Daily Archives: April 24, 2014

  • Olive oil production in Andalusia has broken records this season

    The Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Rural Development of the Andalusian Government, Elena Víboras, says olive oil production “has broken records this campaign, confirming and improving our forecasts”, since, according to the Information and Food Control Agency (AICA), Andalusia has had an output of 1.4 million tonnes this season.

    Speaking at the Commission held in the Andalusian Parliament, Víboras reported on the current situation in the olive sector and its future prospects under the new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and noted that olive is one of the most representative cropping systems of the region whose importance is shown in the definition of the Andalusian landscape (occupying 1.5 million hectares) and that “it is one of the industries with more weight on our economy”.

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    The Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Rural Development of the Andalusian Government, Elena Víboras, says olive oil production “has broken records this campaign, confirming and improving our forecasts”, since, according to the Information and Food Control Agency... 
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  • The worldwide need for anti-counterfeiting labels for Olive Oil is substantial

    Just a few grams of the new substance are enough to tag the entire olive oil production of Italy.

    The tag consists of tiny magnetic DNA particles encapsulated in a silica casing and mixed with the oil.

    If counterfeiting were suspected, the particles added at the place of origin could be extracted from the oil and analysed, enabling a definitive identification of the producer. “The method is equivalent to a label that cannot be removed,” says Robert Grass, lecturer in the Department of Chemistry and Applied Biosciences at ETH Zurich.

    The worldwide need for anti-counterfeiting labels for food is substantial. In a joint operation in December 2013 and January 2014, Interpol and Europol confiscated more than 1,200 tonnes of counterfeit or substandard food and almost 430,000 litres of counterfeit beverages. The illegal trade is run by organised criminal groups that generate millions in profits, say the authorities. The confiscated goods also included more than 131,000 litres of oil and vinegar.

    A forgery-proof label should not only be invisible but also safe, robust, cheap and easy to detect. To fulfil these criteria ETH researchers used nanotechnology and nature’s information storehouse, DNA. A piece of artificial genetic material is the heart of the mini-label. “With DNA, there are millions of options that can be used as codes,” says Grass. Moreover, the material has an extremely low detection limit, so tiny amounts are sufficient for labelling purposes.

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    Just a few grams of the new substance are enough to tag the entire olive oil production of Italy. The tag consists of tiny magnetic DNA particles encapsulated in a silica casing and mixed with the oil. If counterfeiting were suspected, the particles added at the place of origin... 
    Read More →