Daily Archives: December 14, 2014

  • How extra virgin olive oil can help our bones?

    The incidence of osteoporosis and associated fractures is found to be lower in countries where the Mediterranean diet is predominant. These observations might be mediated by the active constituents of olive oil and especially phenolic compounds.

    The intake of olive oil has been related to the prevention of osteoporosis in experimental and in in vitro models. Very few prospective studies have evaluated the effects of olive oil intake on circulating osteocalcin (OC) in humans.

    The objective of the study led by Spanish researchers was to examine the longitudinal effects of a low-fat control diet (n = 34), a Mediterranean diet enriched with nuts (MedDiet+nuts, n = 51), or a Mediterranean diet enriched with virgin olive oil (MedDiet+VOO, n = 42) on circulating forms of OC and bone formation markers in elderly men at high cardiovascular risk.

    Consumption of a Mediterranean diet enriched with virgin olive oil for 2 years is associated with increased serum osteocalcin and P1NP concentrations, suggesting protective effects on bone.

    Age-related bone mass loss and decreased bone strength is an almost invariable feature of human biology, affecting women and men alike as an important determinant of osteoporosis and fracture risk.

    Nutritional factors are known to be involved in age-related bone loss associated with osteoblast insufficiency during continuous bone remodeling, in interaction with a combination of genetic, metabolic, and hormonal factors.

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    The incidence of osteoporosis and associated fractures is found to be lower in countries where the Mediterranean diet is predominant. These observations might be mediated by the active constituents of olive oil and especially phenolic compounds. The intake of olive oil has been... 
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  • Asaja has defended the need for producers to "regulate markets" olive oil

    The Young Farmers Association (Asaja) in Jaén has defended the need for producers to “regulate markets” olive oil, with a specific and continuous supply, but “without causing excessive price pressures that may also cause abandonment of consumption “.

    This was stated by the Secretary General of the organization, Francisco Molina, who, together with the manager and spokesman, Luis Carlos Valero and the Head of Technical Services, Christopher Gallego, presented the balance agroganadero 2014. On the main economic activity province, olive, noted that “a kind of ‘deja vu’ lives and the situation is similar to that of two years ago.

    Thus, after the record 2013-14 campaign where more than 1.7 million tons were produced in Spain, of which nearly 752,000 were for Jaén, is expected to harvest is “very short” with 780,000 tons in all the country (270,000 in the province, “the capacity of the Junta de Andalucía.

    It will be therefore “limited availability” of olive oil to meet a market that has also had a record performance last season, when they were exported 1.1 million tons and around 555,000 tonnes were used to domestic consumption.

    Against this background, as added, which is expected to be a “price increase”, which is already starting to show, point that has called the “tranquility”. In his view, the producers have to regulate markets and “supply them specifically and continuously without causing excessive price pressures that can lead logically also abandoning consumption”.

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    The Young Farmers Association (Asaja) in Jaén has defended the need for producers to “regulate markets” olive oil, with a specific and continuous supply, but “without causing excessive price pressures that may also cause abandonment of consumption “. This... 
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  • Olive stone flour from solid-waste was used as reinforcement polypropylene composite

    The usefulness of olive stone flour (OSF) from the solid residue of the olive oil extraction as a reinforcement for the preparation of a cost-effective polypropylene-based composite was investigated.

    The lignocellulosic filler consisted of acicular particles with a broad size distribution ranging from about 50 to 400 μm, and is composed of lignin, hemicelluloses, and cellulose.

    Composites with filler loading up to 70 wt% were prepared using a melt processing and injection molding.

    The evolution of the mechanical performance, impact properties, and water absorbance of the composites as a function of the filler content were investigated.

    The addition of a maleated polypropylene (MAPP) coupling agent at a level of 5%, with respect to the filler, was shown to be essential in bringing about a reinforcing effect.

    A steady increase in the modulus along with a preservation in the tensile strength was observed up to a content of 60% OSF.

    The obtained results have confirmed the viability of OSF as cheap reinforcing filler for the PP matrix; thus, opening new perspectives for the use of this agricultural by-product.

