Στην ενότητα αυτή, μπορείτε να μάθετε σημαντικές πληροφορίες για το εξαιρετικό παρθένο ελαιόλαδο (EVOO), μέσα από αξιόπιστες πηγές της διεθνούς και Ελληνικής βιβλιογραφίας. Περιηγηθείτε και θωρακίστε τη γνώση σας αλλά κυρίως μάθετε για το ελαιόλαδο που οφείλεται να καταναλώνετε! 

Πως το ελαιόλαδο και ο ύπνος μπορούν να προλάβουν τα καρδιαγγειακά επεισόδια.
Καναδοί επιστήμονες ανακάλυψαν ότι το ελαιόλαδο προστατεύει από τη συσσώρευση αιμοπεταλίων που οδηγεί σε καρδιακές προσβολές και εγκεφαλικά επεισόδια.

New research has revealed why foods rich in unsaturated fats like olive oil help protect from cardiovascular disease. It found they promote higher levels of a protein that prevents the formation of blood clots. Apolipoprotein A-IV, known as ApoA-IV, is a plasma protein that increases after digestion of foods, especially those rich in unsaturated fats. Research links higher levels of ApoA-IV to a lower incidence of cardiovascular disease. The new study from Keenan Research Centre for Biomedical Science (KRCBS) of St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto showed that ApoA-IV inhibits the aggregation of platelets, components of the blood that can clump together and form clots within arteries. Such clots obstruct blood flow and are the most common cause of death. "Platelet aggregation can save lives because it can stop bleeding in damaged vessels," said principal investigator Heyu Ni, Platform Director for Hematology, Cancer and Immunological Diseases at KRCBS. "But we usually don't want platelets to block blood flow in the vessels. This is thrombosis, and if vessel occlusion occurs in the heart or brain, it can cause heart attack, stroke or death." For a blood clot to develop, a series of connections must happen. A platelet receptor connected to a platelet first bind to fibrinogen, an abundant protein in blood plasma. Next, fibrinogen binds to another receptor on a second platelet. Afterward, fibrinogen and possibly other proteins allow platelets to connect to each other, a process that culminates in platelet aggregation. In the study, Ni and his colleagues found ApoA-IV can connect to platelet receptors, thus blocking fibrinogen binding and reducing platelet aggregation in a blood vessel. Moreover, the team noted that ApoA-IV can alter its shape to accommodate increased blood flow: this action helps protect arteries from complete blockages. "This is the first study to link ApoA-IV with platelets and thrombosis," Ni said. "With this work, we have also explained why higher levels of ApoA-IV can slow down plaque build-up in blood vessels, known as atherosclerosis because this process is also related to platelet function." The researchers also investigated ApoA-IV's interaction with food. Eating a meal stimulates platelets, which increases the likelihood that they'll bind to each other or to white blood cells. However, after eating a meal containing unsaturated fats, blood levels of ApoA-IV increase almost immediately, an effect that reduces platelet bonding. This decreases inflammation that follows a meal, along with the risk of a heart attack or stroke. In addition to the above findings, the research team observed that ApoA-IV operates within a circadian rhythm. It's more active at night and less active in the morning. "Mother Nature wants us to sleep well," Ni said. "So we are protected by this protein while we sleep, and most likely to experience a cardiovascular event after waking up in the morning." Callie Exas, a registered dietician nutritionist from Brooklyn, New York, explained to Olive Oil Times how the new findings build on earlier research. Clearly, olive oil, especially extra virgin, is of considerable value for heart health. "Studies show olive oil's content of monounsaturated fatty acids, omega 3 fatty acids and antioxidants prevent blood vessels from hardening," she said. "Basically, these components reduce the risk of cardiovascular events by keeping the endothelial cells lining the blood vessels and the heart supple. In doing so, they protect from wear and tear, which reduces the buildup of oxidative materials and plaque in the arteries. These actions, as well as the platelet-inhibiting effect, help keep arteries and heart tissue healthy." The study generated excitement among the researchers because it showed that foods rich in unsaturated fats, together with good sleep patterns, maximize the opportunity for ApoA-IV to reduce the risk of heart attacks, stroke and atherosclerosis. Ni looks forward to future studies to explore how to harness this protection in developing treatment for cardiovascular disease and other conditions associated with platelet aggregation. The results were published in the journal Nature Communications.

                   (Πηγή: Nature Communications, St. Michael's Hospital) 

Γιατί μερικοί παραγωγοί δεν είναι έτοιμοι να εγκαταλείψουν την παραδοσιακή έκθλιψη ελαιολάδου; Διαβάστε περισσότερα: 

Olive oil mills are becoming more modern and increasingly automated. The gleaming stainless steel and rows of buttons are a testament to the effect that investment and research have had on turning fruit into oil. Traditional presses are often characterized as an anachronistic, uneconomic way of making olive oil. Upgrading equipment and processes can be costly. However, some producers don't cite costs as the reason they stay with many of the older ways of doing things. Expense doesn't even factor in their decision. Given the choice, why on earth might producers still want to make oils in this way? A small band of quality-oriented estates across Greece, Italy and Tunisia's response is that using presses produces oils of greater individuality, maintains a link to tradition, and best expresses their olives' characteristics. When centrifugal decanters were introduced in the 1960s, becoming progressively more refined over the following years, the benefits were clear. Centrifuges spin the olive paste at high speed in a horizontal or vertical drum before separating the oil, water and waste. Combined with similarly modern crushing methods as olives entered the mill, such as hammer mills, centrifuges made producing olive oil more efficient. They also made the process continuous; in other words, there was no need to stop while the equipment was re-stacked. You keep pouring olives in, you keep getting oil out. Franco Boeri Roi of Olio Roi, a farm that has around 10,000 Taggiasca trees near Imperia in Liguria, Italy, was not about to dispute the disadvantages of working with presses. His mill, which produces oil sold to the likes of Eataly and Zingerman's in the US, as well as in other countries, has both a modern, continuous line and a more traditional, discontinuous line with granite millstones and hydraulic presses. "The time and care you need to give to cleaning, labor costs and the space needed are big drawbacks," admitted Roi. Over in Greece, Kiara Koutoulakis' family estate, Koronekes, near Heraklion in Crete makes oil from Koroneiki olives. Like Olio Roi, they make oil using both presses and the continuous, centrifugal method. "The stages of production using presses are the same as the ones in a modern olive mill," explained Koutoulakis, "but right after the malaxation, the paste is poured onto stainless steel discs which are stacked one by one until a full press of 80-100 discs is ready." While the discs are stacked, the run-off of oil from the paste is collected and bottled under the estate's Fleur d'Huile label before the oil from the pressing itself is collected for its other brand. "Unlike the blasted oils made with centrifugal extraction methods, the olive juice gently seeps out of the paste and most of the volatile and delicate aromas, flavors and polyphenols are preserved," Koutoulakis said. She added, "When we taste the centrifugally-extracted oils we make in another olive mill in the village, it is clear that the pressed oils have more aromas and flavors." Roi also agrees that different processing methods give different oils: "With the traditional method, you get an oil that is sweeter and richer with notes of hazelnut and pine nuts; with the continuous method, you get more green fruit, and a thinner mouthfeel with grassy notes of olives, artichoke and green apple." Most people would agree that diversity in styles of olive oil is a good thing. But there is also something more intangible and difficult to capture about using presses, which seems to render modern mills if not exactly boring in comparison, then certainly less exciting places to be at harvest time. Abdelmajid Mahjoub of Les Moulins Mahjoub, a Tunisian estate near Tunis that supplies oil to the bakery chain Le Pain Quotidien, still uses presses. "My attachment is ancient, and a symbol," he said. "There is a strange intensity of passion and an immense talent in processing olives traditionally. The modern process is humiliating for the oil master and seems to be a little debatable. It sterilizes us. The classic process reflects the soul of the olive tree most wonderfully.". Yacine Amor, who distributes the estate's products in the UK through The Artisan Olive Oil Company, describes the impact of watching a traditional mill in action: "I visit their farm on every trip to Tunisia. It is a very special experience where tradition and experience come together and the machines seem almost secondary." Back in Crete, Koutoulakis echoed Mahjoub's contention that making oils with presses requires a lot more from the miller, not least the technical demands: "There are a lot of parameters to keep in mind such as malaxation time, the room temperature when the discs are stacked with the paste, the stacking of the discs in record time to avoid oxidation, the timing of the press...then the natural decantation process and the skimming process." All this, she said, "is a labor of love." So, what does the future hold for oils made this way and their declining number of producers? Roi, for one, strikes an optimistic note by suggesting we might take a look at a trend in another industry. "If you look at what's happening in wine, there is a move away from all those wines matured in oak that tasted the same, and a return to more traditional tastes and vinification," Roi suggested. Something similar could eventually take place in olive oil, with a shift towards styles that favor more traditional methods: "In oil now there is a tendency to look for the bitter and pungent oils that stand out in competitions, but it's entirely possible that this comes full circle, and we see a return to lighter, fruitier oils that consumers often prefer."

(Πηγή: Olive Oil Times - https://www.oliveoiltimes.com/olive-oil-making-and-milling/why-some-producers-are-not-ready-to-give-up-their-traditional-presses/62676)


Οι ερευνητές συνδέουν τα οφέλη της ελαιοκανθάλης με την πρόληψη του καρκίνου και του Alzheimer. Διαβάστε περισσότερα: 

Researchers at the University of Louisiana-Monroe have reported that a compound found in EVOO was effective in preventing cancer and Alzheimer's disease in mice. The study which focused on extracting and testing the effects of oleocanthalconcluded that the compound has the potential to become an effective dietary supplement for reducing the risk of developing breast cancer and Alzheimer's disease. Khalid El Sayed, and Amal Kaddoumi, from the Basic Pharmaceutical Sciences Department of the ULM School of Pharmacy have worked on their project, "Novel extra-virgin olive oil-based functional food for cancer and Alzheimer's disease prevention" since 2009. El Sayed told Olive Oil Times, "Generally, we recommend the consumption of EVOO to replace any other oils based on the health benefits observed." Based on the findings of the study, El Sayed said he believes that consuming EVOO as part of a regular diet could offer some protection against developing cancer and Alzheimer's. "There are already several epidemiological studies that suggest less incidence of cognitive diseases and cancer patients in the Mediterranean population, compared to other European and American counterparts, mainly due to consumption of EVOO as key diet component. Kaddoumi's preclinical studies on EVOO further support this notion." El Sayed, who led the extraction and cancer direction part of the project told Olive Oil Times, "We purified and tested all other EVOO phenolic ingredients, separate and in combination and found oleocanthal to be the star of these compounds." He added, "After looking at the chemical structure of oleocanthal we decided to isolate this compound and use it for our research. We are using several strategies to validate and maximize the benefits of oleocanthal and its activities." The study concluded that oleocanthal administered as a pure entity was effective. The focus has now turned to developing a new formulation for trialing as a dietary supplement. "Even direct consumption of pungent/bitter EVOO (which correlate with oleocanthal content) would be recommended at this stage." Commercially available EVOO brands were used in the study. Some batches proved better than others, based on oleocanthal contents, which ranged from 30 mg to 1,200 mg of oleocanthal per /Kg oil. "The activity is exclusive to EVOO and not the refined olive oil, since refining is eliminating all oil phenolic ingredients," El Sayed said. The team collaborated with Florida Olive Systems where they found good oleocanthal contents in some of their olive tree varieties. Based on the study in mice, the earlier the supplement was taken the more effective it was at preventing cancer and Alzheimer's disease. "So far based on our animal models, the preventive mode was much more effective than treatment mode," El Sayed pointed out. El Sayed and Kaddoumi have Mediterranean roots and a personal interest in olive oil benefits. El Sayed said a magazine article reporting the beneficial effect of oleocanthal in EVOO on amyloid (the hallmark of Alzheimer's disease) had sparked their chemist's instinct and resulted in their decision to isolate and study the compound. Kaddoumi and El Sayed recently partnered with James Cardelli, owner of Segue Therapeutics. Cardelli has pledged $22,500 in funding for the project. The team was also granted a $225,000 award from Louisiana Board of Regents Industry Ties Research Subprogram. This accomplishment will help to fund a further three years of research. The funds will be used for developing, testing and promoting their olive oil-based preventative medicine, food supplement. The dietary supplement could take the form of an instant dry powder drink or capsule depending on success in the formulation and on the application. "We will do our best to use current FDA-approved food additives and excipients. We will also give preference to natural ingredients for easier future food use," said El Sayed. No side effects were observed in mice given oleocanthal in doses of up to 10 mg/kg.

