• How, when and why to fertilize the olive tree with nitrogen and potassium

    Two experiments were conducted for 13 years in two olive groves of southern Spain to study the long-term effect of nitrogen (N) fertilization on trees and soil. In the first experiment, 12-year-old ‘Picual’ olive trees were arranged in a split plot design with method of N application (soil versus a 50% soil:50% foliar combination) as the whole plot factor, and amount of N applied annually (0, 0.12, 0.25, 0.5 or 1.0 kg N tree−1) as the subplot factor. In the second experiment, N application to 50-year-old ‘Picual’ trees was based on the previous season’s leaf N concentration.

    Urea was the source of N in both experiments. During the last 4 years, soil samples were taken at 0–20, 20–40, 40–60, 60–80, and 80–100 cm depth to evaluate the effect of N application on soil eutrophication. Fertilization with N had no significant effects on yield, fruit characteristics, and growth of olive trees for the 13 years of study, even when leaf N concentration increased with the amount of fertilizer N applied. Combining soil and foliar application may reduce the amount of fertilizer N necessary to correct a possible N deficiency because our experiments showed this practice to be more effective in increasing leaf N that applying N only to the soil. Our results question the established deficiency threshold of 1.4% of N in dried leaf because no reduction in yield or growth was observed for lower concentrations. However, leaf N concentration did not drop below 1.2% after 13 years with no N application, probably because of N inputs from rainfall and the mineralization of organic N. Whereas under natural conditions of the non-fertilized treatments NH4+–N represented the dominant fraction of mineral N in soil, accumulation of high amounts of NO3−–N in the soil profile occurred in the fertilized plots, which represents a high risk of N leaching from soil.

    All these results suggest that annual applications of fertilizer N are unnecessary to maintain high productivity and growth in olive. Applying N only when the previous season’s leaf analysis indicates that leaf N concentration is below the deficiency threshold, is thus a recommended practice to optimize N fertilization in olive orchards and to reduce N losses by leaching.

    Experiments under both greenhouse and field conditions were performed to study the influence of the type of salt applied (KCl or K2SO4) and to compare the effectiveness of their method of application (soil versus foliar) on leaf K concentration and yield in olive trees established under rainfed conditions.

    In the experiment performed in the greenhouse, mist-rooted 3-month-old ‘Picual’ olive plants growing in 2-l pots containing perlite were irrigated with a complete nutrient solution containing either 0.05 or 2.5 mM KCl during 128 days after transplanting (DAT). A group of plants received one K soil application at a dose equivalent to 1 kg of K per tree at 63 DAT. Another group received four foliar applications at 63, 78, 93 and 108 DAT with a K concentration of 10.5 g/l. The experiment under field conditions was developed with 80-year-old ‘Hojiblanca’ olive trees. Soil application was performed in March every year at a rate of 1 kg K/tree by injecting K fertilizer around the trees. Foliar sprays were carried out in April, March, June and July every year with the same K concentration used for the greenhouse experiment. The results showed that, under both field and greenhouse conditions, either KCl or K2SO4 increased K concentration in leaves.

    Also, both K salts had a positive effect in increasing K content in fruits under field conditions, although the intensity of the increase varied among years.

    Tree water stress and low K status seemed to influence K uptake.

    The method of K application, soil or foliar, did not affect the effectiveness of K fertilization.

    Bibliography
    R. Fernández-Escobar, L. Marin, M.A. Sánchez-Zamora, J.M. García-Novelo, C. Molina-Soria, M.A. Parra, Long-term effects of N fertilization on cropping and growth of olive trees and on N accumulation in soil profile, European Journal of Agronomy, Volume 31, Issue 4, November 2009, Pages 223-232, ISSN 1161-0301

    H. Restrepo-Diaz, M. Benlloch, C. Navarro, Ricardo Fernández-Escobar, Potassium fertilization of rainfed olive orchards, Scientia Horticulturae, Volume 116, Issue 4, 20 May 2008, Pages 399-403, ISSN 0304-4238

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    Two experiments were conducted for 13 years in two olive groves of southern Spain to study the long-term effect of nitrogen (N) fertilization on trees and soil. In the first experiment, 12-year-old ‘Picual’ olive trees were arranged in a split plot design with method of N... 
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  • Olive Oil Sommelier Course in Italy- 8° Edition

    This course designed for food lovers, olive oil tasters, gourmets, food enthusiasts and professionals.

