Answers to your most frequently asked questions about us, our Australian organic extra virgin olive oils and olive oil generally.
1. How did an Australian olive grove come to have an Italian name on the label?
Our grove was first named Grampian Olive Plantations Company when it was founded in 1943. New owners took over and renamed it "Toscana" in the early 1960s - honouring Italian involvement in the grove’s establishment and similarity in climate and scenery to the Toscana (Tuscany) region in Italy.
In 2015 we wanted to better reflect the beauty of the unique Grampians location in which our products are grown and produced. So we are now known as "Grampians Olive Co. - the home of Toscana". The name is a throwback to our grove’s original name "Grampian Olive Plantations Co." The new look combines our two brands (Grampians Olive Estate & Toscana), reconnects with our roots and better communicates the origin of our products.
2. What are the health benefits of olive oil?
Olive oil is rich in anti-oxidants. Our organic olives are pressed on-site within hours of picking, which maximises antioxidants such as Vitamin E, phenolic compounds and carotenoids. Research has shown that anti-oxidants combat 'free radicals', helping to slow the ageing process and prevent various diseases. Anti-oxidants also contribute to the shelf-life of our oil and enrich its unique flavour.
3. What is 'extra virgin' olive oil?
Extra virgin olive oil is essentially a fruit juice! It is obtained when oil is extracted solely by mechanical means (no excessive heat or solvents are used) from fresh, good quality olive fruit. It must be free of any taste defects and have a free fatty acidity level less than 0.8%. We cold press our olives on site immediately once picked, achieving an acidity typically around 0.1% to 0.2%.
4. What is 'cold pressed' olive oil?
Cold-pressing is a term originating from the traditional screw type olive presses. Today it is generally accepted to mean that the temperature of the olives during mechanical processing does not exceed 27°C. Excess heat can increase the quantity of oil extracted, however this compromises its quality. For this reason, we always cold press our olives.
5. How should I store my olive oil?
Heat, light, oxygen and time degrade olive oil. To retain the health benefits and flavour of our oil as long as possible you need to minimise the exposure to these four elements. We recommend storing our olive oil in a dark place with a relatively constant, cool temperature away from direct heat and sunlight. At home, a pantry is usually the best place. Always re-seal the container immediately after use and avoid leaving next to the stove as the oil quickly heats up. If you buy in bulk, a simple, practical way to reduce oxygen exposure is to decant into a bottle for every day use and only open the tin occasionally to refill the bottle.
To maintain quality for longer we have recently introduced cask packaging for our oils which keeps oil fresher as there is no oxygen exposure, offers the convnience of a tap and is BPA free.
6. Is olive oil good for your cholesterol?
Yes! Olive oil reduces low-density lipoproteins (bad cholesterol), improving the ratio of good cholesterol (high-density lipoproteins) to bad. This helps to lower the risk of heart disease.
7. If olive oil is a fat, how can it be good for you?
Although olive oil is composed of fats, it is the type of fat that is important. Olive oil is mainly composed of oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat. Olive oil also contains linoleic acid and linolenic acid, types of polyunsaturated fats. The range of health benefits from olive oil include improved cholestrol levels and lowered risk of some diseases. Recent research has shown olive oil can kill cancer cells.
8. Is your lemon pressed olive oil different to an infusion?
Yes we make our lemon pressed olive oil in a unique way way which is extremely important to the resulting flavour. We use the traditional Italian agrumato method - we crush our organic olives together with whole lemons which means that the oil from the olives and from the lemon skins are extracted together. This produces a bold, zesty flavour superior to that of an oil made by infusing with lemon at a later time.
9. I have some olives I would like to get pressed. Can you help?
Yes - having our own press allows us to offer a contract pressing service. We pride ourselves in maintaining a clean, hygienic processing plant and producing the finest quality olive oil. We have pressed many award winning oils for ourselves and others. Being a family business we are flexible enough to cater for small and large runs. Please contact us prior to harvesting to discuss your requirements.
10. Do you sell bulk olive oil?
Yes - as one of Australia's largest single estate producers of certified organic extra virgin olive oil we have reliable supply available. Please contact us for further information.