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    The usefulness of olive stone flour (OSF) from the solid residue of the olive oil extraction as a reinforcement for the preparation of a cost-effective polypropylene-based composite was investigated. The lignocellulosic filler consisted of acicular particles with a broad size... 
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  • The Third Day of Christmas: lamb with garlic, rosemary and a pepper crust in Olive Oil

    This is an impressive dish but it really does need to be cooked medium rare. It is simple to prepare and rather elegant when presented on a large serving platter. Ask your butcher to prepare a French-trimmed rack of lamb. This dish also works really well with the mint and coriander salsa.

    Prep: 1 hour n Marinate: 2-24 hours n Cook: 18 minutes n Serves: 8

    Ingredients

    YOU WILL NEED

    For the lamb
    4 racks of lamb (2 pairs of best ends, French trimmed)
    50ml olive oil
    6 garlic whole cloves, skin on
    4 sprigs of fresh rosemary

    (for the pepper crust)
    2 tbsp peppercorns
    2 tbsp coriander seeds
    1 tbsp rock salt
    bunch of fresh thyme

    (for the jus)
    2 shallots, peeled and finely diced
    1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
    2 garlic cloves, crushed
    100g cold, unsalted butter, cubed
    salt and freshly cracked black pepper
    500ml concentrated chicken stock
    1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
    150ml Madeira wine or red wine

    METHOD

    To prepare the lamb, trim the fillet to remove any sinew, outer layers of fat or white membrane.

    In a large pan, dry-fry the peppercorns and coriander seeds for the pepper crust. You just want to toast them gently to release their flavour. Be careful not to burn them or to allow the pan to smoke. Remove them from the heat and crush with a pestle and mortar. Then add the salt and thyme and mix well. Spread the mixture out on a flat tray.

    Pour the olive oil into a flat dish. Roll the lamb (loin end) in the olive oil and then roll it in the pepper crust mixture. Continue until the lamb is evenly covered in a thin layer of spice crust. Tightly wrap the crusted loin end in cling film and then in tin foil. Place in the fridge overnight or for a minimum of 2 hours. Make sure to remove the lamb from the fridge at least one hour before you are going to cook it, to allow it to come back up to room temperature.

    To prepare the jus, sauté the shallots, rosemary and garlic in 50g of the butter. Season with salt and pepper. Add the stock, balsamic vinegar and Madeira wine, bring up to the boil and then reduce to a simmer. Let the jus gently simmer until the liquid has reduced in volume by half. Remove from the heat. Check the seasoning and add more if needed.

    Preheat the oven to 200°C fan/220°C/gas mark 7.

    To cook the lamb, heat a non-stick frying pan with a little vegetable oil in it. When it is very hot, add the lamb (loin end) and sear it on all sides for 1ƒ-2 minutes on each side until evenly browned all over. Place in a roasting tin and scatter with the whole garlic cloves and sprigs of rosemary.

    Place the roasting tin in the oven for 18 minutes for medium rare. Remove from the oven. Cover with a damp tea towel and then tin foil and allow to rest in a warm oven (65-70°C) for at least 5 minutes before carving.

    After the lamb has been cooked, strain the meat juices from the pan into the jus. Then gently heat the gravy and whisk in the remaining 50g of cubed butter, until the butter is melted. Set aside for 5 minutes and then scoop off any fatty residue from the top of the jus.

    To serve, carve into cutlets, and serve with a selection of seasonal vegetables. Drizzle the jus over the lamb cutlets.

    ANDREW’S TIP

    You can also strain the jus to remove the shallots and garlic if you like. Personally,
    I prefer the texture of the jus with the finely-chopped shallots. You can also thicken the jus with a roux if you like.

    Entertaining with Andrew Rudd, €21.99 published by Montmolin Press, available from medley.ie

    Recipe by Andrew Rudd, source

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    This is an impressive dish but it really does need to be cooked medium rare. It is simple to prepare and rather elegant when presented on a large serving platter. Ask your butcher to prepare a French-trimmed rack of lamb. This dish also works really well with the mint and coriander... 
    Read More →