    A wonderfully exciting olive oil & Food experience for those who want a deeper knowledge of the production, commercial processes, tasting and innovative use in the kitchen and restaurants of olive oil “…from the earth to the table”.

    Mid-April, when the days are warming up is the best time to visit Lake Garda, with its varied landscape of beaches, mountains, ancient towns and natural hot springs.

    For this reason we have decided to hold our Olive Oil Sommelier course at Desenzano on the southern shore of the lake. So immerse yourself, learn and experience the wonders of extra virgin olive oil and indulge in the food and sights of magnificent Lake Garda.

    The course will be held in a beautiful terrace, right on the lake’s shore with panoramic views of the lake. During the coffee break you could take a pleasant walk along the shore front of Lake Garda.
    Olive Oil Sommelier Course
    Desenzano is easily accessible by air, train and road.

    Not just a course but a memorable experience with well balanced theory and practical segments that provide participants with the right skills and knowledge to be able to recognize, use and communicate the rational use of olive oil in the kitchen and on the table through the harmonization of olive oil and food pairing.

    This knowledge will help turn costs into profits for retail, restaurants and also consumers.

    Other opportunities open to course participants is to become an olive oil expert and taster, to be part of an official tasting panel or to be part of jury in various international olive oil competitions

    At course completion, participants will have acquired skills and certification (Sensory Aptitude Certificate) entitling them to join the International Register of “Olive Oil Experts”.

    Download program & application form

    Complete Olive Oil Sommelier course content

    THE COURSE INCLUSIONS
    • Classroom sessions, guided tastings with more than 50 olive oils of a various origins and practical exercises from Monday to Friday
    • Five overnight stay (double room single use with lake view and private bathroom) – Check-in 17th April and Check-out 22th April 2016
    • Five breakfast buffet
    • Five light lunches buffet
    • “Food Culture & Pairing” masterclass with Artisan Cheese and Salumi
    • Two didactic dinners in local restaurants
    • Guided tour of two local wineries/olive grove/olive mill for a true culinary experience
    • Guided tasting of olive oil, wine, local artisan salumi and cheese
    • Olive Oil Sommelier Diploma
    • Sensory Aptitude Certificate
    • I.D. Olive Oil EXPERT / Sommelier Card 2016
    • Olive Oil Sommelier Apron
    • Professional Olive Oil Sommelier Pin
    • A selection the official olive oil standar defects (I.O.O.C. – EU)

    Location overview

    You will enjoy beautiful views over the countryside surrounding Lake Garda, staying in an elegant 4* 36 room hotel, in an historical home in Desenzano del Garda.

    The hotel is characterized by a large garden and an elegant swimming pool with direct access to the beach with a total view of the Lake

    The hotel has private parking, indoor and outdoor bar on the terrace with lake view and solarium.

    You will combine a stay in Desenzano del Garda in the hills overlooking the beautiful Lake Garda, you will visit to local producer of typical products (wine, cheese, olive oil, grappa) with learning to taste olive oils coming worldwide for a learning holiday with a difference.

