Monthly Archives: October 2014

  • EU Attempt to ban refillable Olive-Oil Containers and Brussels bureaucrats

    Bureaucrats here turned the European Union into an object of ridicule last year by nearly banning refillable olive-oil containers in restaurants across the 28-nation bloc.

    The proposal, an attempt to protect consumers against the evils of fake olive oil, emerged with little public debate and was quickly shelved when the media actually noticed it and politicians across much of Europe howled in outrage.

    It is just one illustration of how Brussels is to a large extent run by bureaucrats. At the European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, they wield significant power to shape policy and often clash with the politically appointed commissioners who are nominally in charge of the institution. As with “olive oil-gate,” regulations are sometimes approved with little political scrutiny.

    Now change may be on the horizon. Jean-Claude Juncker, who takes over Saturday as president of the commission, has promised to make it more “political,” creating as he does an institution with the focus and clout to set Europe’s agenda, along with Germany and France, rather than take orders from them.

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    Bureaucrats here turned the European Union into an object of ridicule last year by nearly banning refillable olive-oil containers in restaurants across the 28-nation bloc. The proposal, an attempt to protect consumers against the evils of fake olive oil, emerged with little public... 
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  • Cost of olive oil set to rise after disastrous harvest in Italy, farmers Say

    A wet summer and fruit fly blight had led to a bad olive harvest in Italy. Some producers of olive oil have chosen not to harvest at all this year and this will bring up the price of a bottle of olive oil by £2, farmers say.

    The price of olive oil is set to soar after a widespread failure of the annual harvest in large parts of Italy. The price is expected to rise per bottle after production fell by up to 80 per cent in some areas of Italy, a farmers’ cooperative said.

    Silvio Bandinelli of the Tuscan Olive Growers Coop said: ‘The new oil will cost 2-3 euro more per litre compared to last year, or an average of 10 euro a litre.

    Some producers have decided not produce extra virgin because the flavour of the oil will be too acidic. Others have cut their losses by not harvesting at all, according to the Confederation of Agricultural producers in Italy (CIA).

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    A wet summer and fruit fly blight had led to a bad olive harvest in Italy. Some producers of olive oil have chosen not to harvest at all this year and this will bring up the price of a bottle of olive oil by £2, farmers say. The price of olive oil is set to soar after a widespread... 
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  • Saudi rejects 300 tons of Palestinian olive oil

    Saudi Arabian authorities refused on Wednesday to allow 20,000 Palestinian olive oil containers through the Jordanian-Saudi land borders for “not matching the Saudi specifications.”

    Muhammad al-Barqawi, one of the Palestinian olive oil exporters, told Ma’an that the Saudi government refused to allow 15 vehicles carrying olive oil into Saudi Arabian.

    Al-Barqawi said the oil was tested in the Palestinian Ministry of Agriculture laboratories before being exported and that they fit all international standards.

    He said that the Saudi Arabian authorities have been holding the vehicles, carrying more than 300 tons of Palestinian olive oil, since Sunday.

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    Saudi Arabian authorities refused on Wednesday to allow 20,000 Palestinian olive oil containers through the Jordanian-Saudi land borders for “not matching the Saudi specifications.” Muhammad al-Barqawi, one of the Palestinian olive oil exporters, told Ma’an that the... 
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  • Olive Oil kit with reusable packaging

    Gourmet olive oils designer firm Typuglia has created a multifunctional olive oil kit with reusable packaging.

    Each type of bottled oil is color coded to make it easy to distinguish one from another and tagged at the neck with a brief description.

    The bottle is then placed in a layered cardboard cutout that can be later used as a light fixture post-removal.

    20141030-180104.jpg

    For more information visit www.typuglia.it

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    Gourmet olive oils designer firm Typuglia has created a multifunctional olive oil kit with reusable packaging. Each type of bottled oil is color coded to make it easy to distinguish one from another and tagged at the neck with a brief description. The bottle is then placed... 
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  • US and EU trade agreement could benefit U.S. olive oil industry

    A trade agreement being negotiated between the United States and European Union could benefit U.S. farmers and ranchers in a major way, according to the U.S. Trade Representative’s office. U.S. farm groups have varying takes on the agreement, which is targeted for completion next year.

    A pending trade agreement between the United States and European Union could bring substantial benefits to this country’s agricultural sector, according to trade officials.

    While U.S. farm groups generally support the agreement, there are a host of issues they want it to address.

    First and foremost, the agreement needs to result in truly free trade, said Idaho farmer Jim Tiede, vice president of government affairs for the National Potato Council’s executive committee.

    “The National Potato Council is interested in free trade for everybody but it needs to be free and fair trade,” he said.

    According to a fact sheet from the U.S. Trade Representative’s office, the agreement could double U.S. processed food exports to EU nations, which totaled $5.2 billion in 2013.

