Olive Oil, extracted only through physical-mechanical processes, with no resource to any chemical agent, is one of the few oils that is eatable right out of extraction, without having to go through refinement, as long as it has the quality.
The word Olive Oil – Azeite, in Portuguese – comes from the Arab word azzail or az-zait, which in Hebraic is called zait and in Egyptian djôt or zoit, and who’s meaning is Olive Juice. The word Azeitona (olive) comes from the arab azzeitun.
It is, therefore, fruit juice that preserves the aroma, flavour, vitamines, antioxidants and all the properties of the fruit that procedes it.
Out in Nature, the Olive Oil is the energy reserve that olives rely upon from the moment they fall from the mother tree and have to survive until they sprout and grow roots, which will allow the assimilation of the necessary nutrients for the growth and development process of a new tree. Olive Oil forms inside of the pulp’s cells. First the synthesis of glycerol occurs, then fatty acids, and these compounds, upon reaction with each other, will originate triglycerides or triacylglycerols which are the main component of Olive Oil, and Water. Due to their presence on the making of Olive Oil in a percentage of 95% to 97%, the glycerides and the fatty acids who compose them are considered “larger components”.
Glycerol + Fatty Acid Glycerides Esterification + Water
The droplets of Olive Oil are thus formed within the cell’s cytoplasm, made almost entirely out of Water, are immediatly surrounded by a biomembrane, created to protect them.
But nature goes beyond this. After the Olive Oil droplets are formed, nature will provide them with the smell and taste for wild animals, particularly birds,so they might be attracted to take the olives, or at least the pits, and may carry them to far territory, ensuring the survival and spread of the species.
This phenomenon occurs in some cell organelles, the chloroplasts, the "factory" of volatiles that will adhere to the Olive Oil’s droplets and which are their smell. There are over five hundred, but as a whole, each kg of Olive Oil, they only represent 1 mg.
Furthermore, Nature also gives pigments responsible in color, and vitamins and antioxidants, of high biological and nutritional value.
At the same time the main reaction of synthesis of the Olive Oil occurs, other reactions are happening, reactions of synthisis of the remaining components of Olive Oil, the 3% to 5% that where missing but that are mainly: hydrocarbons, the main among these is the squalene phosphatides, sterols, mainly composed of β-sitosterol, tocopherols and fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K), polyphenols which are antioxidants but also are responsible for the bitter and spicy attributes (tactile sensation) of Olive Oil. Together with the pigments and volatiles of smell and taste, these are the "minor components".
Olive Oil is thus a natural product and this is a natural product that is intended to be used in our diet, with all the characteristics and qualities provided by mother nature - in accordance with the principles of Farm-to-Table .