Can you be allergic to extra virgin and not "golden" olive oil? | The Olive Oil Source

Can you be allergic to extra virgin and not "golden" olive oil?

Dr. B.

Dear Sir, I have encountered many persons that have developed an allergic sensitivity to extra virgin olive oil that is not encountered with any of the golden varieties. Could you be of assistance in helping to elucidate the cause(s) of this sensitivity?

Dr. Deane

I am not keen on your term golden olive oil. It does not specify anything other than the color. Extra virgin oil can be golden or green, refined oil can be golden or green. We have many soap manufacturers who buy our bulk pomace oil because it is green. We also sell a very early harvest mission oil which has a "green" flavor but which is golden in color.

As in most raw food extracts, EVOO contains thousands of chemicals, only a handful which have been properly identified. During the processing of pure or pomace oil, heat, steam, and solvents remove the more aromatic hydrocarbons and probably denature many of the proteins which could cause food allergies. Rancid or oxidized oil will have some of its free fatty acids removed to create a more palatable taste. Many chemicals in small quantities which are responsible for off odors are adsorbed by charcoal. Earth filters and centrifuge clarifiers remove vegetable particulate matter. You will never find a complete listings of all these chemical compounds in olive oil and which ones are removed by processing. Different varieties of olive create different compounds and olive chemistry changes greatly during the ripening process, with the weather, soil nutrients, tree age, etc. Because of this different brands or lots of olive oil can each have their unique flavors, mouth feel, smoking point, etc. and will have very different chemical profiles.

For a more extensive discussion of olive oil chemistry you could try to get a copy of Kiritsakis's book : Olive Oil From the Tree to the Table

Tuesday, January 15, 2002

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