WILD OLIVE OIL 101

Everything you need to know about Wild Olive Oil.

A comprehensive guide explaining everything you need to know about wild olive oil, wild olive trees, production methods, health benefits, usage, and more.

A wild olive tree and zoefull's wild olive oil.
A wild olive tree and zoefull's wild olive oil.

Wild Olive Oil Basics

Wild olive oil is a rare type of olive oil extracted from the Olea sylvestris tree, the original variety of olive tree from which all conventional olive trees are derived. This oil is distinctive for its origin from wild olive trees that grow naturally, in contrast to other cultivated olive varieties. The unique qualities of wild olive oil, encompassing its flavor and health benefits, originate from these ancient, naturally occurring trees.

Polyphenols are natural compounds found in plant-based foods, including olive oil. They act as strong antioxidants, protecting our bodies against oxidative stress caused by free radicals, giving them their anti-aging effects. In olive oil, polyphenols are responsible for its characteristic bitterness and pungency. More bitterness/pungency means higher polyphenols and thus more health benefits.

An olive oil is considered "high phenolic" when it meets specific criteria related to its polyphenol content. According to the European Food Safety Authority, an olive oil can make a high phenolic claim when it contains a minimum of 250 mg/kg of polyphenols. However, experts recommend a higher threshold of 500 mg/kg in polyphenol content to ensure optimal health benefits.

At Zoefull, we take pride in our Wild Olive Oil, which easily surpasses these standards with an impressive 1865 mg/kg polyphenol content.

Yes, the terms 'medical grade' and 'high phenolic' olive oil are increasingly used interchangeably. This reflects a growing consensus within the scientific community about the significant health benefits of olive oils rich in phenolic compounds. Efforts are underway to establish standards that would allow such olive oils to be prescribed as a form of medicine. This initiative aims to harness the potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of high phenolic olive oils for therapeutic purposes, making them a valuable component of medical treatment and preventive health care.

Wild olive oil generally has a higher polyphenol content compared to regular olive oils. This is largely due to the specific growing conditions of wild olive trees and the early harvesting of young olives, which are naturally richer in polyphenols. The untouched, natural environment where wild olive trees thrive contributes to the development of these beneficial compounds. Additionally, our meticulous production process helps preserve these polyphenols, ensuring that our wild olive oil retains a potent concentration of these health-promoting antioxidants. In contrast, regular olive oils, often produced from olives harvested later in the season and potentially exposed to different processing methods, may have lower polyphenol levels.

Absolutely. The polyphenol content in our Wild Olive Oil is rigorously tested using the most precise method available: NMR (Nuclear Magnetic Resonance) spectroscopy.

We understand the importance of transparency and accuracy in verifying the health benefits of our olive oil. While many brands rely on HPLC, a less precise chemical method for gauging polyphenol levels, we choose to stand out in terms of precision and credibility.

Our testing is conducted at the renowned National Kapodistrian University of Athens, a leading institution in olive oil research. By using NMR spectroscopy, we ensure the most accurate measurement of polyphenols in our olive oil. This commitment to accuracy and transparency is reflected in our impressive polyphenol content of 1865mg/kg, a record-breaking level that is fully certified.

Wild olive oil differs from other types of olive oil mainly due to its source: the Olea sylvestris, an ancient variety of wild olive tree. This results in a distinct flavor profile and higher concentrations of polyphenols and antioxidants, which offer enhanced health benefits. Additionally, the meticulous, hand-picked harvesting process and limited artisanal production set wild olive oil apart in terms of quality and purity compared to regular olive oils.

Wild olive oil is distinguished primarily by its high polyphenol content, which not only contributes to significant health benefits but also enhances its longevity and quality. Following closely is its robust flavor profile, more intense and complex compared to regular olive oils. This oil is also characterized by its natural purity, reflected in its vibrant color and lower acidity level. These key attributes – enriched polyphenols, distinct taste, purity, and low acidity – are what make wild olive oil a premium and healthful choice.

Wild olive oil is uniquely special, primarily valued for its medicinal properties. Its rarity adds to its exclusivity, making it a cherished and limited commodity. Characterized by a remarkably high polyphenol content, wild olive oil offers health advantages far surpassing those of standard olive oils. It can be aptly described as 'longevity juice,' extracted from ancient trees, embodying a blend of tradition, rarity, and profound health benefits.