    Suitability
    • Suitable for all levels from beginner to advanced tasters
    • Minimum age 18 (although children are accepted accompanied by adults)

    Contacts
    Olive Oil Academy – Gruppo IRVEA
    Via Verdi, 2 – C.C.I.A.A. – 43100 Parma (PR)
    Tel. +39 05211841531
    Fax. +39 05211480029
    E-mail: info@oliveoilacademy.org
    website: www.oliveoilacademy.org

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    This course designed for food lovers, olive oil tasters, gourmets, food enthusiasts and professionals. A wonderfully exciting olive oil & Food experience for those who want a deeper knowledge of the production, commercial processes, tasting and innovative use in the kitchen... 
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  • The Oleocanthal Andalusian Society launches Accreditation Seal on Health and Nutrition

    The Oleocanthal Andalusian Society (SAO) has launched an Accreditation Seal on Health and Nutrition to be operational for EVOO producers and will be presented in the US next February

    “The initial approach of our Society has been to position oleocanthal-rich EVOOs as unique and natural functional food and also as a basic cooking fat,” stressed José Luis Bergillos, vice president of SAO and in charge of the institutional issues of this entity.

    The SAO has reported that this accreditation involves obtaining various certifications to be issued by public and/or private entities with a range of conditions to certify. In the other hand, this entity will create the basis and types of certification required and coordinate the process, with the aim of providing this service to those producers of Extra Virgin Olive Oil that request it, which will mean “a demonstrable value in terms of health to consumers.”

    Specifically, the SAO has stated that companies applying this seal must have the following certifications: completing the corresponding Protocol of manufacturing and certification (annual); Product analytical certification, with special attention to the phenols and in this case the Oleocanthal/oleaceina, oleuropein, tyrosol and hidrotirosol (annual); Certification of sensory tasting qualification, with emphasis in the bitterness and spiciness (annual); participation in Biomedical Certification programs for companies that actively cooperate in studies and research projects, training… about the health benefits of EVOO (tri-annual); and Certification on Research in the field of gastronomy and collaboration in initiatives that actively use their olive juices to search for the effects they may have on the body when ingested (tri-annual).

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    The Oleocanthal Andalusian Society (SAO) has launched an Accreditation Seal on Health and Nutrition to be operational for EVOO producers and will be presented in the US next February “The initial approach of our Society has been to position oleocanthal-rich EVOOs as unique... 
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  • How Olive Oil spilled into London’s kitchens and where to find your bottle of Mediterranean Gold

    Londoners have lived for years tasting and cooking their favorite dishes and meals without spilling a drop of olive oil. With the eruption of a new trend in town towards gourmet foods, healthier eating and Mediterranean flavors; London has little by little turned into one of the best cities in the world to buy this precious liquid.

    in London, there is now a great variety of oils; a variety of origins, of the olives themselves and even the different methods of purchasing the fluid.

    Thanks to the influence of Jamie Oliver´s books and Gordon Ramsey´s shows, Brits now know all about the advantages that olive oil has to offer in terms of flavour and health. Once this great ingredient was presented to the general public and became commonly used in the best restaurants in town, it was only a matter of time before it extended its reach and became the household essential that it is today.

    The truth is that in London, there is now a great variety of oils; a variety of origins, of the olives themselves and even the different methods of purchasing the fluid. This has propelled London into one of the world´s top destinations for oil enthusiasts to indulge. Now the real question to be asking ourselves is: What are the best ways to obtain a bottle of this golden liquid? The answer is not all that simple. There are as many types and bottles as there are aficionados, and to find the right one is a matter of knowing beforehand what it is that we want as a consumer, and locating the right outlet. London is home to the finest luxury retailers in the world. The range of decadent department stores in London is something envied by other top capitals around the world.

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    Londoners have lived for years tasting and cooking their favorite dishes and meals without spilling a drop of olive oil. With the eruption of a new trend in town towards gourmet foods, healthier eating and Mediterranean flavors; London has little by little turned into one of... 
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  • 103rd session of the IOC Council of Members

    The Council of Members met at IOC headquarters in Madrid in the last week of November for their 103rd session. During the session, the Economic Committee held its 16th meeting to discuss the olive oil and table olive figures presented in the balances for 2013/14 (final), 2014/15 (provisional) and 2015/16 (estimated). The approved balances for the three crop years can be viewed here.

