As you might expect, olives grown in cooler areas where there is more moisture (rainfall and dew) exhibit leaner, more restrained characteristics.  This doesn’t however mean that great oil can now be made in Iceland – you need a minimum amount of sunshine to make your Extra Virgin Olive Oil taste remarkable, similarly to tomatoes or stone fruit.

Olive trees are sensitive to winter freeze (the Casaliva cultivar is more resistant to cold, hence being grown in the Garda region).  It is also easier to farm organically where the climate is more stable and less chemical sprays are required to keep the trees healthy.



Here’s the thing – all olives are green.  When they become fully mature, they turn black.
Olive maturity at the time of harvest is a major factor in flavour and quality: olives harvested earlier (green olives) feature more bitter, grassy characteristics, with lower yields and with the highest anti-oxidant content.  The oil is a much more intense green colour and has a longer shelf-life.  In terms of production, milling can take longer with green olives (a longer malaxation - the action of slowly churning milled olives to release droplets of oil - is needed and can be more complicated) but the results are far superior!  Don’t choose olive oil from over mature fruit: it lacks all the potential goodness and flavour.



People who care passionately about what they make and follow it personally every day have the capacity to create products with far higher quality, with integrity, and that taste of where they come from.  They are also able to do this by caring for the environment they inhabit.


This box contains 6 bottles of extra virgin olive oil made exclusively by Frantoio di Riva from groves on the banks of lake Garda.

Frantoio di Riva, 46°PARALLELO green label x 3 bottles (50cl)
Frantoio di Riva, 46°PARALLELO organic white label x 1 bottle (50cl)
Frantoio di Riva, 46°PARALLELO blue label x 1 bottle (50cl)
Frantoio di Riva, ULIVA Garda Trentino DOP x 1 bottle (50cl)

Bioactive Compounds in Extra Virgin Olive Oil

There are some (actually many) things in life that just read as inexact science.  When it comes to the health benefits of Extra Virgin Olive Oil however, we are thrilled that evidence mounts by the month in support of its supreme benefits.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil is rich in a wide variety of active compounds, all of which are important for sustaining your health.  I should preface this by saying that the level of bioactive compounds found in olive oil depends on the olive cultivar, how it is made, where it is from. But as a general rule, the nearer to the harvest date (the fresher the oil), the higher the level of bioactive compounds. It’s a simple fact – unlike fine wine or true love, fine olive oil does not grow better with age.


  1. Phenolic acids and derivatives
  • Caffeic acid
  • Phenolic alcohols
  • Hydroxytyrosol
  • Tyrosol

We know that the phenolic profile of the olive changes as it grows and develops. The above compounds act as highly potent natural antioxidants (that scavenge free radicals) and exist naturally in Extra Virgin Olive Oil. This is one of the key factors favouring Extra Virgin Olive Oil over refined oils (which have very low natural antioxidants). Drilling down in to the detail, hydroxytyrosol has been shown to slow or inhibit low-density lipoprotein (LDL) oxidation.

  1. Secoiridoids

      Oleuropein derivatives

  • Oleuropein
  • Oleacin

Oleuropein (and derivatives) are potent antioxidants which scavenge free radical species in the body. Some evidence suggests that oleuropein can reduce LDL oxidation, but in addition, oleuropein has potential as an antiangiogenic in cancer, with some preliminary evidence showing it may inhibit cell growth and invasiveness. It also has some antimicrobial activity.

  1. Ligstroside derivatives
  • Oleocanthal

Oleocanthal is responsible for the characteristic spicy kick in your throat stimulated by high quality Extra Virgin Olive Oils.

Oleocanthal has been shown to have anti-inflammatory capacity, through inhibition of cyclooxygenase enzymes – COX1 and COX2 (similar to the mode of action of Non-Steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs – such as Ibuprofen).

  1. Lignans
  • 1-acetoxypinoresinol
  • 1-pinoresinol

Lignans are phytoestrogen compounds which may have anti-cancer activity.

  1. Flavones
  • Apigenin
  • Luteolin

Although human studies are not yet completed, in vivo research shows that apigenin has some potential as a cancer chemo-preventive agent.  Research also indicates that luteolin may have anti-inflammatory activity and play a role in cognitive disorders.



  • B-sitosterol
  • Campesterol

Phytosterols have been shown to reduce the levels of plasma cholesterol and LDL cholesterol. There is also some evidence to suggest that phytosterols may have anti-tumor activity.



Squalene is a triterpene acid found in Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil is one of the only foods to contain such high levels of squalene (approximately 0.7%). Squalene is an antioxidant that has been reported to have a chemoprotective effect specifically against skin cancer. Squalene is a major intermediate in the biosynthesis of cholesterol and may have effects to lower cholesterol levels in some individuals.



  • α-tocopherols

Tocopherols, also known as vitamin E, are known to prevent lipid oxidation. α-tocopherol is a well-known antioxidant, which acts in a variety of ways to scavenge free radical species in the body.



  • Oleanoic acid
  • Maslinic acid

Studies suggest that hydroxyterpenic acids may have potential pharmacological effects relating to inflammation, cancer, cardiovascular pathology and vasorelaxation.