Olive Oil

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  • Olive oil is a type of edible oil obtained from the fruit of the olive tree, primarily Olea europaea.
  • It is a widely used cooking oil and a key component of Mediterranean cuisine.
  • Olive oil comes in various grades and types, including extra virgin, virgin, and refined olive oil.

Health Benefits

  • Rich in monounsaturated fats, which are associated with heart health and may help reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
  • Contains antioxidants, such as vitamin E and polyphenols, which may help protect cells from oxidative damage.
  • May have anti-inflammatory properties.
  • May help improve cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of stroke.
  • Associated with a Mediterranean-style diet, which is linked to various health benefits.

Common Uses

  • Cooking, sautéing, and frying due to its high smoke point and flavor.
  • Salad dressings and marinades.
  • As a condiment for dipping bread.
  • As a finishing drizzle over dishes like pasta, grilled vegetables, and seafood.

Types and Grades:medicinal uses

  1. Extra Virgin Olive Oil: This is the highest quality and most flavorful olive oil. It is made from pure, cold-pressed olives and has the lowest acidity level (below 0.8%). It retains the natural taste, aroma, and nutritional properties of olives.
  2. Virgin Olive Oil: Like extra virgin olive oil, virgin olive oil is also cold-pressed and derived from pure olives. It has a slightly higher acidity level (up to 2%) compared to extra virgin. It has a good flavor but is less robust than extra virgin.
  3. Pure Olive Oil (or just “Olive Oil”): This type of olive oil is a blend of virgin and refined olive oil. It has a milder flavor and is suitable for cooking and frying due to its higher smoke point.
  4. Extra Light Olive Oil: This is the most refined type of olive oil and has the mildest flavor. It is often used for high-heat cooking and frying but has fewer of the health benefits associated with less processed olive oils.
  1. Cardiovascular Health:
    • Extra virgin olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fats, especially oleic acid, which has been associated with a reduced risk of heart diseases.
    • It may help lower LDL cholesterol (“bad” cholesterol) levels and improve HDL cholesterol (“good” cholesterol) levels.
  2. Natural Antioxidant:
    • Olive oil contains antioxidants such as vitamin E and polyphenols, which can help combat oxidative stress and reduce damage caused by free radicals in the body.
  3. Anti-Inflammatory:
    • Compounds in extra virgin olive oil have been observed to have anti-inflammatory properties, which can be beneficial for overall health and specific inflammatory conditions.
  4. Brain Health:
    • Some research suggests that regular consumption of olive oil may be associated with a lower risk of cognitive decline and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

Nutritional Properties (per 100 grams)Extra Virgin Olive Oil

  • Calories: 884 kcal
  • Fat: 100 g
    • Saturated Fat: 14 g
    • Monounsaturated Fat (Oleic Acid): 73 g
    • Polyunsaturated Fat: 8 g
  • Vitamin E (Alpha-Tocopherol): 14 mg (70% of the Recommended Daily Intake)
  • Vitamin K: 62 µg (78% of the Recommended Daily Intake)
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