    Other items on the committee agenda included producer prices and world market trends as well as the study on olive oil production costs in IOC member countries, which received the green light for publication.

    This is the first international of this kind to calculate the per-kilo cost of producing olive oil in the IOC member countries. This information is meant to help olive growers to identify the technical stages where they are less competitive than farmers elsewhere and to encourage them to apply strategies to improve their position.

    The study is divided into five sections, beginning with the Introduction, Methodology and Diagnosis, and ending with the Conclusions and Recommendations which analyse and interpret the findings. See full study

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    The Council of Members met at IOC headquarters in Madrid in the last week of November for their 103rd session. During the session, the Economic Committee held its 16th meeting to discuss the olive oil and table olive figures presented in the balances for 2013/14 (final), 2014/15... 
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  • Interview with Yannis Kampouris: «olive oil with quality titles» 

    Despite the reduced production in Spain (850,000 tons) and the much smaller compared to the usual production of Italy (150,000 tons), the olive oil market of last year went smoothly because the high stocks and the overproduction of Tunisia compensated for the above reductions. The values ​​following the law of supply -demand stabilized. Regarding this season in Greece, there is an evident reduction in the production rate of 15-20% compared to the one of 2014-2015.

    Yannis Kampouris speaks to us about the oil year coming to an end and our olive market. Yannis is the producer of E-LA-WON, a particular product which travels from the land of the Sun in the country of the rising sun and from there to the Mount of Olives, excelling in Greece, Japan and Israel. This closes a successful season which reated the conditions for an equally successful continuation. The OLIVELAWON company is steadily conquering international markets focusing on the quality, reliability and social profile.

    – What affects the price of olive oil?

    The price of oil is mainly determined by the Spanish annual production. In the period 2014-2015, the Spanish production showed a decline so the price of oil rose. By contrast, the period of 2013-2014, which for Greece was bad olive season, the price of oil stabilized around 2.75 because of the inflated Spanish production. While from one year to another there seems to be some balancing in the size of production, consumption shows a downward trend mainly in southern Europe due to the economic crisis. The decrease in consumption is also a regulatory factor in the price of oil.

    – Can limited quantity lead to higher quality?

    Quality is our main goal and preserved under all circumstances. There are certain factors by which the quality of the oil is determined such as early oil extraction, protecting the fruit from unsuitable conditions, the processes at the mill. These factors have to be controlled closely and are our “sine qua non” for production. A positive sign for the quality of this year’s production is the limited exposure to the olive fruit fly (a bacterium known as dakos) thanks to weather conditions this summer.

    -What are the forecasts of the International Olive Council for 2015-16?

    It is believed that worldwide oil production for the period 2015-16 will fall to 2.8 million tons, with Spain on the rise (1.3 million), Italy (360,000) following and then Greece (330,000) followed by other countries with significant appearance in the market, like Portugal, Tunisia, Turkey, Morocco, Algeria and Syria.

    -Could you share with us the results from E-LA-WON olive oil Analysis Certificate of the new crop by the Pharmaceutical Department of the University of Athens?

    Levels of oleocanthal and oleaceinre are superior to the average of international sampling olive oil samples included in the study conducted from the University of California, Davis. Note that substances such as oleocanthal and oleaceinand possess significant biological action, as they are certified for their anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, cardioprotective and neuroprotective properties, which are very beneficial to health. The daily consumption of 20g. from the sample we provide contains 23mg of Tyrosol and hydroxytyrosol (»5 mg). The picture for the E-LA-WON is excellent in terms of quality as early harvest oil with excellent organoleptic characteristics, with the components analyzed 1162 mg / kg, according to the certificate of the University and the inspection conducted by Professor Magiatis using the NMR method. Our oil belongs to the oils that protect against oxidation of blood lipids, according to Regulation 431/2012 of the European Union.

    -What is the new method of automatic classification of olive oil?

    According to the Spanish Technological Centre “Ainia”, this method allows us to provide a full spectral fingerprint of the key factors in the quality of olive oil. This application classifies oils quickly and accurately with both mill samples and the olive oil workshops so that the classification of the olive oil is done with clarity, maintaining the quality, identification and traceability.

    – How do you see the import of Tunisian olive oil?

    It was a European Commission proposal to increase by 35,000 tons the limit of duty-free imports from Tunisia. The impact on the market is virtually non-existent and this because a) 35 000 tonnes represent 1,5% of total production in the Mediterranean countries and b) it applies only to the years 2016-17.

    Ioannis Kampouris: The writer, professor and entrepreneur from Imvrian descent, knows the secrets of olive oil. So he created an olive oil full of flavors, aromas and memories that won prizes in international competitions.

    Article translated and provided by Ioannis Kampouris

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    VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
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    Despite the reduced production in Spain (850,000 tons) and the much smaller compared to the usual production of Italy (150,000 tons), the olive oil market of last year went smoothly because the high stocks and the overproduction of Tunisia compensated for the above reductions.... 
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  • Olive oil paying off for Sacramento area casino tribe

    The alfalfa fields, ranches and small, organic produce farms of the Capay Valley, located about an hour outside of Sacramento, California, have helped it earn a reputation for being an ideal location for agriculture. The serene setting is also the unlikely home of the Cache Creek Casino, the valley’s most lucrative business.

    Run by the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation of California, the casino sees a lot of traffic and has caused tension between local farmers and the tribe. That source of tension however, is the very reason the Yocha Dehe are able to fund its newest venture located across the rural highway; its own brand of olive oil. Along with the tribe’s olives, approximately 40 of the region’s growers process their own olives at the Yocha Dehe’s state-of-the-art facility using equipment imported from Florence, Italy.

    Since former Tribal Chairman Marshall McKay’s visit to the nearby University of California, Davis’ olive center about a decade ago, the Yocha Dehe tribe has advanced to the forefront of the industry. Only in its fifth year of production, the tribe grows, mills and markets its extra-virgin olive oil, which is used in more than 200 restaurants, including the Chez Panisse named best restaurant in America in 2001. Seka Hills, a premium version of the oil, can be found in upscale farmers markets and premium specialty shops.

    While the arbequina olives are new in the valley, the Yocha Dehe and other Native American groups are not. McKay says, “People, outsiders came into the valley: Gold Rush prospectors, cattle ranchers, soldiers.” His ancestors fled to the hills, but many were still massacred, according to KTOO. Tribes thrived in villages for thousands of years until European contact.

    Growing up in sever poverty and in single parent homes was the norm for the tribe, according to Yocha Dehe tribal secretary, James Kinter. Then in the 1980’s as laws governing Indian gaming began to loosen, the Yocha Dehe opened a bingo hall, and eventually a casino in 1985. The casino now averages 2,000 visitors a day and reportedly earns the tribe hundreds of millions of dollars annually.

    While new found wealth for the tribe, the casino and its development has caused concern for some of its neighbors regarding increased traffic on the rural roads and the tribes operating under different regulations than others in the valley. They are also concerned about future casino-related development and the impact it could have on the agricultural character of the valley. However, McKay says that tensions between the tribe and its farming neighbors have eased due to the opening of the olive mill and agricultural work being done by the Yocha Dehe.

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    The alfalfa fields, ranches and small, organic produce farms of the Capay Valley, located about an hour outside of Sacramento, California, have helped it earn a reputation for being an ideal location for agriculture. The serene setting is also the unlikely home of the Cache Creek... 
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  • A team of European scientists has developed a portable analyzer of pollutants in oil

    Biofos is a specific-target research program (STREP) co-funded by the European Commission under the 7th Framework Program.