(Πηγή: University of Louisiana-Monroe: https://www.ulm.edu/news/2017/0525-elixir-of-life.html)

Οι ελιές που αναπτύσσονται σε μεγάλα υψόμετρα έχουν περισσότερες αντιοξειδωτικές ιδιότητες, σύμφωνα με νέα μελέτη. Διαβάστε περισσότερα:

A new study links the altitude at which olives are grown to key health benefits.
The study found a positive relationship between altitude and levels of CoQ10, tocopherols and phenolic compounds - with olives grown at higher altitudes containing higher concentrations of the three chemical compounds. All three are widely recognized as powerful antioxidants with proven anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer benefits. Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) was extracted from Arbequina olives grown in 11 different regions of Brazil and Spain. Each EVOO was then tested for concentrations of the three chemicals at independent laboratories. Researchers found a strong correlation between altitude, temperature and rainfall and the level of these chemicals in the EVOOs. "When we analyzed the possible reasons for these correlations, we discovered that there was a significant influence of the climatic and geographic parameters of the production zones in the composition of the oils," said Isabel Seiquer, the lead researcher in the study. "Positive relationships of altitude with the level of CoQ10, tocopherols and phenolics of the oils were observed. Negative correlations with rainfalls were also shown." The research team chose to study Spanish and Brazilian olive oil because of their juxtaposition: Spain is a long-established olive oil producer and exporter, while Brazil is a fledgling producer and rapidly growing importer. Both also extensively grow and harvest Arbequina olives, a well-known Spanish variety. "Due to its particular characteristics, Arbequina olives have adapted to the intensive and super-intensive cultivation in Brazil," Seiquer said. "Different factors, including climatic and geographic aspects, can affect the characteristics and properties of the resulting olive oil. However, there are very few data about its qualities and composition." Of the 11 selected regions, Granada, Spain had the second-highest altitude with lowest levels of rainfall and Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil had the second lowest altitude with the highest level of rainfall. In accordance with the research, EVOOs from Granada had the highest levels of CoQ10 with 85.3mg/L. EVOOs from Rio Grande do Sul had the lowest levels with 49.5mg/L. The typical daily dose of CoQ10 for adults is in between 100 and 200mg making almost all EVOO a rich source of the antioxidant. Seiquer hopes that results of this study will help to influence where new olive groves are grown in order to maximize the nutritional value of the EVOO. "These findings support that EVOOs are one of the best natural sources of dietary CoQ10," Seiquer wrote in the report. "Since the current intake of CoQ10 in developed countries is not sufficient to compensate the age-related decline (of the natural synthesis of these compounds in the human body), promoting the intake of EVOO may be a good alternative to supplementation." Seiquer plans to continue her research into the health benefits of EVOO and said she hopes her team's research will uncover further health benefits from the oil's compounds. "We have also observed that after the digestion, an improvement in the antioxidant properties of oils occurs, which is key to many of its health effects," she said. "We would like to study which compounds are responsible for these modifications."

(Πηγή: Journal of Food Compositions and Analysis:Volume 63, October 2017, Pages 47-54)

Τι σημαίνουν οι δείκτες χημικών χαρακτηριστικών (Οξύτητα, Υπεροξείδια, Κ270/K268, Κ232, ΔΚ); 

Η ποιότητα ενός ελαιολάδου μπορεί να αποδειχθεί μόνον μέσω των χημικών αναλύσεων που γίνονται σε οργανωμένα εργαστήρια. Για να γνωρίζει τι αγοράζει και κυρίως τι τρώει ο καταναλωτής είναι απαραίτητο να αναγράφονται στη συσκευασία του δοχείου ελαιολάδου οι ακριβείς τιμές και όχι οι τιμές κατά προσέγγιση ή τις μέγιστες που ορίζει ο νόμος. Οι κυριότεροι δείκτες είναι οι ακόλουθοι: Οξύτητα: Αντιπροσωπεύει το ποσοστό ελεύθερων λιπαρών οξέων. Η οξύτητα οφείλεται σε διάφορους παράγοντες, κυρίως στον τρόπο συγκομιδής-αποθήκευσης του καρπού και στο στάδιο ωρίμανσής του. Αποδεκτή τιμή οξύτητας ≤ 0,8. Υπεροξείδια: Τα υψηλά υπεροξείδια υποδηλώνουν ότι το ελαιόλαδο έχει υποστεί οξειδωτικές ή άλλες αλλοιώσεις. Το συγκεκριμένο μέγεθος χρησιμοποιείται ως μέσο μέτρησης της ηλικίας ενός λαδιού, αλλά αποκαλύπτει και αν αυτό έχει αποθηκευτεί σωστά ή όχι. Όσο μεγαλύτερη τη τιμή των υπεροξειδίων τόσο μικρότερη η αντοχή στο χρόνο. Παράγοντες οξείδωσης είναι το οξυγόνο, η θερμοκρασία, τα μέταλλα και τα ελεύθερα λιπαρά οξέα. Αποδεκτή τιμή υπεροξειδίων ≤ 20. Δείκτης Κ270/K268: Όσο μικρότερη είναι η τιμή του δείκτη τόσο καλύτερο (εν προκειμένω και φρέσκο) είναι το ελαιόλαδο. Μεγάλες τιμές του δείκτη αναφέρονται σε παλιά ελαιόλαδα ή αναμεμειγμένα με παλιά. Επιπλέον, η τιμή του Κ270/K268 είναι πολύ χαμηλή αμέσως μετά την εμφιάλωση και αυξάνεται με την πάροδο της ηλικίας του ελαιολάδου. Αποδεκτή τιμή Κ270/K268 ≤ 0,22. Δείκτης Κ232: Εκφράζει το ποσοστό οξείδωσης των συστατικών του ελαιολάδου. Όσο μικρότερη είναι η τιμή του δείκτη τόσο καλύτερη είναι η ποιότητα του ελαιολάδου. Δείχνει πόσος χρόνος έχει μεσολαβήσει μεταξύ συγκομιδής και έκθλιψης του καρπού (όσο μικρότερος τόσο ποιοτικότερο το λάδι). Παράγοντες οξείδωσης είναι το οξυγόνο, η θερμοκρασία, τα μέταλλα και τα ελεύθερα λιπαρά οξέα. Αποδεκτή τιμή Κ232 ≤ 2,5. Δείκτης ΔΚ: Αποτελεί βασικό κριτήριο για τον προσδιορισμό της ποιότητας (και της καθαρότητας) του ελαιολάδου. Προκύπτει από μαθηματική σχέση τιμών και δείχνει κάθε ανάμειξη με άλλο ελαιόλαδο που δεν είναι εξαιρετικά παρθένο. Αποδεκτή τιμή ΔΚ ≤ 0,01.
(Πηγή: www.internationaloliveoil.org)

Γιατί το ελαιόλαδο ψυχρής έκθλιψης είναι το καλύτερο όλων; 

Η περιεκτικότητα του άθερμου, εξαιρετικά παρθένου ελαιολάδου σε ελαϊκό οξύ το κάνει ανθεκτικό στην οξείδωση. Αυτό συμβαίνει, όχι μόνο γιατί είναι φτωχό σε πολυακόρεστα και πλούσιο σε μονοακόρεστα λιπαρά οξέα, αλλά και επειδή είναι πλούσιο σε α-τοκοφερόλη. Το άθερμο, παρθένο ελαιόλαδο προσφέρει έναν μοναδικό συνδυασμό από μονοακόρεστα, πολυακόρεστα και κορεσμένα λιπαρά οξέα. Αυτό το χαρακτηριστικό, σε συνδυασμό με τον πλούτο του σε αντιοξειδωτικά, του προσδίδει υψηλή διατροφική αξία. Άλλα στοιχεία του είναι οι τοκοφερόλες (βιταμίνη Ε) και τα καροτενοειδή, η ξανθοφύλλη, τα καροτένια και το λυκοπένιο. Οι τοκοφερόλες είναι γνωστά αντιοξειδωτικά και εμπεριέχονται στο άθερμο, παρθένο ελαιόλαδο σε συγκεντρώσεις περίπου 180 mg/kg. Οι τοκοφερόλες δρουν και ως βιταμίνη Ε και έχουν ισχυρή αντιοξειδωτική δράση. Το β-καροτένιο (βιταμίνη Α), που βρίσκεται σε συγκέντρωση 0,3-3,7 g/kg, αποτελεί άλλη μια ουσία του άθερμου, παρθένου ελαιολάδου με αντιοξειδωτική δράση.
(Πηγή: www.organicfacts.net)

