OUR LOCATIONS

Corrales Location

10700 Corrales Rd. NW, Suite E
(North of Flying Star)
Albuquerque, NM. 87114
(505) 899-9293

Paseo Location

8001 Wyoming Blvd. NE, Suite B-1
(NW corner of Paseo & Wyoming
in Paseo Village Shopping Center
next to Mario's Pizza)
Albuquerque, NM. 87113
(505) 821-1119


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ULTRA PREMIUM OLIVE OIL STANDARD

Ultra Premium Olive Oil Poster
Mural by Faith Weston

Healthy Facts

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Extra Virgin is the most commonly used word for olive oil. Extra virgin and virgin olive oil, is extracted directly from the olive fruit by grinding the olives in thermal conditions which preserves the natural taste. The method for extracting the oil is what is known as “cold pressed,” which keeps the oil from losing its flavor that can be lost when exposed to high temperatures.

Extra virgin olive oil is produced naturally, meaning that the oil is not made from any sort of chemical treatments. Virgin oil is also an indication that the oil is not refined, that they are of a higher quality and retain their natural flavor. Extra virgin is the highest quality and most expensive olive oil classification. It should have no defects and a flavor of fresh olives.

Pure Olive Oil

Pure olive oil is another oil, but the name can be misleading. Pure is actually a blend of either extra virgin or virgin olive oil and olive oils that are refined. It is used mainly when extracted olive oil is of poor quality and the refining process helps it to have a better flavor.

Many times, refined olive oil is used when frying as the taste is not as remarkable as the virgin oils. A product labeled simply Olive Oil, is nearly the same as something marked Pure Olive Oil in that it is refined with lack of taste.

The Health Factor in Olive Oil

Through considered a fat, olive oil is one of the healthiest oils due to its high monounsaturated fat content and relatively low saturated fat content. Studies has shown that olive oil helps the body’s heart remain healthy and also aids in regulating cholesterol levels.

The health benefits are widely recognized. Aside from consuming olive oil, some people swear of its benefits from using it topically on the skin. Whatever it is used for, the health benefits of olive oil have been researched and proven.

Our Fresh Extra Virgin Olive Oils are the Best!

ABQ Olive Oil Companies 100% Ultra-Premium Extra Virgin olive oils (EVOO) are sourced from around the world. Our selection is always changing according to the “time of crush” so that we can provide to you the freshest oils available. Each of our EVOOs has unique flavor characteristics that vary depending on the country of origin, soil conditions, rainfall, climate and variety of olive.

Extra virgin olive oil is fresh pressed from the fruit of the olive tree, leaving the color, taste, vitamins & nutrients intact. However, EVOO decreases in flavor and health benefits over time. Fresh crushed olive oil is like fresh squeezed fruit juice in that it contains the most flavor and nutrients. Old, poorly made and improperly stored extra virgin olive oil yields few, if any, health benefits and less desirable flavor. Becoming intimately familiar with a particular extra virgin olive oil’s flavor characteristics and chemistry (i.e. antioxidant content, oleic acid, FFA, and crush date) will help you make an educated decision about which olive oil is right for you.

Our single variety Ultra-Premium Extra virgin olive oils are tested for chemistry. When you buy our oils you know you are getting fresh, premium, high quality extra virgin oils that deliver beneficial antioxidants! Our EVOO’s are tested for the following crucial chemistry properties:

Oleic Acid: is a monounsaturated omega-9 fatty acid found in olive oil. Olive oil is generally higher in oleic acid than other vegetable fats. The range found in extra virgin olive oil is between 55-85%. Extra virgin olive oil high in oleic acid has greater resistance to oxidation.

FFA: Based on IOOC standards the maximum limit for free fatty acid in extra virgin olive oil is 0.8g per 100g or (.8%). A low FFA is desirable. Free fatty acid speaks to the condition of the fruit at the time of crush. The higher the FFA the greater the indication of poor quality fruit such as damaged, overripe, insect infestation, overheating during production or too much of a delay between harvest and crush.

Peroxide Value: Based on IOOC Standards the maximum peroxide value for extra virgin olive oil is 20. A very low peroxide value is desirable. Unsaturated free fatty acids react with oxygen and form peroxides, which create a series of chain reactions that generate volatile substances responsible for a typical musty/rancid oil smell. These reactions are accelerated by high temperature, light, and oxygen exposure.

