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What is New Zealand Olive Oil?

A glass bottle of olive oil and a white mortar and pestle filled with olive branches and leaves sit on a stone surface outside. Fresh olives and olive branches are scattered around. Background shows trees and sunlight filtering through branches.
Estimated Reading Time: 8 minutes

One of the ingredients in GLX3 is New Zealand olive oil, a unique ingredient chosen carefully for its many benefits. Just as it sounds, olive oil is the liquid obtained by pressing olives. There are numerous possible uses for olive oil, including cooking, cosmetics, soaps, and pharmaceuticals. It is also sometimes used as fuel for oil lamps and even in certain religious ceremonies. 

The composition of olive oil depends on several factors, such as the cultivar, the time of harvest, the altitude, and the extraction process. In general, however, olive oil is mostly oleic acid with lesser amounts of other fatty acids, such as palmitic acid and linoleic acid. Although the olive tree is native to the Mediterranean basin, today, the best olive oil in the world is produced in New Zealand

What Is New Zealand Olive Oil?

In the 1800s, early settlers brought olive trees to NZ from Europe, some of which you can still find today. By the 1980s, serious propagation had begun in Blenheim as new varieties from Europe were introduced. From the 1990s, olive groves were established throughout New Zealand. Today, there are more than 1,000 hectares (roughly 2,500 acres) of olive groves in NZ, including many varieties traditionally grown in Italy, Greece, Spain, France, and Israel. 

All the olive oil produced in New Zealand is extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO). To be classified as extra-virgin, the oil has to meet specific international standards dictating strict chemical parameters. Unfortunately, there are some oils on the market labelled as extra-virgin that aren’t. These oils may have been processed incorrectly or may contain subpar fruit. There is a select label saved solely for extra-virgin olive oil produced in New Zealand, and it’s this label that tells us that the oil meets specific requirements, including chemical analysis, sensory analysis, proper labelling, and the right packaging (dark glass bottles or light glass bottles packaged in an opaque container). 

Unlike wine, olive oil doesn’t get better with age; it’s at its best when it’s fresh. EVOO from NZ is usually available right after bottling. Fresh NZ EVOO features notes of fresh green olives, green herbs, artichoke, fresh green grass, nuttiness, and fruitiness. Heat and light are the enemies of these features. That’s why packaging and storage are so important. 

Fortunately, certification and labelling make it easy for us to make more informed purchasing decisions and choose only the best NZ EVOO for our GLX3 supplements. It’s these stringent quality standards that EVOO from NZ goes through that help us produce a premium end product, along with our other ingredients, vitamin E oil and, most importantly, green-lipped mussel oil. 

Why Is New Zealand Olive Oil Better than Other Olive Oils?

New Zealand olive oil cleaned up at the prestigious New York International Olive Oil Competition in 2019. Four NZ olive oils were among the top winners, beating out many entrants from more well-known olive oil growing regions such as Spain, Greece, and Italy. Even though the local industry supplies ten percent or less of the olive oil consumed in NZ, the top local oils are quick to sell out. 

One of the things that makes this particular oil better is the production of strictly extra-virgin olive oils. The main difference between EVOO and regular olive oil is process and quality. EVOO is unrefined and made through a simple process that keeps it fresh and delicious. Fresh olives are pressed at cool temperatures into a paste (this is what the term “cold-pressed” refers to). Then, the paste is gently turned until the oil begins to separate. This oil is moved into a special tank so that the solids can separate naturally and fall to the bottom. The oil left on top is the EVOO. It’s a very simple and clean process that results in a superior product. 

Another difference is the climate in NZ, which imparts a very full, fruity flavor to the oils. Other olive oils, by contrast, often taste blander or plainer. Moreover, New Zealand is rapidly becoming one of the world’s most promising new producers of extra-virgin olive oil. The world’s best olive varieties and optimal growing conditions make the oils produced in this area quite exceptional. 

How are Olives Grown in New Zealand?

