Polyphenols are a class of antioxidants found in a variety of foods. (Phenols: Oleuropein, Oleocanthal, and hydroxytyrosol.) Polyphenols in olive oil decrease over time or when exposed to heat, oxygen and light (storing olive oil in dark bottles is a requirement!). Polyphenols impart flavor intensity connected with pepper, bitterness and other desirable flavor characteristics. Recent studies indicate that these potent phenols are responsible for many of the health benefits associated with consuming fresh, high quality extra virgin olive oil; therefore, higher counts are preferable. Consuming fresh, well made olive oil with high polyphenol content is crucial when looking to obtain the maximum health benefit commonly associated with consuming extra virgin olive oil.