterol levels and protection against oxidation of LDL (11).

In the light of the EUROLIVE study and other studies, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) allowed a claim in November 2011 regarding the benefits of consumption of phenolic compounds in olive oil: 5 mg / day of hydroxytyrosol and derivatives (including oleaborin and tyrosol) on the protection against the oxidation of LDL. These amounts (20 g / day) should be consumed in moderation and as part of a balanced diet (12, 13).

HDL particles (carrying ‘good’ cholesterol) protect LDL from oxidation and is also responsible for removing cholesterol from the arteries by a process called ‘cholesterol efflux’.

A subsample of the EUROLIVE study has shown that olive oil rich in phenolic compounds not only increases HDL cholesterol levels, but also cholesterol efflux of the cells significantly more than any refined olive oil that is poor in phenolic compounds (14).

Studies in humans have shown that AOVEs is more effective against inflammation, reduction of thrombogenesis (creation of blood clots), improvement of endothelial function and reduction of blood pressure than other oils (7).

Within the framework of the PREDIMED study (Effects of the Mediterranean Diet on the Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease), a rich Mediterranean diet based on extra virgin olive oil has not only been shown to protect against lipid oxidation and inflammation (15,16), but also against cardiovascular disease ( 1) and, in particular against atrial fibrillation (risk of arrhythmia) (17) and the development of diabetes (18).

In both cases this would entail protection against oxidation of lipoproteins. While the benefits of LDL oxidation protection have already been discussed, protection against oxidation of HDL would lead to an improvement in their ability to enhance cholesterol efflux from blood vessels by preventing cholesterol accumulation in them and protecting against atherosclerosis (14).

A second mechanism would be through a nutrigenomic effect. AOVEs have been shown to be more effective than other types of oil for reducing the expression of genes related to atherosclerosis and inflammation in humans (20).


Fort the above reasons, extra virgin olive oil consumption provides more benefits to human health than other vegetable oils.


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Why a Bitter or Spicy Olive Oil?


In order to bring to your knowledge the culinary and health qualities of extra virgin olive oil 900 Top, here is a brief article setting out the benefits they bring to the health and to the palate.

To begin with, it is fundamental to the production of extra virgin olive oil 900 Top that a great deal of care should be taken; from cultivation, collection and transport to pressing, processing and bottling. Each one of these stages needs special attention, because the success of each one is absolutely necessary to the final quality of the product, extra virgin olive oil 900 Top, an olive oil of superior quality.

As a result of this careful process, 900 top has properties that give it an intense and typical flavour – reproducing the aromas and flavours of the fruits from which it comes. This is without doubt its principal quality, though it has others such as bitterness and spiciness, characteristics of the Picual olive, which perhaps deserve to be mentioned and explained so that the consumer knows how to appreciate them as positive qualities.

Bitterness is a fundamental quality of an extra virgin olive oil obtained from olives at their peak of maturation. It is due to the phenolic compounds present in them, and is more or less intense depending on their level of content. They are a highly positive attribute because they indicate the lifespan present in the olive oil; they have high antioxidant properties, prevent the oil itself from oxidisation and give tremendously beneficial effects to the body.

Spiciness is a sensation that can be felt in all of the mouth and especially in the throat. Phenolic compounds are also responsible for it; specifically, oleocanthal, an organic compound that produces sensations of irritation in the throat, like spicy tastes. It has anti-inflammatory properties, can destroy cancer cells and has significant shared properties with ibuprofen. Not everybody benefits equally from these properties, because of our individual sensibilities.

These characteristics can also depend on climatic conditions, such as precipitation, sunshine, temperatutes, etc., which mean that each harvest’s olive oil possesses slightly different organoleptic and sensory characteristics, given that the quantities of compounds that give these characteristics are also different.

The olive variety used is another variable causing different notes of flavour, bitterness and spiciness from one olive oil to the next. The most cultivated variety in this zone is Picual, with a high content of polyfenoles and natural antioxidants, therefore with a long lifespan and bitterness and spiciness that are characteristic of quality. Hojiblanca and Picudo olives have a fruitier, sweeeter flavour. This is why Picual, Hojiblanca and Picudo are the varieties chosen for the creation, in their appropriate proportions, of the 900 Top blend.

All that now remains is to choose a good accompaniment for the table, whether it be bread, cheese or salad, but also meat, fish or steamed or grilled vegetables.

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Tasting Extra Virgin Olive Oil

The great value of extra virgin olive oil has been recognised throughout history, whether used as an ointment, in Roman lamps or in religious rituals. These days, as well as being a sociocultural and envirnomental foundation of Andalucía’s agriculture and countryside, it is a food basic to the Meditteranean diet.

Over time, the elaboration of extra virgin olive oil has been such that now, a great variety of high quality olive oils are produced, each with different qualities  of aroma, taste and other factors; making it difficult for those who are not experts to identify each olive oil at its best. This diversity of extra virgin olive oils results from the richness of different olive varieties, soil types, climate factors and production processes, throughout our land of  Andalucía.

Whether the juice is obtained from healthy olives at the peak of maturity, the treatment of the fruit from collection up until final pressing, the agronomical and climatic factors all determine the quality of the olive oil.

