Extra Virgin Olive Oil is full of surprises and evokes many myths and mysteries.  As a quick reference, here are some verified and reassuring snippets of information:

In 2013 Absa and SA Olive partnered to introduce the Top 5 as an addition to the annual SA Olive Awards. In a show of confidence in the olive industry, Absa, which previously sponsored the Absa Top 5 Olive Oil Awards, has now indicated that it will extend this honour to 10 exceptional olive oils. The qualifiers for the Absa Top 10 are selected from the ranks of the highest-scoring SA Olive Awards medal winners by a team of revered tasters.

Ther poet, Homer.

An estimated 4 million tons of EVOO are sold each year.

Spain produces the most olive oil in the world.

  • The value of olive oil was well known in the ancient world, for consumption and cooking as well as . medicinal and cosmetic uses. The poet Homer first to referred to olive oil as “liquid gold”; Hippocrates called it “the great healer”; and philosopher-physician Galen praised olive oil for its positive health benefits.
  • An estimated 4 million tons of EVOO are sold each year in the world BUT beware because there is a huge global business involved in illegally adulterating EVOO with sub-standard oils and selling it on as high quality to retailers. As a consumer, and to be sure of your product, always buy products with the SA Olive Commitment to Compliance seal on the bottle.
  • An olive tree can live up to 2000 years.
  • Olives – for olive oil and for table olives – are harvested once a year and each olive tree yields around 4 litres of oil per year.
  • While Spain is the biggest olive oil producer in the world, Greece is the biggest olive oil consumer in the world.
  • With over 700 varieties of olive trees around the world, it is not surprising to know that the flavour and colour vary – no two Extra Virgin Olive Oil brands are the same.
  • Olive oil is rich in vitamins and antioxidants – a spoonful of olive oil contains 13% of the recommended daily intake of Vitamin E, 9% of Vitamin K plus a whole host of valuable saturated, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids.
  • Frying with olive oil is not only possible (despite the myths to the contrary) but also actually adds nutritional value to what you’re cooking. This is because EVOO contains antioxidants that are resistant to hot temperatures, do not break down and are therefore easily absorbed into the meal.
  • Health benefits abound with EVOO: numerous and global medical studies confirm that regular consumption of EVOO can help cancer prevention particularly in the breast and colon; a Mediterranean diet, where around 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil are consumed daily, has been proven to reduce the risks of imbalanced cholesterol and irregular circulation.
  • Olive oil has benefits for external use too – and is being valued for its use in beauty therapies, skincare products and soaps, as a hair conditioner.
  • Act naturally: use EVOO as a pre-shampoo hair treatment and give your hair a healthy, shiny appearance; and for a healthier looking skin, massage a tablespoon of olive oil into your face and neck for two minutes and wipe off with a flannel that’s been soaked in hot water – and then glow!