Metamorphous of an Olive Grove
So, in 1999 what goals should we set for this olive oil? Taste is subjective from person to person and the general public is accustom to a mild tasteless and inexpensive olive oil. However, health benefits can be scientifically evaluated, measured and enhanced. Monounsaturated fats, phenolic antioxidants, tocopherols and oleocantal can be modified with cultural practices. Our aim became the production of the healthiest oil even if it tasted like Castor Oil. To accomplish this we needed to control irrigation, harvest early and process with as
little loss of nutrients as possible. In order to evaluate our efforts we have done extensive labrotory analysis both in the U.S. and Italy. In 2007 we were sucsessfull in isolating Oleocantal
in both our oil and other California oils. We found no trace of this extrodinary polyphenol in off the shelf imports.
Fortune had it that in 2005 our first oil won the best of the Show amongst 350 olives oil entries at the Los Angeles County Fair. This very pungent dark green, spicy, complex oil immediately give us a special niche in the market. Many of our customers rely on our oil for the maintainence of their health. We test for overall polyphenols, however, testing for individulal polyphenols needs to be done. There has not been sufficent labrotatory work to know precisely what is available in a specific olive oil at a specific time. This is expensive and the oil being alive is subject to change. We wing it: as the best we can do.
It has been rewarding to produce this very unique, healthiest of all oils during the first 10 years; however, there has been some challenges. For instance; 9 out of 10 consumers don’t like it. There are a many who love the very pungent burning in the back of your throat, but most customers prefer a milder oil. To offer this unique oil for sale in retail stores, requires a lot of
Cost is the other challenge in the production of the healthiest of all olive oils . With early harvest and limiting water, there is a decrease in both the yield per acre of fruit and the yield per ton of oil. To produce Sir Richard’s Intense oil, there may be as low a yield as 10 gallons of oil per ton of fruit. This is compared to 40 to 50 gallons with full irrigation and later harvest. The resulting increased in cost makes Sir Richard intense oil, almost prohibitively expensive for deep frying, where much of the polyphenols are lost in the cooking.
In 2006 Dr Marco Mugelli appears on the scene. This ideologue from Florence, Italy develops the Cultivar milling system. In this revolutionary system, processing is in a vacuum to inhibit
oxidation of the polyphenols. At his death in 2011, Dr Mugelli was only partially successful in influencing the industry. Large manufactures did not see that the loss of yield and increased
cost to their consumer were worth the investment. Gianni Stefanini at Apollo Olive Olive Oil in Oregon House, California was the only U.S. miller willing to exchange cost and volume for Dr.
Mugelli’s dream oil.
With this option, at Apollo, to produce a high quality, high polyphenol oil that would have essentially the same heath benefits without the strong after taste, we chose to change our goals to one that would enable us to serve more of our fellow citizens. Considering that we have long time customers that depend on this medicinal intense oil and others that, because of the price,
need to chose between their children’s milk and a longer life for themselves, we are expanding our line of oils.
Voila three oils, medicinally intense Sir Richard, prize winning Governor Gurdon, and almost as cheap as other good oils, aged one year, Uncle Ivo’s.