2012 Shakespeare’s Acre Olive Oil Analysis
Free Acidity (FFA) commonly referred to as “free fatty acid percent”. High values are an indicator of poor fruit quality or improper handling prior to milling, as free acidity arises from the hydrolytic breakdown of the oil.
Free acidity is measured as free fatty acids expressed as percent of oleic acid, the predominant fatty acid in olive oil.
International Olive Council and the State of California allow for < 0.8 %
Shakespeare’s Acre tested at .11% - Amazingly lower!
Peroxide Value (PV) and peroxide measures the amount of primary oxidation in the oil. High values are caused by improper handling of olive fruit or olive paste. Olive oil with high peroxide value may not keep well. Peroxides are expressed as milliequivalent of free oxygen per kilogram of oil (meq O2/kg).
International Olive Council and California Olive Oil Council allow for less than < 20 meq O2/kg
Shakespeare’s Acre tested at 4.78 meq O2/kg - Amazingly lower!
(UV) is an indicator of secondary oxidation, especially in oils that have been refined. The value of UV absorbance at two different wavelengths, 232 nanometers (nm) and 270 nm, indicates the quantity of oxidized compounds present in the oil.
UV - K232 International Olive Council and California Olive Oil Council allow for less than 2.50
Shakespeare’s Acre tested at 1.957 – Much lower!
UV - K270 International Olive Council and California Olive Oil Council allow for less than .22
Shakespeare’s Acre tested at .164 – Much lower!
UV - Delta K International Olive Council and California Olive Oil Council allow for less than .01
Shakespeare’s Acre tested at .005 – Twice as low!
Antioxidants and Polyphenols
Olive oil contains polyphenols, vitamin E, and other natural antioxidants that are the oil’s own natural preservatives. Antioxidants dampen the autogeneration of peroxides, delaying the onset of oxidation and rancidity. As a result, antioxidants increase the oil’s shelf life. Among the antioxidants, there are compounds that have been associated with human health benefits. They absorb free radicals and appear to have a positive impact on cardiovascular and cancer ailments, as attributed to the Mediterranean diet.
Polyphenols are an important class of antioxidant in olive oil. More than thirty polyphenols have been identified in olives. Total Phenol value (or Total Polar Phenol value) is their aggregate measure.
Polyphenols and Oil Style
Polyphenols correlate with key sensory oil properties: bitterness and pungency, which are associated with olive oil style. Olive oil classification as mild, medium or robust can be associated to the total phenol content. Robust olive oils tend to have a Total Phenol level above 300 mg/kg, while oils perceived as mild have levels below 180 mg/kg.
Polyphenols and Health
Studies of the Mediterranean diet suggest that oil polyphenols deliver key health benefits. Polyphenols absorb free radicals and have a positive impact on cardiovascular disease and certain forms of cancer. They also act as anti-inflammatory, as confirmed in clinical studies.
Shakespeare’s Acre has a total Phenol content of 338 – this means it is lightly bitter, robust oil containing higher Phenols than most oils on the market.