Polyphenols, olives and circular economy
Polyphenols are found in fruit and vegetables, and play a key role in defending the human body against harmful reactive oxygen species, also known as free radicals. The fruit and leaves of the olive tree contain a great number of polyphenols, and this is what gave the Fattoria the idea of using them to create a dietary supplement. However, in order to obtain polyphenols free from harmful chemical residues (typical, unfortunately, of conventional agriculture), during the cultivation, harvesting and milling of the olives, it is necessary to follow a number of imperative rules that closely affect our work.
To obtain good extra virgin olive oil and, consequently, olive fruit water that does not contain harmful substances, the soil must be absolutely uncontaminated. The use of pesticides is forbidden, because such products would ultimately make the flesh of the olives a waste product, contaminated with chemicals.
Other essential factors are: early harvesting (so that the olives are less ripe but contain more polyphenols), correct storage of the olives, in small crates, during transportation; pressing carried out straight after harvesting (which is possible at the Fattoria thanks to our own – carbon neutral! – mill, built on purpose a stone’s throw from the olive groves...) and in a controlled atmosphere to reduce oxidation of the olives to a minimum. As always at La Vialla, technology only counts for a part of the product.... which is obtained, every time, thanks to simple, self-contained processes. In this case, as elsewhere at La Vialla, every part of the olive is used: the extra virgin olive oil, the olive fruit water used to make OliPhenolia and recover the valuable polyphenols, and lastly the pomace, which, after composting slowly with all the Fattoria’s other waste products, returns to the ground to bring new fertility to the soil.