From consumers’ need to understand how to differentiate the range of aromas and flavours of olive oil, and more particularly extra virgin olive oil, arises the concept of catar (taste), from the Latin captare, literally meaning ‘to search’.

The organoleptic qualities of a product are the sum of its characteristics or attributes that can be perceived through the senses (sight, smell, taste, feel) such as colour, aroma, flavour and liquidity. Organoleptic analysis can seem subjective because everyone has his or her own sense perceptions; however, with training and the use of specialist vocabulary, there can be agreed criteria for the classification, praise, criticism or discussion of the golden liquid of the Meditteranean.

Even though the analysis of taste requires exhaustive training on the part of the taster, requiring a great deal of time to achieve, we will briefly explain the following expert standards so that – within our limitations – we can discern the quality of an extra virgin olive oil.

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The senses used in olive oil tasting are sight, smell, taste and feel. Interestingly, professional tasters do not take the colour of extra virgin olive oils into account when making a sense analysis, because it is not a determinant of quality. Depending on the variety or stage of maturity of the olive, we might come across olive oils which are greener or more golden, with tones from greenish yellow to straw yellow; but both could be of maximum quality.

The sense of smell is used to identify the aroma of an extra virgin olive oil. It recognises and classifies the properties that are spread upwards through the air. For their part, the palate and tongue are charged, through the sense of feel, with assessing the structure and consistency of an extra virgin olive oil.

To practise olive oil tasting, you use blue coloured glasses covered with a transparent glass lid, following these stages:

  • Aromatic
  • Visual
  • Flavour
  • Consistency
  • Balance and harmony

The taster picks up the glass, keeping the lid on; then, removing the lid, begins to smell the sample, taking light inward breaths, slowly and deeply, until the positive or negative qualities of the sample are appreciable, and how strong they are. This phase should not take longer than thirty seconds. Next, he or she moves on to the test of flavour. For this, a small sip of the olive oil is taken. It is important to spread the oil throughout the mouth. In general, appreciation of the four fundamental taste qualities (sweet, salty, acidic and bitter) is gained through the use of distinct tongue and palate areas, and this is so with the taste qualities specific to this product.

The olive oil has to be taken, in sufficient quantity and very slowly, over the back part of the tongue towards the palate and throat, with the attention focused on the presence of bitterness and spiciness. In some olive oils, these can pass by unnoticed, or the bitterness can be hidden by the spiciness. Taking short repeated breaths, introducing air into the mouth, helps to spread the oil through the mouth and enables appreciation of its aromatic properties via the nasal passages. The taster also has to take into account the consistency of the olive oil; so also with its fluidity, thickness and sharpness, noting their extent when they appear. 

Between each tasting and the next, a break must be taken (of at least fifteen minutes), so that the effects of the first one can pass. Chewing then spitting out a slice of orange is recommended, before rinsing out the mouth with water at room temperature.


Qualities appreciable through extra virgin olive oil tasting


Now let us describe the qualities appreciable through the tasting of any extra virgin olive oil, through each one of the senses, the positives as much as the negatives. It is very important to realise that an extra virgin olive oil must pass strict quality standards and that the presence of negative qualities will prevent this.

  • With visual analysis, we assess the appearance of the olive oil. These are considered positive aspects: clarity of filtration, clarity when poured, opaque or opaque and opalescent. Muddy, dirty and dark are negative aspects. Colour is not a tasting criterion, which is why it is normal to use blue glasses that do not show the colour tones of the olive oil.
  • With the smell analysis we move to the aromatic qualities. These are assessed according to their intensity and there are two categories. Agreeable/positive aspects include mature olive aroma, green olive aroma, apple, green herb, fig and green leaf; disagreeable/negative aspects include sour, vinegar, aroma of water extracted through pressing, wine aroma, rancid, muddy, rotten, sticky, mouldy, humid, basket aroma and metallic.
  • Next we have the taste analysis through flavour and palate. We assess the sensations in the mouth according to their flavour, quality and intensity. These qualities are considered positive or desirable: typical of the olives used, clean, fresh, fruity, bitter, if to the proper, agreeable extent; wholesome, sweet, almond-flavoured, pine-flavoured and vegetable-flavoured. These qualities are considered to be defects: intensely bitter, intensely spicy, dry leaf, wine, vinegar, acidic, basket, rope, re-heated, frozen olive, mouldy or humid, metallic, muddy, wooden, wormed, putrid or rancid flavours.
  • For tactile analysis we use the palate and mouth. The physical consistency of an olive oil is assessed according to the following definitions: thickness, smothness, fluidity and wateriness. Olive oils that present tactile qualities that are different from those normally or previously presented by their variety are considered to be detective.
  • Finally we judge the olive oil’s overall harmony, taking account of all of its characteristics and begining to arrive at an overall mark. The judgement goes according to the balance between aromas and taste, classified by:
  • Olive oils which are afrutado, that is, showing characteristics that are typical of the olives from which they are produced.
  • Balanced, harmonious olive oils: that is, showing the best balance between aromas and flavours.
  • Unbalanced, unintegrated olive oils: that is, oils where an aroma, flavour or defect predominates.