New scientific discoveries have demonstrated that extra virgin olive oil needs a lot of attention, from the stages of olive cultivation and extraction in the mill, to storage and consumption.
With the extraction of olive oil, a natural process of reduction of its taste and smell features and nutritional properties begins. It is therefore essential for extra virgin olive oil to be rich in flavour from extraction and for its natural ageing process to be monitored. This is the reason why the CEQ consortium have set a series of rules and procedures to establish what to do and what to avoid in order to produce and preserve high quality olive oil in a perfect way. If these rules are respected, extra virgin olive oil will keep its High Quality characteristics until consumption.
As a guarantee, the CEQ consortium carry out thorough checks to make sure that end consumers, at home or at the restaurant, enjoy a product with excellent nutritional properties and appreciate the typical flavour of oil after extraction. The soul of this High Quality Italian extra virgin olive oil is an integral procedural document containing more than 100 operating rules here summarised in a short excellence decalogue.
1. Integrated check of parasites and weeds, to minimize the use of pesticides and herbicides
2. Techniques of controlled grassing, to minimize the use of water resources and soil erosion
3. Rational fertilization in order to conserve groundwater resources
4. Short time between olive harvesting and processing in the mill to preserve high nutritional values
5. Use of electric forklifts to avoid raw material pollution and contamination
6. Use of inert gas technologies in oil preservation to slow down the ageing processes
7. Keeping of a “dark chain” and exposure temperature check to reduce the speed of oxidative processes
8. Reduction of expiry time and more information to the consumer for correct supply and storage of the product
9. More restrictive chemical and sensory parameters to guarantee higher nutritional and health properties
10. Ban of the use of oil cruets and topping up in restaurants
Photo by Salvatore Scuderi