Dr. Magiatis has developed new testing methods to directly measure oleocanthal and oleacein levels – two key health promoting compounds found in extra virgin olive oil.
UPDATE: Since the publication of this article additional testing has shown the most consistently high levels of Oleocanthal and Oleacein have been discovered in samples originating from Throuba olives pressed in select mills on the island of Thasos.
The study was based on only 250 samples, but they were able to identify some key factors that give the highest possibility to find olive trees that produce olive oil with high levels of these 2 compounds. Here is a brief summary of the findings:
1. The olives must be harvested when they are un-ripened.
2. The Koroneiki variety has shown so far the highest average levels. More than 70% of Greek olive oil production is derived from this variety. High levels of oleocanthal and oleacein were also found in other varieties such as Throuba and Amphissa. There is a need to finance more extensive testing in order to get a better understanding of all the 100+ varieties of olives cultivated today In the Hellenic Republic.
3. The more stressed the olive tree is from lack of water; the more they tended to contain higher concentrations of oleocanthal and oleacein.
4. The olives must be pressed with cold water no more than 27C. Heat decreases the levels of oleocanthal and oleacein dramatically.
5. The more peppery and pungent the taste the higher the levels of oleocanthal and oleacein.
I went in search for the Best Olive Oil and discovered the Hellenic Renaissance. Renaissance may not be the best name for this Revival of the Hellenic Spirit in Greece but it is good enough to bring the attention to the one thing Greece has lacked; besides money, proper political leadership and effective economic management.
We lack a direct and intimate relationship with our own glorious Hellenic past. Yes of course we learn it in our history lessons, the evidence of its existence is all around us, some olive trees are living witnesses to our history having been alive for over 3,000 years, and still bearing fruit. It is in our blood, it runs in our veins and yet we do not embody it.
Hellenic embodiment is more than knowledge or ideas, it is a life itself. The body in harmony with the mind freed from its self imposed tyranny.
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