    A team of European scientists has developed a portable analyzer of pollutants in oil, milk, nuts and dried fruit. The system, based on biosensors, photonics and microfluidics, seeks to simplify the analysis process providing instant results with a “simple and inexpensive” tool.

    The aim of Biofos is to develop a simple, fast, low-cost, sensitive, portable and reliable, screening tool for in-situ detection of food contaminations. The reusable biosensing system will be based on optical interference and lab-on-a-chip (LoC) technology. By combining the most promising concepts from the photonic, biological, nanochemical and fluidic parts of LoC systems, the BIOFOS system is targeting in the specific and highly sensitive detection of antibiotics, mycotoxins, insecticides and heavy metals in milk, olive oil and nuts.

    Thus, as reported by the Institute of Agrifood Research and Technology (IRTA), the developed device uses biosensors to identify, for the moment, seven contaminants in food sectors analyzed: metals (copper) pesticides (phosmet) in oil, antibiotics (penicillin and Aflotaxina M1) and lactose in milk; and mycotoxins (aflatoxin B1, ochratoxin A) in nuts.

    The system integrates several characteristics of a LoC (“Lab on a chip”), a small size device that allows several tests, so that a single device can detect various pollutants when functions.

    According to IRTA, the LoC also provides significant advantages over other techniques used until this date: it does not require hazardous reagents, in fact the biosensor can be reused up to 30 times and does not require specialized personnel.

    The project, which began in late 2013, is formed by a consortium of 10 partners from institutes and European companies specializing in research and innovation in photonics, biochemical and electrical engineering, and other technical specialties.

    IRTA participates as an expert in the product definition for end users, providing the link between scientific research and industry, as well as the validation of the technique at the analytical level. It is expected that by 2016 it will have a prototype to prepare the release of the Biofos system.

    In its opinion, the flexibility offered by this system can help improve food security, facilitating the control of contaminants throughout the production chain, especially in the buying and selling of raw materials and processing industries.

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    Biofos is a specific-target research program (STREP) co-funded by the European Commission under the 7th Framework Program. A team of European scientists has developed a portable analyzer of pollutants in oil, milk, nuts and dried fruit. The system, based on biosensors, photonics... 
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  • Olive Oil Lucca’s centuries-old traditions

    Beyond the medieval brick walls that enclose the Tuscan city of Lucca, the rolling rural hills are blanketed with acres of silver-leaved olive trees. The arrival of late autumn here signals the season of the olive harvest, as it has since the 1300s, when the city’s noble families first built vacation homes with farms and groves on the fertile slopes of the province, supplying their households with olive oil, wine and firewood throughout the year.

    There’s something persuasive about Lucca’s centuries-old traditions: Most of the area’s farmers are deeply committed to the land and to organic and biodynamic agriculture. “We’re returning to the old-fashioned techniques,” says Barbara Chelini, one of the four siblings running the Colle di Bordocheo farm. “In Lucca, we try to preserve everything as best we can.” She was born 100 yards from where her pickers rake olives from the trees into nets that cover the ground underneath, to be gathered up and cold-pressed under a mill wheel the same day. This season, Chelini is bottling around 2,000 liters of oil, most of which will sell immediately to local specialty stores and restaurants, to visitors to the farm and to locals placing Christmas orders.

    The oil of Lucca — grassy, herbaceous, with notes of artichoke and a peppery finish — is among the most prized in Italy, but limited production means that very little makes its way beyond the region. There are only small-batch farmers here, and their natural methods reduce output and carry more risks. Chelini sprays her plants with copper-infused water to prevent fungus — but that method proved an impotent defense against the olive fly invasion last year, which left every organic and biodynamic farm fruitless. This year’s warm, dry summer and the plentiful harvest that followed were cause for relief and celebration.

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    Beyond the medieval brick walls that enclose the Tuscan city of Lucca, the rolling rural hills are blanketed with acres of silver-leaved olive trees. The arrival of late autumn here signals the season of the olive harvest, as it has since the 1300s, when the city’s noble families... 
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  • The Renaissance of California Extra Virgin Olive Oil

    California olive oil producers are hard at work these days, with the olive harvest season currently under way. An unprecedented production of 4 million gallons of extra virgin olive oil is estimated for this year’s harvest, almost double what was produced last year.

    A sign that the California olive oil industry is here to stay – and grow. More than 75 olive varieties are grown in California over 35,000 acres, with an estimated 3,500 new acres to be planted each year through 2020, according to the California Olive Oil Council (COOC), the non-profit organization representing most of the roughly 400 olive oil producers in California. “California produces some of the best olive oil in the world,” said Patricia Darragh, the executive director of the COOC, whose mission is to promote the consumption of certified California extra virgin olive oil through consumer education. “With a perfect climate and modern technology, along with creativity and innovation, California olive oil can match or exceed the best.”

    Olive oil has been produced for millennia – not just as food, but also as medicine and beauty aid. Its health benefits are recognized worldwide. The olive tree is native to the Mediterranean basin; it was brought to California in the late 18th century, when Spanish missionaries planted olive trees at the missions they established between San Diego and Sonoma. By the mid-19th century, the California olive oil industry was thriving; however, it was dormant throughout much of the 20th century. In the last 15 years, the growing demand of Americans for quality extra virgin olive oil has boosted the industry, which can now position itself alongside the world’s leading producers of extra virgin olive oil in terms of quality.

    Vincent Ricchiuti, owner of Enzo Olive Oil Company. Photo credit: James Collier.
    “We’re entering the same competitions that Italian producers are entering – and we’re winning,” said Vincent Ricchiuti, the owner of Enzo Olive Oil Company, which, in just four years, has collected 67 awards for the quality of its extra virgin olive oil. Based in Madera, in the heart of California’s central San Joaquin Valley, the company, founded by Ricchiuti’s Italian grandfather in the early 20th century, planted its first olive trees in 2008 and collected its first harvest in 2011. All the equipment comes from an Italian company in Bari. “Approximately 98% of olive oil consumed in the U.S. is imported,” Ricchiuti said. “But not all the good olive oils from Italy make it to the U.S. We thought that if we could make a high-quality product, we could tap into the domestic market. Plus, we’re Italians, we have family and friends who make olive oil in Puglia, and love to have this connection to our roots.”

    Despite the recent accolades received by California extra virgin olive oil, many consumers appear reluctant to give it credit as they still associate authentic olive oil with the Mediterranean area, and especially Italy, known for producing some of the best extra virgin in the world. “I think we should be more inclusive,” said Rome-born Orietta Gianjorio, a member of the California Olive Oil Council Taste Panel, whose job is to make sure that the olive oils submitted to the COOC every year within a few months of harvest are free of defects in order to qualify as extra-virgin. “It is not a matter of California vs Italy; it is a matter of high quality vs low quality. California has been producing fantastic olive oils for years and it deserves respect by the international olive oil community. I think we (Italians) should give credit where credit is due. Italy has produced high-quality olive oils for centuries. In the last few decades, California has invested energy and has acquired state-of-the-art equipment to produce high quality olive oils. One thing does not exclude the other. To me, this is actually exciting! Inclusive and diverse, this is how the market should be.”

    Having options is especially important when you consider that extra virgin olive oil is one of the most widely counterfeited products, meaning it is often mixed with colorants and other less expensive oils – but the label does not tell you that. A widely cited 2010 report by the University of California at Davis (Olive Center) has found that 69% of imported “extra virgin olive oil” is not extra virgin at all, while only 10% of California is not. “When looking for a high quality olive oil, a bottle with the COOC seal is a guarantee of quality,” Darragh said.

