A wise man once said in order to see your future you have to be able to remember your past. What is the future of Greek olive oil? If we look back in history the future is easily known and very bright indeed. Modern Greece inherited a wealth of unestimable value. The high phenolic olive tree. Is it any coincidence over 98% of olive trees in Greece carry within them the highest levels of phenolic compounds found in olive oil which are scientifically proven to have high medicinal value?
Do the modern Greek politicians recognize this fact? NO!
Do they care? NO!
Do they remember their history? NO!
In fact they are trying to bury it. Politicians in concert with EFET (Hellenic Food Safety Agency) along with a few misguided scientists who apparently claim that olive oil is not a medicine it is a food and simply a part of the mediterranean diet.
They have managed to thwart the implementation of the EU health claim regulation 432/2012 spanning 3 Greek governments. Imagine if these individuals and state agencies put the same effort in uplifitng the Hellenic spirit instead of burying it.
Olive oil was considered medicinal by our ancient Hellenic ancestors. They traded this most valuable olive oil across the mediterranean. All evidence points to the fact that Ancient Hellenic culture was the first to recognize the medicinal and nutritional value of olive oil. More specifically they recognized the early harvest olive oil as the most medicinal. It was only 3 years ago they were proven to be so right.
Early harvest olives contain more phenolic compounds than mature olives. This was proven in 2012 when Dr. Magiatis and his team of researchers at the University of Athens discovered the NMR (Nuclear Magnetic Resonance) method of measuring individual phenolic compounds in olive oil.
Unfortunately since then special and vicious interests in the local Greek olive oil industry in co-ordination with foreign interests have tried again and again to supress this amazing discovery which is the key to proving the superiority of Greek olive oil. Some journalists, along with Greek scientists, and along with EFET (Hellenic Food Safety) have put the brakes on the emergence of the superiority of Greek olive oil not only as the highest quality but also the most medicinal in nature.
Fortunately for the Greek olive oil industry these “special” interests did not manage to stop the NMR but they did slow it down. It is simply bizarre to anyone who hears this epic tragic story of attempts by successive Greek governments, Greek scientists, bureaucrats, even the so-called Food Safety Agency of Greece to stop the measurement of the individual phenolic compounds in Greek olive oil. All this massive effort to stop Greek olive oil from being recognized as the most healthy and most medicinal in nature. I do not know of another country that would shoot itself in the foot, betray such an awesome cultural and athletic legacy stemming from olive oil, by delaying the implementartion of an EU regulation that would result in the value for Greek olive oil soar to new heights.
Instead, we have the unabashed and shameless hand wringing of increased sales of Greek olive oil which is mainly due to its lower price as compared to Spain and Italy!
Some scientists refuse to accept the NMR as the best way to measure individual phenolic compounds. Prefering their own methods which fail to recognize the abundance of the super phenolic compound – oleocanthal in Greek olive oil . Instead they want to use hydrolysis method to measure them in their simplest forms as if they were derived from olive mill waste; hydroxytyrosol and tyrosol. Their method of analysis cannot measure oleocanthal! It reminds me of the type of argument I used to hear in the school yard “if I can’t do it then neither will you!”
Last year Dr. Magiatis and Dr. Melliou went a little further and invented a handheld analytical tool at the University of Athens. It is a lab in a vial that can accurately measure the amount of the two most abundant health promoting phenolic compounds in olive oil; oleocanthal and oleacein. This new invention is called Aristoleo™ Test Kit and it puts the power in the hands of the olive growers, olive mills and the olive oil industry to test olive oil on the spot. They can test every batch of olive oil everyday in every mill, in the warehouse, even on the store shelf. No more waiting for lab results for days or weeks. In as little as 25 minutes you will know how truly medicinal the olive oil tested really is.
The Future is in your hands!
The Future is Now
High Phenolic Hellenic Olive oils have arrived on the world scene
Links to articles written by Athan Gadanidis: