The Mediterranean diet is characterized by consuming mostly fruits, vegetables, nuts, protein low in animal fat, and olive oil. Olive oil provides many health benefits including reduction in cardiovascular disease, breast cancer, and even certain brain disorders. The polyphenols in the olive fruit provide the majority of the value and some of these compounds can be lost during the production process of the olive oil.
The process of producing high quality olive oil is very time consuming and must be done meticulously to provide the most health benefits. To obtain the highest quality phenols, tremendous controls must be adhered to. One of the last steps in the production of the olive oil is the storage. The oil’s storage quality can vary based on temperature stored, oxygen concentration, time of storing, and type of container used to store the olive oil. The best phenolic quality comes from olive oil stored for a shorter amount of time.