    The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, which is scheduled to be finalized in 2015, seeks to eliminate tariffs and other trade barriers on agricultural, industrial and consumer products.

    The U.S. exported a record $145 billion worth of agricultural products in 2013, including $10 billion to EU nations, “a figure that can and should be much higher,” the USTR fact sheet stated.

    Some U.S. ag products, such as apples and olive oil, face lopsided tariffs when going to EU nations.

    U.S. olive oil faces duties of $1,680 per ton when shipped to the EU while olive oil from the EU faces duties of only $34 per ton when coming to the U.S.

    A little over $1.1 billion worth of olive oil was imported to the U.S. last year and 80 percent of it originated from the EU, according to the American Olive Oil Producers Association.

    “It’s a tremendous disparity,” said AOOPA Executive Director Kimberly Houlding. “We do see an opportunity for olive oil within TTIP.”

    The U.S. olive oil industry also hopes the agreement addresses the issue of fraudulent or mislabeled olive oil entering this country, as well as mandatory labeling and quality standards, Houlding said.

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    A trade agreement being negotiated between the United States and European Union could benefit U.S. farmers and ranchers in a major way, according to the U.S. Trade Representative’s office. U.S. farm groups have varying takes on the agreement, which is targeted for completion... 
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  • Italy Will Fight Olive Killer With Coast-to-Coast Buffer Zone

    Italy’s Apulia, the heel of the country’s boot shape, will set up a coast-to-coast buffer zone to stop the spread of an invasive bacterial disease killing thousands of centuries-old olive trees.

    The planned 2-kilometer (1.2-mile) wide buffer zone will run from the Ionian Sea to the Adriatic Sea, Italy’s Agriculture Ministry wrote in an online statement today. The exact location will be determined by Apulia after analysis of the affected area in the next few days, the ministry said.

    The bacterium xylella fastidiosa, previously absent from Europe, was first detected last year in Lecce province, where it was linked to die-back of olive trees over 8,000 hectares (19,768 acres). Apulia is Italy’s largest olive-growing region, with production of about 11.9 million metric tons last year, or 41 percent of national output.

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    Italy’s Apulia, the heel of the country’s boot shape, will set up a coast-to-coast buffer zone to stop the spread of an invasive bacterial disease killing thousands of centuries-old olive trees. The planned 2-kilometer (1.2-mile) wide buffer zone will run from the Ionian... 
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  • Italy on fourth place on the podium of world olive oil production

    Greece, Tunisia and Turkey. These three countries are competing with Italy for second place on the podium of world olive oil production, while Spain confirms first place despite a downturn for production estimated at 875 thousand tons.

    In the wake of a very difficult year, with very poor weather right from budding, the Italian olive oil sector followed hard on its heels by Greece, where production – according to forecasts by the International Olive Oil Council – is expected to grow by as much as 122% to 300 thousand tonnes.

    There are also excellent prospects in Tunisia where not even the old folk recall such abundant production that could well exceed 250 thousand tonnes.

    On the other hand, production in Turkey is likely to be stable at 190 thousand tons, according to figures released by the Ministry of Agriculture in Ankara.

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    Greece, Tunisia and Turkey. These three countries are competing with Italy for second place on the podium of world olive oil production, while Spain confirms first place despite a downturn for production estimated at 875 thousand tons. In the wake of a very difficult year, with... 
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  • Winning EVOOs of the International Extra Virgin Olive Oil tasting Argoliva

    The International Extra Virgin Olive Oil Tasting – Domingo Faustino Sarmiento Award, held at the 4th International Olive Meeting Argoliva 2014, from 20 to 24 October in the town of San Juan (Argentina), awarded several EVOOs from Spain, United States, Argentina and Uruguay in two categories: Artisanal and Industrial.

    As organizers have pointed out, “this is the most important event in South America,” which also ranks third in the ranking of the different international oil competitions selected by The World’s Best Olive Oils project for the campaign 2013/14.

    In this edition, 94 samples were evaluated by the Catholic University of Cuyo Tasting Panel along with an international jury.

    Argoliva 2014 took place in different stages of the town of San Juan, and as in previous years included various activities around the oil and its consumption such as the Gourmet Competition “Unpublished uses of olive oil in sweet and savory dishes,” the “Open Kitchen Classes”, Business rounds, the 6th Update CREA Meeting and Argoliva Festival.

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    The International Extra Virgin Olive Oil Tasting – Domingo Faustino Sarmiento Award, held at the 4th International Olive Meeting Argoliva 2014, from 20 to 24 October in the town of San Juan (Argentina), awarded several EVOOs from Spain, United States, Argentina and Uruguay... 
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  • Olive Oil in your diet, a matter of health

    Olive Oil vs other cooking fats: the Cretan – Greek alternative
    Its velvety texture and fine taste are not the only reasons that make olive oil ideal for your cooking or dressing.