New Zealand offers the perfect environment for growing and harvesting olives. Olive trees will grow almost anywhere in NZ, as they stand up well to salt, wind, and frost. They will grow well in many different types of soil as long as they have a well-prepared hole filled with plenty of compost (especially if the soil is clay-heavy). 

These trees are highly ornamental, with twisted trunks and silvery-green, oblong leaves. In the spring, they flower and produce small groups of white, feathery blossoms. These flowers are self-pollinating, although they will produce more fruit when different types are planted near each other. Olives start green and then gradually turn to a yellow-green before turning dark purple and, eventually, black as they ripen. 

Olive trees need freely draining soil, especially in regions with high rainfall. They are wind pollinators, and pollination can be adversely affected by high humidity, too much rain, hot, dry winds, and the lack of suitable pollinating tree varieties. However, with healthy trees, a healthy mix of cultivars, and adequate irrigation, olive trees are hardy, prolific, and beautiful. 

New plants are often staked with wires for proper support. Pruning is used to achieve even light penetration through the canopy as well as to minimize pests and disease. The way olives fruit is on second-year wood, which means that the growth of this season will produce next season’s fruit. 

In general, a greener, less ripe olive will produce a more powerful oil with a stronger taste and a higher antioxidant content. Olives harvested when riper produce milder, fruitier-tasting oil. Ripe olives can also produce a higher yield than unripe olives and are easier to pick using mechanical methods. Olive oil producers must use their expert judgment to determine the right time for harvesting, striving to balance high yields and fruitiness with peppery flavor and low acidity. 

What Makes New Zealand Olive Oil Different?

There are many myths about olive oil, such as:

  • The smoke point is too low to fry with it. In truth, Olive oil is stable enough to stand up to even high heat, and it’s one of the healthiest oils for frying.  
  • You lose the health benefits if you heat it. The temperature required to cook food in olive oil is not high enough to change its chemical composition. That means that you maintain the antioxidant content and essential vitamins, whether you grill, sauté, or fry. 
  • The color is an indicator of quality. The color of olive oil has nothing to do with the quality. Instead, the color is the result of various factors, such as the type of olive, the growing conditions, and the time of harvest. 
  • It gets better with age. In reality, olive oil is best when it’s fresh. When you buy olive oil, look for a harvest date or bottle date rather than a sell-by-date, and use it within 12 to 18 months. 
  • All olive oil is the same. No – all olive oil is not created equal. The only olive oil you should be using daily is EVOO. Other labels, such as “pure olive oil” or “light olive oil,” are best left on the shelf because they have been refined and chemically altered. 

It’s this difference that makes it so significant that we use only New Zealand olive oil in GLX3. It’s just not possible to get the same flavor and health benefits from any other kind, so don’t be fooled. 

Regular olive oils – those with labels like “pure” or “light” or only “olive oil” – are processed the same way as extra-virgin, but then they undergo additional processing to remove any sensory or chemical flaws that might otherwise make the oil unsuitable for sale. Authentic EVOO, however, doesn’t contain any “off” flavors or odors – if it does, it’s a good indicator of poor quality. 

Regular oils are made using high heat and chemicals to create a colorless, odorless, and tasteless product. Usually, these refined oils are blended with a small amount of EVOO to add back in some of the color, aroma, and flavor. 

EVOO is essentially the juice that’s naturally extracted from fresh olives. It contains natural antioxidants and has a distinctive fruity taste and aroma. The process of refining uses acids, alkalis, steam, and other agents. It removes all the flavor and aroma compounds – including the antioxidants. Then, artificial antioxidants must be added again to provide a reasonable shelf life. 

Some of the steps of the processing that regular oils undergo include:

  • Degumming: The oil is treated with steam, hot water, or water blended with acid, and then spun in a centrifuge. This process removes gummy phospholipids – a key component of cell membranes – as well as healthy polyphenols. 
  • Neutralization: In this step, olive oil is treated with caustic soda or lye, an inorganic substance. It removes undesirable free fatty acids as well as color. 
  • Bleaching. The oil is heated to 212 degrees Fahrenheit to remove pigments. 
  • Winterization: In this step, the oil is chilled rapidly, solidified, and then filtered to remove solid matter, such as waxes. 
  • Deodorization: The oil is heated as high as 500 degrees Fahrenheit, and the steam is used to remove aromas and flavors.

