Daily Archives: August 21, 2013

  • Olive Oil Market Report 2013

    At the biginning of the 2013 the stocks in Spain added up to ca. 755,000 tons. The prices had developed down in the previous months as the consumption in March was just to 68,000 tons (March 2012: 110,000 tons). In April, the consumption increased to 82,000 tons. And in the coming months are amounts expected of about 90,000 – 100,000 tons, especially as the stocks in Greece, Tunisia, Morocco will run out and the Italian consumers have started to buy in Spain again. This has resulted in the price trend, which has reversed.

    Currently, it is still a bit early to estimate precisely the coming harvest above all because of increased rainfall and an unusually cold spring. Due to this situation a late harvest is to be expected. For Spain is an oil production about 1,300,000 tons for the harvest 2013/2014 estimated. Certainly, it is believed that the other olive oil producing countries are going to crop up to 30 % less. This is attributable to the strong Scirocco Winds, which has a large part of the Cretan blooming affected.

    We assume that the price level will remain constant until the recent harvest in November. The qualities are rather mixed, hence it is expected to have surcharge for good sensory commodities surcharge for good sensory commodities.

    source hees.de

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    At the biginning of the 2013 the stocks in Spain added up to ca. 755,000 tons. The prices had developed down in the previous months as the consumption in March was just to 68,000 tons (March 2012: 110,000 tons). In April, the consumption increased to 82,000 tons. And in the... 
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  • Israel's olive growers urge Agriculture Ministry to delay imports from Jordan

    Local growers fear olive imports will cause excess in the market and as a result the local crops may not be fully used.

    As the harvest season approaches, Israel’s olive farmers are asking the Agriculture Ministry to delay plans to import olives from Jordan.

    There will likely be excess demand for olives this year, beyond what Israel grows itself, so industrial olive growers aren’t opposed to the planned imports per se, said Zvi Alon, head of the Plants Production and Marketing Board. The question is when.

    Manufacturers of preserved olives want imports to start in September, to minimize the chance of running out of raw olives. But the farmers fear that instead of a lack, this may cause an excess of olives in Israel’s market, and as a result the local crops may not be fully used. They want the import postponed until October.

    The Agriculture Ministry recently estimated that this year’s olive crop will come in 6,000 to 9,000 tons short of demand. Israel’s olive industry uses 17,000 tons of olives.

    Alon called for allowing olive imports in September only if it turns out that Israel’s crop is not meeting the industry’s needs.

    Israel has a trade agreement with Jordan that allows for importing fruits and vegetables duty-free based on Israel’s market needs. The Agriculture Ministry decides when certain produce items are lacking, and decides on imports in order to keep local prices stable.

    The Agriculture Ministry stated in response that it takes growers, industry and consumers into account, noting that this year’s harvest was likely to be smaller than last year’s.

    Article source haaretz

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    Local growers fear olive imports will cause excess in the market and as a result the local crops may not be fully used. As the harvest season approaches, Israel’s olive farmers are asking the Agriculture Ministry to delay plans to import olives from Jordan. There will likely... 
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  • Conserving Historic Buildings with Olive Oil

    olive-oil-conservationThis slick solution allows limestone structures to repel water and pollutants.

    What does salad dressing have in common with building conservation? Olive oil.

    Researchers led by Karen Wilson in Cardiff, Wales, discovered that oleic acid, a component of the food staple, has just the right properties to make an excellent coating to help preserve historic structures.

    Some great historic buildings, such as the York Minster cathedral in England (pictured), are made from limestone, a popular material because it was cheap, plentiful and easy to build with. Unfortunately, limestone is also extremely vulnerable to pollution, especially acid rain.

    Previous attempts at creating protective coatings failed because they were too thick: They blocked pollutants, but also prevented limestone from expanding and contracting with changes in temperature, leading to structural damage.

    The new oleic acid coating is inherently hydrophobic, repelling water and any pollutants, and it allows the material to react to temperature fluctuations naturally. In the words of the researchers, it allows the stone to “breathe.”

    The oleic coating is also remarkably thin, just about a nanometer thick, allowing it to conform to even the smallest cracks and imperfections in the structure. Many conservation groups are now interested in putting this historic food supply to use protecting historic buildings.

    Article source Discover

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    This slick solution allows limestone structures to repel water and pollutants. What does salad dressing have in common with building conservation? Olive oil. Researchers led by Karen Wilson in Cardiff, Wales, discovered that oleic acid, a component of the food staple, has just... 
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  • How Virgin is our Extra Virgin Olive Oil

    Once someone tries a real extra virgin olive oil– an adult or a child, anybody with taste buds –they’ll never go back to the fake kind.
    It’s distinctive, complex, the freshest thing you’ve ever eaten.”