Polyphenol Count: Polyphenols are a class of antioxidants found in a variety of foods. Polyphenols such as Oleuropein, Oleocanthal, and hydroxytyrosol impart intensity connected with pepper, bitterness and other desirable flavor characteristics. Recent studies indicate that these potent phenols are responsible for many of the health benefits associated with consuming fresh, high quality extra virgin olive oil. Phenols in olive oil decrease over time or when exposed to heat, oxygen and light. Consuming fresh, well made olive oil with high polyphenol content is crucial when looking to obtain the maximum health benefit commonly associated with consuming extra virgin olive oil.

New Testing Methods Based on Olive Oil Chemistry

DAGs Test/Score: Measures the proportion of two forms of diacylglycerol: 1,2 and 1,3. In oil freshly made from sound olives of good quality, the prevalent form of DAG is the 1,2 form where the fatty acids are bonded to a glycerol molecule in the 1 and 2 positions. The bond on the 2 position is weak and easily broken, leading to the migration of that 2 position fatty acid to the 3 position. This results in the much more stable 1,3 DAG. This makes the ration of 1,2 DAGs to the total DAG’s a good indicator of the quality of the olive fruit and the processing. It is also an indicator of the age of an oil, since the migration from 1,2 to 1,3 DAGs takes place naturally as the oil ages. Warmer storage temperatures, and higher free fatty acid levels will both accelerate this process, but DAGs are not affected by the short exposure to high heat that is characteristic of deodorizing (refining).

PPP Test/Score: This test was developed to measure the degradation of chlorophyll in olive oil. This degradation of chlorophylls to pyropheophytin was found to take place at a predictable pace, making it possible to gain information about the age of an olive oil. The rate at which the degradation occurs can be accelerated by even short periods of high temperatures – such as that which is utilized during the deodorizing or soft column refining process – making it a useful indicator of the presence of deodorized olive oil as well as the age of the oil.

Comparing ABQ OLIVE OIL COMPANY’S Ultra-Premium Extra Virgin Olive Oil to Other “Olive Oils”

All of ABQ Olive Oil Company’s 100% Ultra-Premium Extra Virgin Olive Oils are first cold pressed – a chemical-free process using only mechanical pressure, producing a higher quality of olive oil which is naturally lower in acidity. 100% Ultra-Premium Extra Virgin Olive Oil must meet certain chemistry standards and must exhibit superior taste, color and aroma in order to be classified as Ultra-Premium extra virgin olive oils. Ultra-Premium Extra virgin olive oils are not processed or refined!

Much of the supermarket olive oil, labeled as “extra virgin olive oil” is unrefined but is of poor quality as a result of lax processing standards, age, UV light exposure, and poor handling. Many of the ordinary “olive oils” found at the supermarket are actually a blended oil product. Olive oil producers start with low quality virgin olive oils. These oils are refined using mechanical, thermal and/or chemical processes. The resulting “refined olive oil” is largely colorless and tasteless. Before the resulting product is sold as “olive oil” a percentage of quality virgin olive oil is added to provide color and taste.

Light olive oil is a variation on ordinary olive oil. Producers of this product start with a highly refined olive oil, and less quality virgin oil than that typically used in a blend olive oil. The only thing “light’ about light olive oil is the taste and color. It has the same caloric and fat content as other oils.

A Guide to Tasting and Selecting Unflavored Ultra-Premium Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)

When entering ABQ Olive Oil Company you will probably be over-whelmed by the large variety of products. You may not know where to begin or what the difference is between products. How should you know?

No two oils are alike. Each has its own aroma and taste characteristics and is a unique product of soil, climate, and olive varieties. The oils can be fruity, flowery, nutty, spicy, herbal or grassy. It can have a mild taste or have varying degrees of desirable peppery and pungent taste characteristics. The color of olive oil can vary from light gold to a rich green. Green olives produce a green oil because of the high chlorophyll content. Ripe olives yield a yellow oil because of the carotenoid (yellow red) pigments. The exact combination and proportions of pigments determine the final color of the oil.

Here’s a guide to tasting extra virgin olive oil that will help you select the right olive oil for you.

Start your tasting with a mild oil. Olive oils are classified in three levels of intensity: mild, medium, and robust. Always start with mild and then work up to medium and then robust intensity of olive oils.

Pour olive oil into a tasting cup. You may use bread to taste extra virgin olive oils, but if you’re truly interested in the flavor of the oil taste without using bread.

Warm the oil. Nest the cup in the palm of one hand, and cover the top with your other hand. Gently rock and twist the cup in your hand for about 20 seconds to warm the olive oil. The warming and the “swishing” release the fragrant aromatics in the oil—its “nose”.