    Olive oil is far more suitable compared to all other vegetable or animal cooking fats for many other reasons: it is produced solely by mechanical means and at very low temperature (cold extraction) with no added chemical processes that other oils undergo.

    Whereas various other vegetable oils are rich in harmful polyunsaturated fats and dairies abundant in saturated fats that undermine your health, olive oil is rich only in monounsaturated fats as high as 80% in content.

    Also, olive oil is high heat-resistant, an attribute that makes it ideal for frying as heat will not destroy its beneficial antioxidants and polyunsaturated fatty acids.

    Olive Oil and good health
    The medicinal qualities of olive oil have been recognized since the antiquity, as far back as Hippocrates’ codex.

    These attributes are scientifically confirmed today by contemporary scientists.

    International studies on past and contemporary Cretan cuisine where olive oil is prominent, have shown that this natural liquid extract contributes to overall health by providing antioxidants and other beneficial elements that promote good cardiovascular health and also contribute to the prevention of some forms of cancer.

    Due to its polyphenols, olive oil also helps our body to better absorb vitamins, etc.

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    Olive Oil vs other cooking fats: the Cretan – Greek alternative Its velvety texture and fine taste are not the only reasons that make olive oil ideal for your cooking or dressing. Olive oil is far more suitable compared to all other vegetable or animal cooking fats for... 
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  • Akhisar Olive Harvest Festival in Turkey

    The sixth Akhisar Olive Harvest Festival took place on Oct. 24-26 in the Akhisar district of western Manisa province, which has the majority of Turkey’s olive groves, containing approximately 13 million trees.

    The district supplies 70 percent of Turkey’s green olive and 30 percent of its black olive demand with locals joyfully welcoming this year’s festival in the region.

    M. Kadri Güneş, head of the Olive and Olive Oil Promotion Committee, said the festival has an important role in encouraging olive and olive oil consumption across the country.

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    The sixth Akhisar Olive Harvest Festival took place on Oct. 24-26 in the Akhisar district of western Manisa province, which has the majority of Turkey’s olive groves, containing approximately 13 million trees. The district supplies 70 percent of Turkey’s green olive... 
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  • Katie Holmes doles out beauty tips for busy mums

    With the never ending demand to be on your toes for household activities, your children or your professional life, your beauty regime is most likely to go for a toss. However, Katie Holmes gives out some tips and tricks that could work well for working or busy mums.

    Conditioned hair sans the conditioner

    The best way to skip those 10 minutes in the shower with conditioner on, is to oil your hair well the night before. Oil your hair with your regular hair oil (the best for deep conditioning is olive oil). Apply it throughly on your scalp and then on the hair shaft. To add to the moisturizing effect of the oil, you could wrap up your hair in a hot towel for a few minutes. If you don’t have the time for that, cover your hair with a shower cap. Wash your hair the next morning with your regular shampoo. Remember not to over shampoo your hair and pat dry your hair.

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    With the never ending demand to be on your toes for household activities, your children or your professional life, your beauty regime is most likely to go for a toss. However, Katie Holmes gives out some tips and tricks that could work well for working or busy mums. Conditioned... 
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  • Mediterranean Diet International Year meeting in Spain

    The headquarters of the European Institute of the Mediterranean Food (Ieamed) in Malaga will host on Monday, October 27th the commemoration act of the Mediterranean Diet International Year, a meeting that will involve eight prestigious Andalusian chefs who are committed to following the guidelines this type of gastronomy.

    Therefore, Spanish chefs Borja Arenas, Israel Ramos, Celia Jiménez, Juan Andrés Morilla, Xanty Elías, Juan Carlos Trujillo, Diego del Río and Willy Moya will be responsible for translating, through the sum of its creations, the union of the territories that share these eating habits despite the distance between them.

    The recipes that these chefs will execute are a sample of the many possibilities offered by this traditional diet of the Mediterranean Basin which achieves its singling through the creations of chefs, as reported by the Andalusian Ministry of Agriculture.

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    The headquarters of the European Institute of the Mediterranean Food (Ieamed) in Malaga will host on Monday, October 27th the commemoration act of the Mediterranean Diet International Year, a meeting that will involve eight prestigious Andalusian chefs who are committed to following... 
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  • A supplemented Mediterranean diet can lead to metabolic syndrome reversal...

    Metabolic syndrome is characterized by risk factors that increase an individual’s chances for cardiovascular disease. These risk factors include obesity, hypertension, high cholesterol and uncontrolled blood glucose. In addition to cardiovascular disease, those with metabolic syndrome are at increased risk for type 2 diabetes. The Mediterranean diet is considered by many dieticians as a viable option for those suffering from diabetes and hypertension. A previous study with a one year follow-up has shown the diet’s ability to reverse metabolic syndrome.

