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Olive oil is not only delicious to cook with and enjoy over salads, but it also offers a myriad of health benefits. South African’s are lucky enough not to have to rely on imported olive oils, due to our climate and conditions which allow us to produce a wide variety of excellent local olive oils. To encourage olive oil farmers to produce high-quality olive oil, the South African Olive Oil Industry Association and Absa have created a series of awards to recognise South Africa’s top extra virgin olive oil producers.

Best olive oil brands

These oils are selected for the SA Olive gold medal winners and are individually blind-tasted by a panel of international experts in controlled conditions over a series of four days.

The top 10 olive oils according to their taste for 2018 are:
Delicate

  • Rio Largo Gold EVOO
  • Tokara Mission EVOO
  • Olyfberg EVOO Blend A

Medium

  • De Rustica Estate Collection Frantoio
  • Serrado EVOO
  • Oakhurst EVOO
  • Zoetigheyd Daniel’s Delish EVOO

Intense

  • Mardouw XXV Intense EVOO
  • Porterville Olives Andante Intenso EVOO
  • Marbrin Farm Directors Reserve EVOO

South African olive oils are world-renowned

South African olive oils are not only recognised locally, they also have been winning awards at olive oil competitions from New York to Japan. In fact, South African olive oils are regarded as some of the best in the world.

Olive oil tips and tricks

Cooking with olive oil
In order to enjoy olive oil, it’s best to combine the flavour of the olive oil with a particular food. Intensely flavoured food is best complemented with intensely fruity oil. Here are some suggested combinations:

  • Use the stronger fruity oils for grilling meat and sautéing garlic and onions or swirled into soups
  • Use medium style-oil for baking fresh tuna or chicken or on salads
  • Use delicate oil for mayonnaise, in desserts and even over fresh fruit.

The amazing health benefits of extra-virgin olive oil

  1. Anti-inflammatory effects: The predominant fatty acid in olive oil is a monounsaturated fat called oleic acid, which makes up 73% of the total oil content. Studies have shown that oleic acid has a significant role in reducing inflammation and may even have beneficial effects on genes linked to cancer
  2. Reduced risk of strokes and heart disease: The relationship between olive oil and preventing strokes have been studied extensively and in a study of 841 000 people it was found that olive oil was the only source of monounsaturated fat associated with a reduced risk of stroke and heart disease.
  3. Can help Rheumatoid arthritis: Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes deformed and painful joints. Olive oil supplements have been found to improve inflammatory markers in people with rheumatoid arthritis.

The importance of a high-grade olive oil
Extra-virgin olive oil has been proven to be very healthy but in order to enjoy its full benefits, it’s important you use one that is of a high grade like the olive oils on this top 10 list!

Importance of Correct Labelling for Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
When wondering which olive oil, you should buy, remember that by labelling a product as Extra Virgin Olive Oil, the producer must comply with the following requirements:

  • The source/origin, manufacturer’s address(traceability);
  • The harvest date and/or expiry date and lot and/or batch number;
  • Volumetric content
  • A nutritional table with the relevant information is compulsory on the back label;
  • The oil has a free acidity level of LESS than 0.8% and a peroxide value LESS than 20;
  • A nutritional table with the relevant information is compulsory on the back label
  • That the oil has been cold extracted, which means that no additional heat is used to extract the oil, thus the oil retains all its wonderful natural aromas, flavour, taste and antioxidants.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil is accepted as being the best quality oil available and as such demands the highest retail price. For a premium price, the consumer should be guaranteed a product of commensurate quality.

If you are a South African with a serious passion for this popular salad topper, living or moving abroad to work and would like to know more about how you can maximise your finances through financial emigration from South Africa, accessing your South African retirement annuity and our tailor-made tax solutions for South Africans around the world, contact FinGlobal today.