Τι είναι το ελαιόλαδο 'ψυχρής έκθλιψης' ή άθερμο ελαιόλαδο; 

Είναι γνωστό ότι η θέρμανση στα τρόφιμα, πολλές φορές, αλλοιώνει την ποιότητά τους, «καταστρέφει» τις βιταμίνες και τα ιχνοστοιχεία, καθώς και άλλα πολύτιμα θρεπτικά συστατικά. Το άθερμο ελαιόλαδο, είτε με τη μέθοδο της 'εξαγωγής εν ψυχρώ' μέσω σύγχρονων φυγοκεντρικών μηχανημάτων ή 'πρώτης πίεσης εν ψυχρώ' δηλαδή γνήσιο παραδοσιακό μέσω υδραυλικών πιεστηρίων είναι το ελαιόλαδο που κατά τη διάρκεια της παραγωγής του χρησιμοποιήθηκε νερό που δεν ξεπέρασε τους 28 βαθμούς Κελσίου. Πρέπει να σημειωθεί πως μόνο στις χαμηλές θερμοκρασίες έκθλιψης το λάδι διατηρεί όλα τα πολύτιμα συστατικά και το άρωμά του. Για αυτό το λόγο το ελαιόλαδο ψυχρής έκθλιψης ή άθερμο είναι ότι καλύτερο και υγιεινότερο μπορούμε να καταναλώσουμε. 
(Πηγή: www.organicfacts.net, www.oliveoilsource.com)

Γενικές πληροφορίες για την ελιά.

Κατηγορία είδους:
Αειθαλές δέντρο. Περιγραφή: πρόκειται για ένα αιωνόβιο, αειθαλές δέντρο που κατάγεται από την ανατολική μεσόγειο. Το ύψος του μπορεί να ξεπεράσει τα 4 μέτρα κάτι που εξαρτάται από τις εδαφοκλιματικές συνθήκες καθώς και από την εκάστοτε ποικιλία. Συνθήκες ανάπτυξης: Προσαρμόζεται εύκολα στους περισσότερους τύπους εδαφών. Μπορεί να καλλιεργηθεί έως και σε πετρώδη εδάφη αρκεί να υπάρχουν ρωγμές από τις οποίες θα διεισδύσει το ριζικό σύστημα. Τις καλύτερες αποδόσεις παρουσιάζει σε βαθιά αμμοπηλώδη εδάφη με καλή στράγγιση και επαρκή υγρασία. Το άριστο pH του εδάφους για την ελιά κυμαίνεται μεταξύ 6,5 και 8. Άνω του 8,5 η καλλιέργεια της ελιάς δεν είναι εφικτή. Σε εδάφη με πολύ όξινο έδαφος κάτω του 6 η ανάπτυξη των ελαιοδέντρων είναι ιδιαίτερα περιορισμένη λόγω αδυναμίας τους να προσλάβουν τα θρεπτικά στοιχεία. Εδάφη που παραμένουν διαρκώς υγρά με κακή στράγγιση θεωρούνται ακατάλληλα για την καλλιέργεια της ελιάς. 
(Πηγή: www.agro.auth.gr)

Το ελαιόλαδο στην Ελλάδα. 

Αξίζει να σημειωθεί πως η ποιότητα του Ελληνικού ελαιολάδου παγκοσμίως είναι η κορυφαία. Αυτό αποδεικνύεται από το γεγονός ότι το 82% του ελαιολάδου που παράγεται στην Ελλάδα είναι εξαιρετικό παρθένο ενώ στην Ιταλία και στην Ισπανία 45% & 25% αντίστοιχα.
(Πηγή: www.agro.auth.gr) 


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