    The purpose of this study was to use a longer follow-up of 4.8 years to determine the long-term impact of the Mediterranean diet on metabolic syndrome. Subjects were randomly assigned to one of three groups: Mediterranean diet with supplemental extra virgin olive oil, Mediterranean diet with supplemental nuts or advice for following a low-fat diet. The primary outcome for this study was metabolic syndrome status, both incidence and reversal. Having metabolic syndrome was defined as having at least three of the cardiometabolic risk factors previously discussed. Cox regression analysis was used to determine the hazard ratios and to calculate the confidence intervals.

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    Metabolic syndrome is characterized by risk factors that increase an individual’s chances for cardiovascular disease. These risk factors include obesity, hypertension, high cholesterol and uncontrolled blood glucose. In addition to cardiovascular disease, those with metabolic... 
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  • Americans’ olive oil importers dispute standard settings

    A U.S. industry group representing olive oil importers is hoping to boost Americans’ knowledge of olive oil. Part of the effort includes a push for more uniform quality ratings in response to new standards in California that would set the Golden State’s oil apart from imported versions.

    Did you know that, unlike wine, olive oil does not get better with age? Or that light olive oil is actually not lower in calories than other variations, such as extra virgin?

    According to a new study from the North American Olive Oil Association, only a quarter of Americans report they are very knowledgeable about these and other olive oil facts. NAOOA is hoping to change that and clear up confusion about olive oil by sharing health information as well as tips, such as where and how to store olive oil, with nutrition and food experts who can then inform the public.

    “There remains a lot of work to be done to help make olive oil a mainstay in kitchens across the United States,” Eryn Balch, NAOOA executive vice president, said in a statement. “The nation’s top food and nutrition experts have embraced the health messages about olive oil already. Now we hope they’ll be a key part of addressing consumer confusion, debunking myths, and fostering a better understanding of olive oil’s taste, versatility, and well-documented health benefits.”

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    A U.S. industry group representing olive oil importers is hoping to boost Americans’ knowledge of olive oil. Part of the effort includes a push for more uniform quality ratings in response to new standards in California that would set the Golden State’s oil apart from imported... 
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  • Olive oil diet could help your heart

    Some ate a Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra virgin olive oil, others ate a Mediterranean diet with added nuts and the rest ate a low-fat diet.

    London – Eating a Mediterranean diet rich in olive oil could help reverse symptoms which can lead to heart disease, research has revealed.

    A study found people who followed a diet of fruit, vegetables, fish and whole grains, with either added olive oil or nuts, reduced their obesity and blood glucose levels – both symptoms of metabolic syndrome.

    A low-fat diet did not have the same effect.

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    Some ate a Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra virgin olive oil, others ate a Mediterranean diet with added nuts and the rest ate a low-fat diet. London – Eating a Mediterranean diet rich in olive oil could help reverse symptoms which can lead to heart disease, research... 
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  • PDO Viannos Olive Oil and Melitzanosalata Recipe from Crete

    Not sure whether to make your next bottle of ‘special’ olive oil Spanish, Italian or French?

    Well how about going a bit further afield and all the way to Crete?

    “oi1 PDO Viannos” landed on our doorstep and immediately started a debate with some saying that while Cretian olives were fine to nibble when on a beach they were no use at all as oil.

    A bit unfair the others thought and reached for some bread to dip with while someone else filled a saucer.

    The olive oil is cold extractedfrom Koroneiki olives in the Viannos PDO region, one of the 9 PDO regions of Crete, regions that have been certified for the quality of their unique product thanks to the specific soil and climate conditions of the region.

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    Not sure whether to make your next bottle of ‘special’ olive oil Spanish, Italian or French? Well how about going a bit further afield and all the way to Crete? “oi1 PDO Viannos” landed on our doorstep and immediately started a debate with some saying that while Cretian... 
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  • Taiwan will tighten requirements for edible oil imports

    The Taiwanese government will soon require importers of edible oils to submit test reports certified by the authorities of the exporting countries.

    The measure is taken after Taiwan’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) suspected that a Vietnamese exporter used fake test reports to sell animal feed oil to Taiwan as an edible oil, as recorded by ICEX Spain Trade and Investment on its website, citing information contained in Focus Taiwan.

    Specifically, the requirement will apply to all shipments of more than 150 kilograms of oil, whether vegetable or animal-based. Therefore, test reports issued by private certification companies will no longer be accepted.

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    The Taiwanese government will soon require importers of edible oils to submit test reports certified by the authorities of the exporting countries. The measure is taken after Taiwan’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) suspected that a Vietnamese exporter used fake test... 
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