Wild Olive Trees

Wild olive trees are distinguished from cultivated ones by their growth conditions and genetic diversity. These wild trees grow spontaneously in natural environments, without human intervention, and exhibit greater genetic diversity compared to cultivated trees. This diversity allows them to adapt resiliently to their surroundings, contributing to their reputation as being virtually undying. While cultivated olive trees are intentionally planted and maintained for specific agricultural purposes, wild olive trees thrive in challenging conditions, which enhances the unique qualities of wild olive oil, including its robust flavor and higher polyphenol content.

Our wild olive trees, which are in the public domain and not privately owned, are located in the picturesque mountains of Lakonia, Greece. We have been granted an exclusive license by local authorities to harvest these trees exclusively for Zoefull. These trees flourish freely in nature, thriving in the region's unique climate and terrain, contributing to the exceptional quality of our wild olive oil.

The unique growing conditions of wild olive trees, which are frequently found in rugged and difficult environments, naturally induce the trees to produce more polyphenols as a survival mechanism.

Unlike cultivated olive trees, which are grown in more controlled and less stressful environments, wild olive trees have to fend for themselves and adapt to their surroundings. As a result, wild olive oil is naturally higher in polyphenols than conventional olive oil.

This makes wild olive oil a better choice for people who want to get more health benefits out their olive oil.

Wild olive trees are inherently environmentally sustainable, thriving without human intervention, including irrigation. They solely rely on rainfall to meet their water needs, contributing to water conservation. Their natural growth in untamed environments not only prevents soil erosion but also supports biodiversity by preserving ecosystems. These resilient trees have adapted to their surroundings, displaying remarkable water efficiency and reducing their carbon footprint compared to conventionally cultivated olive trees. As such, wild olive groves play a significant role in conserving natural habitats while promoting eco-friendly practices in olive oil production.

We are fortunate to have the privilege of harvesting and caring for these remarkable trees. Many of them stand as centenarians, and others are thousands of years old. Their longevity and connection to the earth allow us to produce an oil of unparalleled uniqueness, bearing witness to nature producing its very own longevity elixir.

Wild Olive Oil Production

The extraction of Wild Olive Oil is a meticulous process that prioritizes maintaining the integrity and purity of the oil. Our method involves early harvesting of young olives by hand and then cold extraction. This technique encompasses crushing the olives into a paste solely through mechanical means, completely foregoing the application of heat.

The advantage of cold extraction is significant. It helps in preserving the delicate flavors, aromas, and most importantly, the nutritional properties of the olives. Key among these are the polyphenols, which are renowned for their health-promoting benefits. Polyphenols are sensitive compounds; heat can degrade them, leading to a loss of some of their beneficial properties. By avoiding heat during the extraction process, we ensure that our Wild Olive Oil retains its full polyphenol content.

The harvest of wild olives is a carefully timed event in our production calendar, occurring annually in the very early days of October.

Our decision to harvest young olives, even though they produce a lower yield, is driven by our commitment to superior quality and health benefits. Young olives are particularly rich in polyphenols, potent antioxidants that are highly valued for their health-promoting properties. These compounds play a crucial role in the nutritional profile of our Wild Olive Oil, contributing to its unique flavor, aroma, and health benefits.

Hand-picking the olives is a fundamental practice in our production process, essential for preserving the quality and high phenolic content of our Wild Olive Oil. This method ensures that the olives are gently harvested without being damaged by mechanical equipment or the impact of falling to the ground. When olives are hit or bruised, they immediately start to oxidize, a process that can significantly reduce their polyphenol content. By hand-picking, we minimize the exposure of the olives to oxygen and prevent the oxidation process, thereby preserving the high levels of polyphenols.

Additionally, hand-picking is a time-intensive and meticulous process, reflecting our commitment to quality over quantity. This approach is fundamentally different from mass harvesting methods used in producing supermarket olive oils. Such large-scale methods often rely on machine harvesting, which is not conducive to producing ultra high phenolic olive oil. Our choice to hand-pick our olives underlines our dedication to crafting an exceptional product, prioritizing the health benefits and quality of our olive oil above all else.