Take a deep whiff of the oil. Raise the cup to your nose but only partially left your hand from the cup; tuck your nose into the cup, then take a deep whiff. The first, fragrant “top notes” of the oil (its “nose”) are your clues to its flavor.

Make a note of the nose. Is it “big” (heavily fragrant), or is there little fragrance at all? Can you identify the characteristics “Fruity?” “Grassy” Or, is there something more subtle?

Taste the oil. Draw a long, slurp sip into while curling your tongue upward, taking in a fair amount of air into your mouth along with that first sip in order to aerate the oil. Roll the oil across your tongue and all the way to the back of your mouth, allowing your tongue to identify as many aspects of the flavor as possible.

Swallow the oil. By now your tongue and nose have all the information they need to tell you how it tastes. Note the flavor characteristics as well as descriptors and lingering sensations – even viscosity. Is it fruity? Peppery? Pungent? Bitter? What did you like most? These distinctions will point you toward your favorites and rule out other oils.

When you know how to taste and identify the flavors of an extra virgin olive oil, you can start to narrow our choices down to the varieties you’ll like. And with the vocabulary to describe them, you can ask for the particular characteristics you enjoy most. You’re on your way to finding a favorite!

How to Store Olive Oil

Olive oil lasts about one year before the antioxidants and flavor start to deteriorate. Olive oil should be stored in a cool, dark place. Light and heat are two of the primary enemies of olive oil. The best storage containers for olive oil are either tinted glass (to keep light out) bottle or in a small, capped porcelain jug that keeps out air and light. Containers need to have a cap or lid for fight resealing to keep out unwanted air. It does not need to be stored in the refrigerator. Refrigerated olive oil will become cloudy and solidify, making it difficult to use. Returning it to room temperature restores its fluidity and color, however, this may take some time.

The Smoke Point of EVOOs

Reaching the smoke point is undesirable for any oil used in cooking because it changes the chemistry of the oil in an undesirable way. There are studies that claim that all extra virgin olive oils have a smoke point of 300 degrees but such studies ignore variable factors such as chemistry and freshness, which affect the smoke point. The truth is that the smoke point of an extra virgin olive oil will depend on its unique characteristics.

Supermarket olive oil labeled as “extra virgin olive oil”, which is not adulterated with refined oil, but is of a typical poor quality as a result of lax processing standards, age, UV light exposure, and poor handling tends to be highly oxidized and or rancid by the time the consumer purchases it. Highly oxidized or rancid olive oil lacks the protective chemistry that would otherwise allow for heating at higher temperatures before reaching the smoke point.

Fresh extra virgin olive oil of superior quality – boasting exceptional chemistry (i.e. high oleic acid content, very low FFA, and robust phenol count) – can be heated to greater temperatures before reaching the smoke point.

If you are looking to heat extra virgin olive oil up to 400+ degrees, pay close attention to the chemical make-up and choose one that is very fresh and chemically robust.

Making the Grade

Courtesy of  Veronica Foods

All olive oil starts with fruit on a tree. What happens after the fruit and the tree part company makes all the difference to the oil produced. Later viewing of the other buttons on this site will inform you of the many factors influencing the end products of the olive fruit.

bottles of olive oil

According to the United States Department of Agriculture the only acceptable grade of olive oil is Virgin Olive Oil. The Food and Drug Administration definition is,” Olive oil is the edible oil expressed from the sound, mature fruit of the olive tree." No recognition is given to refined or extracted oil.

The two ways to assess virgin olive, chemical and organoleptic analysis, are equally important even though one is totally objective and the other is totally subjective.

Laboratory analysis can tell us about the levels of beneficial polyphenols and oleic acid, and the products of deterioration free fatty acids and peroxide. But it can not tell us anything about the pleasure to be derived from using fresh, well made oil.

Organoleptic analysis happens in the nose and mouth of the taster, either professional or you as the end user. Aesthetic notes of fruity, nutty, fresh grassy, peppery, and many, many others are there in varying balance that give complexity to the oil and appeal in different ways to each person. Laboratory analysis can track down the chemical nature of those flavors and aromas, but the human sensory system is still the best organoleptic analysis device. As we will recommend many times in this website, please give yourself the opportunity to taste and assess many olive oils to educate your palate and help you find the oil that gives you the most satisfaction.

Most grading is based on the method of production (explained at the HOW button) and designations are a marketing tool used by producers. The terms can be confusing and sometimes intentionally misleading. Once again it is important to know as much as possible about what you choose.