    ~ Tom Mueller, author of Extra Virginity

    The big business of Olive Oil is bad for consumers. That expensive bottle you bought at the store may just be stale, rancid, and filled with cheap oil. In the U.S. 69% of imported extra virgin olive oils (EVOO) tested were fake, adulterated, stale, or subpar and failed to meet international and USDA standards. (UC Davis Olive Center July 2010)

    Nearly three-quarters of the samples of top-selling imported olive oil brands failed international extra virgin standards; 73% of the top five selling brands failed standards for EVOO, failing two International Olive Council accredited taste panels. The oils being determined rancid and “fustiness” a fermentation defect. (UC Davis Olive Center April 13, 2011)

    Olive oil does not improve with age. Freshness accounts for 80% of the oils flavor. ” It’s at its healthiest and most flavorful the day it is pressed. Fresh-pressed extra virgin olive oil, squeezed from olives at exactly the right moment at harvest time, is insanely bright-tasting and flavorful. You can taste the difference immediately.” said Dr. Joe Frazer MD of the Fresh-Pressed Olive Oil Club

    Olive oil in its purest form, extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) has excellent health qualities. Olive oil is known to help reduce heart disease. Olive oil contains mono-unsaturated fatty acids, which reduces low-density lipoprotein (LDL), known as the bad cholesterol. It also appears to keep the inner lining of the arteries clear and reduce inflammation that can lead to heart damage.

    The health benefits are also best when fresh. the Oil should be used within 3 months of being pressed and this decreases to about forty percent after six months of storage. the oil should be in a dark bottle to help retain freshness, but remember that a dark bottle can hide a cheap brown oil inside.

    But what you get in the United States is not what you think. Cold-Pressed Extra Virgin when you see this on the label, we are led to believe the oil is fresh pressed and of quality, but the label does not guarantee these things.

    Very little fresh pressed olive oil makes it to the United States. The olive oils that stock our local supermarket is of very low standard. By the time it arrives it is already old. Very few bottles will label the harvest or pressed date and the best used by date is a farce since the oil will be bad well before that day comes. The most popular olive oils sold in our markets are either old, mixed with other oils such as soy oil, canola, sunflower seed, or hazelnut, mislabel the country of origin, do not have a pressed date, are stale and do not compare to the true olive oils found in Italy, Greece, Spain, or even Australia and New Zealand. A good quality olive oil label will specify the place where the olives were grown, the name of the grower, or the harvest date and possibly the olive cultivar. The Best By Date (BBD) should be within six months of the press date. Many labels the BBD was much too distant: even the good oils will go bad long before they reach these dates.

    Most olive oils are made in Spain where the International Olive Council is located. Most people think the best olive oil comes from Italy, manufactures go to great lengths to indulge us. Some will mix their oil with low grade Italian oil; others will ship their oil to Italy for bottling. The FDA realized this and in 2009 required all oil sold in the states to indicate country of origin. You can find it by looking at the back label; it is often in microscopic print. Unfortunately, the oils only have to be listed in order of importance, not percentage of the mix. (Huffington post)

    Tom Mueller, New Yorker contributor and author of Extra Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil, reports how the retail markets add lower-priced, lower-grade oils and artificial coloring to extra-virgin olive oil, before passing this along the supply chain. His research shows that 50-70 percent of the olive oil sold in the United States is, in some ways, adulterated.

    For example, independent tests at the University of California, Davis, have discovered that 69% of all store-bought extra virgin olive oils tested are fake.
    The New York Times reports that “50 percent of the olive oil sold in America is, to some degree, fraudulent.” This includes many well-known and expensive brands.
    “American grocery stores are awash in cheap, fake ‘extra virgins,'” says The Wall Street Journal
    CBS News adds: “Consumers who think they’re buying one of the healthiest foods on the planet often get something very different.”

    Extra virgin olive oil comes from the first cold pressing of olives and has no more than an .8% acidity. For a good quality olive oil, always look for extra virgin. The best oil has less than .3% acidity. All good olive oil (EVOO) is first harvest cold pressed. If it is not cold pressed heat is used to extract the oil, increasing the acidity which then needs to be lowered by the use of chemicals. That kind of oil isn’t used by the Italians for human consumption. To put cold press on the label is redundant, it never appears on labels of oil sold in Italy. “True extra virgin olive oil is made with olives that were picked just at the ideal degree of ripeness and then immediately taken to the mill for processing. It is a labor intensive product that is expensive to produce. Please don’t compromise, good olive oil is critical to good cooking.”

    Once someone tries a real extra virgin olive oil– an adult or a child, anybody with taste buds –they’ll never go back to the fake kind.
    It’s distinctive, complex, the freshest thing you’ve ever eaten.”

    ~ Tom Mueller, author of Extra Virginity

    ForexTV.com (New York) by Lisa Judd

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    Once someone tries a real extra virgin olive oil– an adult or a child, anybody with taste buds –they’ll never go back to the fake kind. It’s distinctive, complex, the freshest thing you’ve ever eaten.” ~ Tom Mueller, author of Extra Virginity The big business of Olive... 
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  • Extra virgin olive oil buying guide

    Standing in a store faced with a phalanx of bottles filled with extra virgin olive oil can be a befuddling experience, made even more complex this year by the bumper crop of California olives. That’s a good thing.