While it is impossible to officially certify any wild olive oil as organic, all wild olive oils are technically 100% organic by nature. The reason is that wild olive trees grow freely in uncultivated nature without the use of synthetic chemicals or fertilizers. The specific requirements of organic certification organizations typically mandate cultivation under controlled environments, which is not applicable to wild olive trees.

Absolutely not. Our Wild Olive Oil is a pure, unadulterated product with no additives or preservatives. We are committed to providing our customers with olive oil in its most natural and authentic form. From the moment the olives are hand-picked from the wild trees to the final cold extraction process, we ensure that nothing is added to or taken away from the oil.

Yes, our Wild Olive Oil is a proudly single-origin product. All of our olives are exclusively harvested from the rugged and untouched mountainous landscape of Sparta in Lakonia, Greece. This region is particularly celebrated for its harsh yet pristine conditions, which are ideal for the growth of wild olive trees.

How to Use

A spoonful (10ml) a day keeps the doctor away.

Yes, it is absolutely safe to consume more than the recommended daily amount of our Wild Olive Oil. Keeping in mind that this is an ultra-high phenolic olive oil, you only need 10ml to harness the health benefits. However, consuming more is completely safe and can be beneficial.

Yes, our Wild Olive Oil is suitable for both pregnant women and children. Being a natural product with no additives, it is safe and beneficial for everyone just like a normal high-quality olive oil. Its healthful properties make it a valuable addition to various diets, including those of pregnant women and children.

While it's not necessary for maximizing the daily polyphenol benefits, consuming wild olive oil on an empty stomach offers additional health advantages. This practice can help in insulin control, boosting your metabolism, and keeping cravings at bay. Moreover, having a fatty layer from the olive oil in your gut can enhance the absorption of other nutrients and supplements you may take. Therefore, adding wild olive oil to your morning routine can be a valuable health ritual, contributing to overall wellness and metabolic health.

Although our Wild Olive Oil is not intended for kitchen use, it is perfect for use in cold dishes or as a dressing. Its unique flavor profile and high polyphenol content make it an excellent choice for enhancing salads, drizzling over cold appetizers, or adding to any cold dish where its rich taste can be enjoyed in its pure form. Using it as a dressing or in cold dishes is an ideal way to appreciate its distinct characteristics and health benefits without subjecting it to heat, which can alter its flavor and reduce its beneficial properties.

We strongly advise against using our Wild Olive Oil for frying or high-heat cooking. Doing so would not only be a misuse of this premium product but also a waste of its limited supply nature and valuable polyphenols. Our Wild Olive Oil is crafted to be savored in its natural state, where its unique flavors and health benefits can be fully appreciated. Using it in high-heat cooking would diminish these qualities. If you want to use this olive oil for cooking we recommend enjoying it as a finishing oil or in dishes that allow its distinctive characteristics to shine without exposure to high temperatures.

To best preserve the polyphenols in your Wild Olive Oil, it's important to minimize exposure to oxygen and light, as these factors can lead to oxidation. Here are our recommendations for optimal storage:

  1. Consume Promptly After Opening: Oxygen exposure begins as soon as the bottle is opened, which can start the oxidation process. To combat this, we package our olive oil in smaller 300ml bottles. This size encourages quicker consumption, ensuring that the olive oil remains fresh and retains its polyphenol content.
  2. Store in a Dark, Cool Place: Always store the olive oil in a dark and cool environment, away from direct sunlight and heat sources. This helps in slowing down the oxidation process.
  3. Understand Our Packaging Choice: We've chosen to use transparent glass bottles for our Wild Olive Oil to showcase its purity and quality. While darker bottles are often used for tabletop oils to protect them from light, they can also hide impurities. Our decision prioritizes transparency and quality assurance over light protection, as our olive oil is not intended for long-term tabletop storage but for timely consumption to enjoy its fresh taste and health benefits.

By following these storage guidelines, you can help ensure that your Wild Olive Oil retains its valuable polyphenol content and health properties.

