Where to buy polyphenol rich olive oil?

Although a lot is being written and revealed about polyphenols and olive oils – many are still wondering where to buy polyphenol rich olive oil in 2021?  The answer – is in the label.

Olive Oil Production Geography

There are companies that promote their particular brand of olive oil (and we have ours too!), and their marketing story starts with where the origin of their olives.  This then makes their olives special – or maybe even high in polyphenols.  You can read stories about polyphenol rich olive oils from Morocco or Italy for example and why the “extreme heat” of these countries provides the most distressed trees that therefore produce the “highest polyphenols” in their olive oil.

First of all, all olive oils have some polyphenols in them – and we do highly recommend the benefits of the specific polyphenols that come from olive oils.  If you are curious why – check here.  But you should realize that all the countries in the Mediterranean region that produce olive oil – are warm and dry in the summers and cool in the winters. Whether it is Spain, the largest olive oil producer of 44% of the world’s olive oil, or Morocco one of the tiniest olive oil producers, the conditions for growing olive trees are very similar.  All these Mediterranean countries can be very hot during the summers, but it is primarily the dryness of their summers, and the cool but not cold winters that foster good olive trees.  Frigid temperatures below 15oF can be sustained for a few days by a mature olive tree, but extended periods like this will destroy the trees.

Olive Varieties and Harvest Times

Secondly, it is important to know that different varieties of olives – and different harvest times can dramatically change the level of polyphenols in an olive oil.  For example, a study was performed on the high polyphenol levels from 55 different olive oils and the varietals from 12 different countries.  Most of these olive oils were of course from the Mediterranean region.  But certain olive oils from Spain, Italy, USA, Greece and Australia dominated the top third of this “high polyphenol” list in the research study. The most common, active ingredients in the polyphenols were tyrosol, hydroxytyrosol and pinoresinol which constitute 95% of the polyphenols.  And the varieties that topped the list of the highest polyphenols olive oils tested were Arbequina, Coratina, Kroneike, and Picual.  Our CardiOlive®25x uses Spanish Arbequina olives in our EVOO and then enriches it with even more olive fruit polyphenols to get the 25x bump in high polyphenol levels.

Finally, the harvest times make a big difference in olive oil polyphenols.  Harvest for olives for olive oil, generally begins in October and runs through January.  However, it olives are harvested early, the olives are not as ripe (they are green), they will have a greenish color and will have higher levels of polyphenols – but less oil per olive.  When olives are more ripe (black color), then oil from these olives is golden in color, lower in polyphenols but higher oil content.  To compete better, there are reports of some European producers who add chlorophyll to the olive oil to make it green in hue – so that you think it is higher in polyphenols.

Higher Polyphenols in EVOO vs Standard Olive Oil

So what is the difference between extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) and olive oil anyway?  We show this in more detail here if you want to learn more.  But in a nutshell, standard olive oil is heated and treated so that much of the polyphenols are out but the oil itself is more stable.  Why is that useful or important?  Because processed olive oil has been heated and can be used to cook at much higher temperatures than EVOO which typically only goes up to 4000F.  However, it you are looking to maximize your health benefits from the polyphenols in olive oil – always choose an extra virgin olive oil (EVOO).  By the way, did you know that Rachel Ray the famous celebrity cook and television personality coined the term EVOO in 2007?  Now you do!

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) issued a statement that they “determined that a minimum of 5 mg of Hydroxytyrosol and its derivatives in olive oil should be consumed daily to use a cardiovascular health claim.”   However, with standard olive oil – this could require 3-4 tablespoons to get this level of hydroxytyrosol every day.  In some EVOOs, it might require only 2 tablespoons.  In CardiOlive® 25x you are guaranteed to receive a minimum of 6mg in every tablespoon!  See our label here.

So in the end – how do you know how much polyphenols are in your olive oil?

So now back to the question – how do you know which olive oils have the highest polyphenol count?  If the producer or manufacturer actually puts the polyphenol levels – or better yet – the active ingredients of hydroxytyrosol and tyrosol on the labels – then you will know!  Check out our labels to see what we are saying.  You know exactly what you are getting with CardiOlive® 25x.   Many olive oil producers either don’t measure, know or guarantee their levels of polyphenols – and specifically hydroxytyrosol or tyrosol in their products.

But the best and highest polyphenol producers of olive oil will do this for you!  And now, you know!

Comment on our social media platforms if you have questions!


“Comprehensive Analysis of Polyphenols in 55 Extra Virgin Olive Oils by HPLC-ECD and Their Correlation with Antioxidant Activities” See the article at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23070730/

Rachel Ray’s Bio:  https://www.foodnetwork.com/profiles/talent/rachael-ray/bio

TRIDGE – Olive Industry Statistics : https://www.tridge.com/intelligences/olive-oil/PT

EFSA CLAIMS  OECD 2020 database Health : https://doi.org/10.1787/82129230-en.

IOC Olive Council standards: https://www.internationaloliveoil.org/olive-world/olive-oil/