Milling | Growing | Producing – EVOO
Your questions answered - Your Milling, Growing & Production Questions Answered
Another great reference is Olive Fantastic - Dewey's blog entry on Producing Award Winning Extra Virgin Olive Oil"
California Olive Oil Council (COOC)
COOC Mission Statement:
The COOC is trade association with the mission of encouraging the consumption of certified California extra virgin olive oil through education, outreach and communications. The COOC is committed to upholding the highest standards within the olive oil industry through its Seal Certification Program.
COOC Quick Facts:
- The COOC has over 400 members including growers and producers, service providers, retailers and other supporters of the California olive oil industry.
- Growers and producers make up the greatest number of members.
- The COOC represents over 90% of all olive oil production in California.
- The COOC Taste Panel, founded in 1998, will certify over 300 oils for 2014.
Contact The COOC:
California Olive Oil Industry Facts:
- As of January 2014, there were over 35,000 acres planted in California for the production of extra virgin olive oil.
- It is estimated that 3,500 new acres will be planted each year in California through 2020.
- There are over 400 growers/producers of olive oil in California
- Over 75 olive varieties are grown in California for olive oil production, resulting in proprietary blends unique to California.
- It is estimated that the 2013-2014 (October – January, generally) harvest will produce over 3.5 million gallons of extra virgin olive oil. The 2012-2013 harvest produced 2.4 million gallons.
- There are 40 mills in California with more under construction and/or expansion.
- Nearly 2/3 of oils on super market shelves are falsely labeled as extra virgin grade (based on 3 studies done by the UC Davis Olive Center)
- The COOC Taste Panel, founded in 1998, was the first North American sensory panel established for olive oil.
Why is Olive Oil so GOOD for you?
Because it's one of the only natural foods that contains Polyphenols & Antioxidants, which help prevent oxidation and cell break-down in your body. In other words, Extra Virgin Olive Oil helps your body last longer, and work better, making it a true 'super food.'
Check out this article where UC Davis is linking EVOO to: "Olive oil as medicine: the effect on blood lipids and lipoproteins."
When does the olive bloom start?
Usually around the beginning of May, however some years, it can be 2-3 weeks early.
When are olives harvested?
Each year the olive harvest starts in late September to early October for table olives, while harvest for olive oil starts a few weeks later in mid October when the olives are more mature, containing more oil and richer flavor. For Bozzano, the heaviest harvest months are November and December.
What does it mean to be certified organic?
Organic is a labeling term that indicates that the food or other agricultural product has been produced through approved methods that integrate cultural, biological, and mechanical practices that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity. Synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, irradiation, and genetic engineering may not be used.
How should olive oil be stored?
Away from light and heat, because these can damage olive oil fairly quickly (within days in extreme situations). So storing it in a cupboard would be best, with temperatures under 80 degrees ideally, and above 50 (F). We don't recommend storing EVOO in the fridge because that could compromise the quality. Oxidation is the third way olive oil is damaged, however this is inevitable, and occurs naturally over time. Typically over 6 months from when you open the bottle. So if you'd like the best flavored olive oil, consume it within six months of purchasing, and within two years of it's harvest date. That said, EVOO has the most flavor and health benefits when consumed within the first 12 months of being produced, this is why we make it a goal to start selling the new year's harvest, of fresh oil, in January of each year.