Health Benefits of Wild Olive Oil

Wild olive oil is renowned for its array of health benefits, largely attributed to its high polyphenol content. These benefits include:

  1. Cardiovascular Health: Polyphenols in olive oil can help reduce heart disease risk factors by lowering blood pressure and improving cholesterol levels.
  2. Anti-inflammatory Properties: The anti-inflammatory effects of polyphenols can alleviate chronic inflammation, which is a key factor in many diseases.
  3. Antioxidant Benefits: Olive oil's antioxidants counteract oxidative stress, which is linked to various health issues including aging and chronic diseases.
  4. Neuroprotective Effects: Consuming olive oil may support brain health and protect against neurodegenerative diseases.
  5. Cancer Prevention: Some studies suggest that the compounds in olive oil may help reduce the risk of certain types of cancer.
  6. Metabolic Syndrome Improvement: Regular consumption of olive oil can positively affect conditions like obesity, high blood sugar, and high cholesterol.

Yes, the properties of wild olive oil contribute significantly to promoting longevity. Polyphenols help in preventing age-related diseases which are the leading causes of death.

Moreover they have been found to activate longevity genes, such as SIRT1 and FOXO3a, which are associated with increased lifespan and improved health in aging.

Additionally, polyphenols in olive oil aid in protecting DNA from aging. They slow down the rate of telomere shortening and reduce DNA damage, both of which are crucial factors in the aging process.

Yes, wild olive oil can be beneficial for weight management. Its high content of monounsaturated fats, particularly oleic acid, plays a positive role in metabolism, which is a key factor in weight management. These healthy fats help regulate blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity. Additionally, the presence of polyphenols in wild olive oil contributes to its anti-inflammatory properties, supporting overall metabolic health.

Consuming wild olive oil has several benefits for heart health, primarily due to its high content of monounsaturated fats and polyphenols. These components contribute to cardiovascular health in various ways:

  1. Reducing Inflammation: The polyphenols in wild olive oil have anti-inflammatory properties, which are crucial in reducing the risk of chronic cardiovascular diseases.
  2. Lowering Cholesterol Levels: The monounsaturated fats in olive oil can help lower levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol while maintaining or improving HDL (good) cholesterol levels.
  3. Regulating Blood Pressure: The bioactive compounds in wild olive oil have been shown to have a positive effect on blood pressure, helping to keep it within a healthy range.
  4. Improving Blood Vessel Health: The antioxidants in olive oil can improve the health of blood vessels, reducing the risk of atherosclerosis (the buildup of fats, cholesterol, and other substances in and on the artery walls).

By incorporating wild olive oil into a balanced diet, you can leverage these benefits to support and enhance overall heart health.

Yes, wild olive oil can contribute positively to brain health and cognitive function. The high levels of polyphenols found in wild olive oil are key to its neuroprotective properties. These antioxidants help combat oxidative stress, which can damage brain cells, and they have anti-inflammatory effects that are beneficial for brain health. Regular consumption of olive oil has been associated with:

  1. Reduced Risk of Neurodegenerative Diseases: Polyphenols in olive oil may help lower the risk of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.
  2. Improved Cognitive Functions: Studies suggest that the healthy fats in olive oil, particularly monounsaturated fats, can support memory and overall cognitive function.
  3. Enhanced Brain Cell Repair and Maintenance: The compounds in olive oil can aid in the maintenance and repair of brain cells, contributing to better neurological health.

By incorporating wild olive oil into your diet, you may be able to harness these neuroprotective benefits, supporting both short-term cognitive function and long-term brain health.

The antioxidants in wild olive oil are crucial in combatting inflammation, the root of all diseases. By neutralizing harmful free radicals, these antioxidants reduce oxidative stress, preventing cellular damage. This protective effect is vital in guarding the body against the accumulative impact of environmental and dietary stressors and plays a role in preventing age-related conditions. Incorporating wild olive oil into your diet helps mitigate inflammation and supports overall health and wellness.

Wild olive oil is a superior choice for health-conscious individuals, mainly due to its significantly higher polyphenol content – it contains up to 10 times more polyphenols compared to regular olive oils. This high concentration means that even a small amount can deliver substantial health benefits, making it not only an effective but also a convenient and easy to adhere to, daily health habit.

This wild olive oil by zoefull will help you achieve longevity and youthfulness away from inflammation and chronic disease. This wild olive oil by zoefull will help you achieve longevity and youthfulness away from inflammation and chronic disease.
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