Olive oil is a liquid fat obtained from olives (the fruit of Oleuropein;family Oleaceae), a traditional tree crop of the Mediterranean Basin. The oil is produced by pressing whole olives. It is commonly used in cooking, whether for frying or as a salad dressing. It is also used in cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and soaps, and as a fuel for traditional oil lamps, and has additional uses in some religions. The olive is one of three core food plants in Mediterranean cuisine; the other two are wheat and grapes.
Olive trees have been grown around the Mediterranean since the 8th millennium BC.There are several processes used in the production of virgin olive oil. From the most traditional in which a stone mill is used, the press with straining and natural decanting in pools, to the most modern, where the two-phases centrifugation process is used. All of them have in common that they use only mechanical and physical procedures.
The health benefits of olive oil are unrivaled, and research reveals more benefits nearly every day. In fact, we are only just beginning to understand the countless ways olive oil can improve our health, and our lives. Olive oil is the cornerstone of the Mediterranean diet— an essential nutritional mainstay for the world’s longest-living cultures.