Olive Oil Made to Measure

Laconiko OLIO NUOVO

Choosing Olive Oil - Trust the Science 

If I knew in 2012, that I would still be writing on the correct way to measure the healthfulness of olive oil in 2021, I would have never started. I thought it was going to be easy; it was not. It has been a living hell. I had better things to do in my life than take part in such a stupendously idiotic debate. I could have chosen to spend my time discussing the origin of the universe and the essence of life. Why did I even begin this 9 year journey?

The Health Claim that Verified Hippocrates

It seemed so simple back in 2012. The EU 432/2012 health claim for polyphenols in olive oil was just approved. It simply stated that if an olive oil contained at least 250mg of specific polyphenols per kg then a health claim can be made that polyphenols in olive oil help reduce LDL oxidation. This claim can be printed on the label of olive oils made in the EU. Coincidentally, Dr. Prokopios Magiatis and his team released the results of their research that stunned the olive oil industry during the same month of November 2012.

They developed a method to measure the phenolic compounds quickly and accurately. This accurate measurement of each phenolic compound quickly uncovered the reason Hippocrates and Dioscourides insisted that medicinal olive oil could only be made from green unripened olives from specific varieties. The most plentiful phenolic compound in 90% of the Greek varieties of olives when picked green was oleocanthal. This compound was discovered to have a very similar effect as ibuprofen is 2005 by Gary Beauchamp. Since Hippocrates used this type of olive oil to treat inflammatory diseases and conditions, the reason was obvious. Without knowing about polyphenols Hippocrates and Dioscourides knew they were plentifull only in early harvest olive oil and recognized their enhanced health benefit. "Let Food be thy Medicine and Let Medicine be thy Food" was the first instance of a health claim.

On my Way to Italy my Ship was Blown off Course

Athan Gadanidis and Stephen Horenstein

I was busy conducting research on ancient nutrition, physical training, and philosophy for my book exploring the consciousness that built our western and most of the eastern civilizations as well. I came to Greece on a brief stopover before moving to Italy.

My dream was to spend endless hours in dusty libraries. Instead, I became embroiled in the debate on how to measure the phenolic compounds in order to implement the health claim for polyphenols in olive oil.

 Hippokratous panton ton iatron

The Health Claim was Denied by the People it Would Benefit the Most

The battle lines were sharply drawn. Some olive growers immediately understood the value of producing early harvest olive oil with high concentrations of oleocanthal. They followed the science and revived this ancient type of olive oil the ancient doctors referred to. 

They experimented and discovered better methods of organic soil management, time of harvest, olive mill settings, and storage facilities best suited for high phenolic olive oil.

The Greek Food Safety Agency ruled by short sighted bureaucrats did not see any value in supporting another category of olive oil based on the phenolic content. They delayed looking for the best method for measuring each phenolic compound. They also actively disseminated inaccurate information about which polyphenols to measure and which method... 

This, despite the direct connection to Hellenic culture and the fact this type of olive oil would command much higher prices. They consistently made decisions based on politics and not on current scientific knowledge.

Laboratories that were using outdated methods (HPLC) to measure phenolic compounds saw their income potentially reduced and reacted violently with nonsensical arguments meant to confuse more and not enlighten.

The organoleptic analysts were being dislodged from their primary position of authority to determine olive oil quality. They could not taste or smell oleocanthal. Their ability to distinguish oleocanthal was based on genetics than skill. Some people do not have the ability to distinguish the intense burning sensation on the throat similar to ibuprofen. They used sarcasm and spreading rumors instead of a constructive debate or research.

Research Finally Reveals the Truth

I dove into this quagmire of conflicting interests I wrote articles, became founding member of the Oleocanthal International Society (OIS) sought out the scientists who conducted the research to support the health claim, met with politicians and leaders of the olive oil industry.

Athan with Mr Tsironis Deputy mInister of Agricultural Development

What I realized is that Greece despite having a long & glorious history and culture and a vast richness of natural beauty and resources Greeks were deeply divided as a people and as a nation. They were able to achieve greatness in shipping where the individual could make his own mark. Greek ship owners command the largest commercial fleet in the world. Larger than UK, USA, Russia, China, and Japan. But are unable to work together to market their own olive oil. They sell it off to the Italians at prices below the cost of production as if they are an undeveloped country.

The last 9 years of struggle and sacrifice against all odds would seem to have been a total failure, if the story ended there.

World Olive Center for Health is Born

While the debate on how to measure phenolic compounds dragged on, the Magiatis/Melliou team founded the World Olive Center for Health and initiated clinical trials using specific ratios of phenolic compounds in olive oil.

They sought to discover the ideal combination in hopes they may discover a therapeutic effect. Daily consumption of 30-50 ml of high phenolic olive oil may turn out to be medicinal in nature after all. It delivers 20-50+mg of phenolic compounds a day. Hippocrates and Dioscourides would be very pleased that modern science is closing in on discovering the therapeutic nature of phenolic compounds found only in early harvest olive oil. However, this requires a great deal of funding to conduct more clinical trials with many more volunteers participating.

Greek High Phenolic Olive Oils Achieve the highest Prices in the World

In the meantime, the few olive growers that changed their methods of cultivation, supported further research by donating funds and olive oil have risen to the top of the olive oil industry. Their high phenolic olive oil from Cyprus and Greece is the most expensive in the world, reaching prices as high as €155 for 250ml. Greek and Cypriot high phenolic EVOO sells for an average of €40 per 500ml. But the real question is: what is the concentration of the phenolic compounds at the time of purchase? Is there any random testing and is the information presented in a transparent and independentlly verified manner? 

We created the annual Aristoleo Awards competition in 2016 in order to celebrate and promote this new category of high phenolic EVOO.

But we discovered is the phenolic content dropped significantly from the first analysis at the time of bottling or production in October or November to the time of analysis the following March or April.

This drop in phenolic content was confirmed by research at the laboratory of Dr. Prokopios Magiatis at the Univ. of Athens. Even when sealed in their original bottles, they lost an average of 46% over 12 months when stored at room temperature in a dark place. 

In 2021, we created the certification program to protect the phenolic concentrations all along the supply chain by controlling  temperature at the point of storage and display. This is how the Aristoleo App Data-Locked Protocol was born.

Join us on this spectacular journey of discovery by supporting these brave and courageous olive growers and scientists by sharing this article. I urge you to taste the certified high phenolic olive oils. It is an experience you will never forget. Begin your own personal journey of discovery. Pre-order a sampling kit for certified high phenolic olive oils today! Quantities are limited.

The Aristoleo Cooler provides a guarantee of quality for high phenolic olive oils. High Phenolic Olive Oil has created a bridge between ancient wisdom and modern sicence. 

To preorder or more info contact me athan@aristoleonorthamerica.com

 WHICH METHOD WOULD YOU CHOOSE TO ANALYZE YOUR OLIVE OIL? 

The 3 methods for measuring phenolic compounds. Which one would you choose?  1, 2, or 3 ?

1. The outdated method for measuring phenolic comounds HPLC fits on a kitchen counter:

 

2. LC-MS/MS is far more sophisticated and was the one used to accurately measure the phenolic compounds for the EU 432/2012 health claim for polyphenols:

 

3. Here is the space age Nuclear Magnetic Resonance NMR used to develop the most accurate method for measuring phenolic compounds: