Did you know there are 800 million olive trees in the world and they can live up to 2,000 years? There are different types of olive oil, but the highest quality is extra virgin olive oil. Extra virgin olive oil must meet certain criteria to be labeled as such, and for us this means a lot goes into our GreenWise Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil before it hits the shelf in our stores. When testing the oils, experts look for acidity targets and appearance, as well as taste and smell qualities, before they can classify it as extra virgin olive oil. From olive tree to shelf, here’s how our GreenWise Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil is made!

How It’s Made

When it comes to making olive oil, not much has changed in a very long time. We’re talking hundreds of years using the same techniques. The olives used in our olive oil come from Italy and are normally harvested mechanically between September and January; the time of year harvested can affect the taste of the olive oil produced. If harvested too early, the oil might taste bitter and the olive might yield less oil, but if harvested late, you might get musty-tasting oil. Mature olive trees will give around 30 to 40 pounds of olives per year, which produces about one gallon of oil. There are several different methods used for mechanically harvesting, but ours is harvested with a machine that shakes the tree trunk to make the ripe olives fall into a net under the tree.

Olives in Hand

Since the process has been perfected over the years, it can be done in just a few steps.

  • After the olives are collected from the trees, they are ground into a slurry or a paste. If tasted at this point, it would be bitter. This is because the olive oil needs to be separated from the water.
  • The slurry is spread onto stacked fiber disks and pressed to separate the liquid from the paste.
  • Since oil is lighter than water, a separator is used to separate the oil from the water. This allows the oil to rise to the top, away from the water.
  • The oil is then filtered to remove any solids. This is also where the golden green hue found in olive oil is revealed.
  • Lastly, the olive oil is packaged and prepared to be sent to our stores. We package our oil in dark green glass to protect it from UV rays, which can impact the olive oil and change the taste.

 

The Highest Quality

GreenWise Olive OilOrganic olive oil, like our GreenWise organic extra virgin olive oil, is produced from trees grown without the use of many conventional fertilizers and pesticides. Our olive oil is imported directly from Italy, which is amazing because only 16% of the olive trees in this region are certifiably organic. Olive oil can be made from different kinds of olives; ours is made from Gargano and Bitonto olives.

Try adding extra virgin olive oil to recipes like our Tomato-Olive Salad or Grilled Flank Steak and Summer Vegetables. You can also simply drizzle it over a salad or dip a piece of warmed Bakery Italian Bread into the oil for a delicious appetizer.

 

What’s your favorite way to use olive oil? Let us know in the comments below!

Jackie J.

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Jackie J. became a Publix associate in 2017 after deciding to take her love of food to the next level. She began working with the Social Media team at that time and she immediately fell in love with life at Publix. In her spare time, she bakes to relax and creates yummy morsels for friends and family to munch on. When she isn’t working, you can probably find her playing with her cat and dog (Nila and Oreo), at a theme park or watching a Harry Potter Movie Marathon.

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