    However, stores often bunch the extra virgin oil – which is made solely from the fruit of the olive tree, not mixed with other kinds of oils, such as seed or nut, and is not subjected to heat, solvents or refining – into shelves crowded with oils of every description, imported and domestic.

    So, how is a consumer to choose? Succumb to a striking package design? Or be budget-minded and choose the least expensive?

    Here are some guidelines to help you make an informed decision, along with how best to use your purchase:

    Acidity level and taste characteristics: The label should indicate a laboratory-confirmed acidity level of less than 0.5 percent if it’s California oil (0.8 percent is the international standard) and must be deemed by a trained taste panel to be free of defects and to possess positive olive oil characteristics.

    The words “extra virgin olive oil” should appear on the label, even though the labeling laws for imported oils are rather lax.

    Label phrases: The words “first cold press,” which often appear on labels, are basically meaningless. The term is a throwback to days when olive paste was spread on mats, which were then stacked and compressed to extract the oil. Modern equipment has superseded this method in most countries.

    Blocking light: Extra-virgin olive oil needs to be protected from light to prevent oxidation of the oil, which makes it rancid. The bottle should be dark glass; if the glass is clear, it should be in a box. Some producers are now using small metal containers that block out the light.

    Harvest date: Look for a harvest date on the container. It may be in small letters and hard to find. Often there is a “best by” date, but a harvest date is preferable.

    If you can only find a “best by” date, it should be no longer than two years out. Because the fruitiness of the oil will decline over time, use the oil within a year of the harvest date.

    Certification: A California-made oil with a seal on the bottle from the California Olive Oil Council certifying that it is extra-virgin means that the oil passed the necessary chemical parameters and was blind-tasted by a trained panel and found to be without defects.

    Awards: If the bottle has a medal from a fair or competition, a trained panel of judges tasted the oil and found it distinctive. The medal should include the year it was awarded and correspond with the harvest date. Olives in the Northern hemisphere are harvested in the fall, and most competitions are held the following year, so a 2012 harvest-date oil will have a 2013 medal. (See the accompanying list of competition websites.)

    Country of origin: If the label states that the oil is a product of a certain country, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it was actually produced in that country.

    It could be a mixture of oils from different countries, some good and some defective, that was bottled in the country that’s listed on the bottle.

    Boutique oils: Just as small wineries often sell directly to consumers rather than through distribution channels, many California extra-virgin olive oils are not available in retail stores. Some small producers only sell their oil at farmers’ markets or online.

    In the best of worlds you can taste the oil before buying it. Some stores have tasting bars and others have a selection of bottles available for tasting.

    Storing and using: When you take your purchase home, keep it in a cool, dark place, not next to the stove and not in the refrigerator. Use it to cook and garnish food.

    Once the bottle is open the oil is exposed to oxygen, which degrades the oil, so use it quickly. Do not save it for special occasions. Extra virgin olive oil does not age like wine.

    Rating olive oils

    A taste of the harvest
    Many of extra virgin olive oils from the 2012 harvest have received medals at competitions. They’re available at some well-stocked grocers, specialty stores and online, but contact the producers for specific retail information.

     Article source sfgate

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    Standing in a store faced with a phalanx of bottles filled with extra virgin olive oil can be a befuddling experience, made even more complex this year by the bumper crop of California olives. That’s a good thing. However, stores often bunch the extra virgin oil –... 
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  • Greek Olive Oil Exports Trapped in Vietnam

    According to a document that was sent by the Greek Embassy in Hanoi, Vietnam, to the Hellenic Ministries of Foreign Affairs and of Rural Development and Food, with the subject Blocking of Greek olive oil import in Vietnam, Messenian-Greek exports of olive oil and olives to Vietnam are blocked, as the Messenian products are in the customs office in Hanoi at Hai Phong Harbor. MP of Heraklion, Lefteris Avgenakis, said in Parliament that, “The Vietnamese authorities are putting obstacles citing new circulars in order to allow import of food of plant and animal origin.”

    “According to relevant publications, it has been reported that the embassy’s document conceals the fact that they have been informed of the Vietnamese decision, which requires updating of the Greek legislation concerning pesticides, since March,” the MP said.

    Avgenakis pointed out, “This situation affects Greek exporters, while there is a risk of losing a new market, which was opened painstakingly by private initiative. In contrast, competitor countries on olive oil’s export immediately responded to the Vietnamese’s request gaining the market.”

    The MP of Heraklion stressed that the market in question will be lost, while the exporter, who is waiting to be paid by the Vietnamese with receipt of the cargo which still remains in the harbor’s warehouses, will be financially destroyed. Avgenakis requests that the blocking of exports of Messenian olive oil, as well as of all food originating from plant and animals exported to Vietnam, at the customs office in Vietnam stops, and asks who is responsible for this delay which has resulted in the products being held at the customs office in Vietnam.

    Souece  greekreporter

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    According to a document that was sent by the Greek Embassy in Hanoi, Vietnam, to the Hellenic Ministries of Foreign Affairs and of Rural Development and Food, with the subject Blocking of Greek olive oil import in Vietnam, Messenian-Greek exports of olive oil and olives to Vietnam... 
    Read More →