This processing is wholly unnecessary. EVOO requires a simpler, more natural process and is a superior product. So, why are some oils refined at all? It’s because they are lower-grade oils that would be unfit for consumption if not for the refining. Choosing EVOO is the best way to ensure that you’re getting high-quality oil that’s as natural and healthy as possible. 

Why You Should Consume EVOO

There are several reasons to consume EVOO, and not just because of its delicious flavor and versatility in cooking. It also has proven health benefits, including:

  • Healthy monounsaturated fats. Most of the fatty acids in EVOO are oleic acid. Oleic acid has been shown to reduce inflammation and lower cholesterol. Monounsaturated fats also perform very well under high heat, making olive oil an excellent choice for cooking. 
  • Large amounts of healthful antioxidants. These biologically active antioxidants help reduce your risk of many chronic diseases by fighting free radicals, fighting inflammation, and protecting your blood cholesterol from oxidation. 
  • Strong anti-inflammatory properties. One of the things that makes EVOO such a perfect ingredient in GLX3 is its powerful anti-inflammatory properties. In fact, it’s the anti-inflammatory nature of EVOO that’s responsible for most of its other health benefits. 
  • May help prevent heart disease and stroke. Stroke is the second most common cause of death in developed nations, right after heart disease. Olive oil is associated with a reduced risk of both
  • May help fight Alzheimer’s disease. Research shows that olive oil may be protective against Alzheimer’s disease by boosting brain function and removing the plaques in brain cells associated with the onset of the disease. 
  • Helps treat rheumatoid arthritis. Arthritis is characterized by painful, deformed, and swollen joints. Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, EVOO can help relieve the symptoms of arthritis, especially when combined with green-lipped mussel oil, which also helps reduce inflammation and pain. 
  • Antibacterial properties. EVOO contains nutrients that can inhibit or kill harmful bacteria, even some types that are resistant to antibiotics

High-Quality extra-virgin olive oil is exceedingly healthy. Its powerful antioxidants benefit your joints, heart, brain, and more, it may just be the healthiest fat you can find. That’s why we use it as one of our hand-picked ingredients in GLX3. 

How GLX3 Uses It as a Differentiator

When you buy regular fish oil supplements or other vitamins, minerals, or dietary supplements, it’s often difficult to know what you’re getting. For example, many fish oil supplements contain lower amounts of omega-3 fatty acids than claimed on their labels. Also, many products contain long lists of questionable inactive ingredients, such as artificial colors, hydrogenated oils, magnesium silicate, talc, titanium dioxide, mercury, and PCBs, to name just a few. 

We don’t think all these other ingredients belong in a high-quality health supplement. That’s why we make GLX3 with only three all-natural ingredients: green-lipped mussel oil, vitamin E oil, and New Zealand olive oil. Because we only use three ingredients, we believe that they should all be of premium quality. 

We use green-lipped mussel oil instead of fish oil because it contains more omega-3s and is more potent and bioactive, even in smaller doses. We use vitamin E oil to help stabilize the supplement and add healthy antioxidants to fight free radicals and help reduce the risk of heart disease. In the same way, we use New Zealand olive oil for its unique benefits: the olives are sustainably grown, harvested from one of the cleanest environments found in nature, to produce the highest-quality extra-virgin olive oil in the world. Its many health benefits make it an essential component of GLX3. 

New Zealand green-lipped mussel oil, vitamin E oil, and New Zealand olive oil – form a triple threat to combat rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis and provide many other potential health benefits. Moreover, GLX3 isn’t just for people with arthritis. Olive oil and green-lipped mussel oil are healthy supplements for any diet. When it comes to chronic pain, common health concerns, and the environment, we’re proud to be part of the solution. Try GLX3 and get back to being able to do the things you love.

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