Extra-virgin olive oil comes from virgin oil production only, contains no more than 0.8% acidity, and is judged to have a superior taste. Extra Virgin olive oil accounts for less than 10% of oil in many producing countries.

Virgin olive oil is produced by the use of physical means and no chemical treatment. , has an acidity less than 2%, and is judged to have a good taste. Over 50% of the oil produced in the Mediterranean area is of such poor quality that it must be refined to produce an edible product.

After these two grades come the blends of oil that are mainly (up to 90%) refined oil and virgin Olive oil.

Pure olive oil. Oils labeled as Pure olive oil or Olive oil are usually a blend of refined and virgin production oil. Over 50% of the oil produced in the Mediterranean area is of such poor quality that it must be refined to produce an edible product. No solvents used used to extract the oil but it has been refined with the use of charcoal and other chemical and physical filters

Olive oil is a blend of virgin and refined production oil, of no more than 1.5% acidity, and lacks a strong flavor.

Olive-pomace oil is refined pomace olive production oil possibly blended with some virgin production oil. It is fit for consumption, but may not be described simply as olive oil. Olive-pomace oil is rarely sold at retail; it is often used for certain kinds of cooking in restaurants.

Refined olive oil is the olive oil obtained from virgin olive oils by refining methods which do not lead to alterations in the initial glyceridic structure. It has a free acidity, expressed as oleic acid, of not more than 0.3 grams per 100 grams (0.3%) and its other characteristics correspond to those fixed for this category in this standard. This is obtained by refining virgin olive oils which have a high acidity level and/or organoleptic defects which are eliminated after refining. Over 50% of the oil produced in the Mediterranean area is of such poor quality that it must be refined to produce an edible product. Note that no solvents have been used to extract the oil but it has been refined with the use of charcoal and other chemical and physical filters. An obsolete equivalent is "pure olive oil."

Pomace olive oil is extracted from the pomace using chemical solvents, mostly hexane, and by heat. Sometimes blended with some virgin production oil. It is fit for consumption, but may not be described simply as olive oil. Olive-pomace oil is rarely sold at retail; it is often used for certain kinds of cooking in restaurants.

Lampante oil is not suitable as food because it is made usually from olives that are spoiled or insect infested.; the term lampante comes from olive oil's long-standing use in oil-burning lamps. Lampante oil is mostly used in the industrial market. It must be chemically refined before it can be consumed. The resulting oil, after refining, is known as A-Refined, or Refined-A olive oil. It is not, strictly speaking, "olive oil." It is used as the primary ingredient for a new product that is sold as "Pure Olive Oil.”

As the United States is not a member, the IOOC retail grades have no legal meaning in that country; terms such as "extra virgin" may be used without legal restrictions.

Since 1948 the U.S. Department of Agriculture has listed four grades of olive oil based on acidity, absence of defects, odor and flavor:[20]

U.S. Grade A or U.S. Fancy possesses a free fatty acid content of not more than 1.4% and is "free from defects";

U.S. Grade B or U.S. Choice possesses a free fatty acid content of not more than 2.5% and is "reasonably free from defects";

U.S. Grade C or U.S. Standard possesses a free fatty acid content of not more than 3.0% and is "fairly free from defects";

U.S. Grade D or U.S. Substandard possesses a free fatty acid content greater than 3.0% and "fails to meet the requirements of U.S. Grade C".

With these diverse labeling styles and the small amount of information they provide, the best indicator of a good olive oil is obtained by tasting while keeping in mind the freshness and beneficial nutritional and antioxidant levels.


Gluten Free Statement

This is to confirm that the oils and balsamic vinegars sold in the ABQ Olive Oil Company are GLUTEN FREE products and are produced and packaged in gluten free facilities (no products are produced or packaged which could cause gluten contamination).

More healthy facts...

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SPECIALS OF THE MONTH

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Featuring two amazing products as the monthly specials in our store!

Our Cinnamon Pear Balsamic is sweet and spicy. Our Butter Olive Oil is naturally infused with the rich flavor of butter. Stop in our stores and give this pairing a taste!

REFILL BOTTLE PROGRAM

Bring your bottle back clean and dry. Then we will refill it and give you $1.00 off your olive oil or vinegar purchase. Tuesday is double refund day — $2.00 off your refills.

FREQUENT SHOPPER CARD

Ask about our frequent shopper card (in store only) to earn points toward a free bottle of olive oil or vinegar!