    Here is where educating consumers and educating oneself can make a difference. “Consumers only have to put a little effort into reaching out to us and getting educated about what they feed to their family,” said Gianjorio. “This is not the time in history when one can buy food without researching. And, as the world of olive oil grows, I have one more tip for consumers: make sure you get educated, but also research the source of your information.”

    This year’s crop at Enzo Olive Oil is going to be the biggest, confirming predictions for a record production year. “If you take very good care of the tree, of the mill, of the harvest process, you’re going to make great olive oil,” Ricchiuti told me before getting back to its harvest. “The more we study and practice, the better we can be. This is just the beginning.”

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    California olive oil producers are hard at work these days, with the olive harvest season currently under way. An unprecedented production of 4 million gallons of extra virgin olive oil is estimated for this year’s harvest, almost double what was produced last year. A sign... 
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  • Tunisian Olive Oil to Be Labelled From 2016

    Tunisia’s flagship product, olive oil will be officially labelled from 2016, Director at the Technical Centre of Food Industry (CTAA) Narjes El Hammar said on Thursday.

    Speaking at a national seminar on olive oil held in Tunis, she added that the label will allow a better valuation of the olive growing sector and bring greater added value to the Tunisian product.

    It will also provide a comprehensive traceability system so as to impose the application of regulations and strengthen the confidence of olive oil consumers and buyers.

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    Tunisia’s flagship product, olive oil will be officially labelled from 2016, Director at the Technical Centre of Food Industry (CTAA) Narjes El Hammar said on Thursday. Speaking at a national seminar on olive oil held in Tunis, she added that the label will allow a better... 
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  • Italian olive oil producers accused of fraud

    Top Italian olive oil producers are under investigation for allegedly passing off lower-quality products as “extra virgin”, raising fresh concerns about allegations of consumer fraud in the industry.

    Turin police are examining whether seven companies – Carapelli, Bertolli, Santa Sabina, Coricelli, Sasso, Primadonna, and Antica Badia – have been selling virgin olive oil as 100% extra virgin.

    According to allegations in Italian press reports, an analysis of samples from all seven brands found that they did not meet EU labelling rules for extra virgin olive oil.

    One of the companies under investigation, Coricelli, said the inquiry was based entirely on taste tests by professional tasters that could not reliably discern whether the oil met industry standards.

    “The protested batch, before being sold on the market, had been carefully analysed either by the company or independently recognised laboratories and all the analysis confirmed compliance to the quality standards,” Coricelli said.

    The company promised to present the prosecutor investigating the case with counter-analysis to confirm that its behaviour was “fair and correct”. The other companies under investigation did not respond to requests for comment.

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    Top Italian olive oil producers are under investigation for allegedly passing off lower-quality products as “extra virgin”, raising fresh concerns about allegations of consumer fraud in the industry. Turin police are examining whether seven companies – Carapelli, Bertolli,... 
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  • John Kampouris: The olive oil market has enormous growth potential

    The writer, professor and entrepreneur Ioannis Kampouris from Imvrian descent, knows the secrets of olive oil. So he created an olive oil full of flavors, aromas and memories that won prizes in international competitions.

    The legacy of his grandparents becomes his standard for the uncompromising quality of E-LA-WON products.
    John Kampouris smWe are talking about extra virgin olive oil with fresh olive scent, which begins to conquer distinctions and awards in domestic and international quality competitions.
    Mr. Ioannis Kampouris’ motto is “dreams and quality know no borders. The olive oil market has enormous growth potential. ”

    Question: What are the hidden secrets of your product name?
    Answer: The name is the original syllabographic version of the word OIL = E-LA-WON in Linear B, the first version of the Greek Language, in the Mycenaean period from the 17th to the 13th century BC. The ideogram, shown in perspective-linear forms which are part of our logo, is visually readable.

    Question: So your product took you as far as Japan and Israel ?
    Answer: In the annual International Competition of Olive «OLIVE JAPAN» held in Tokyo in April 2015 by the Japan Link of Olive Oil Sommelier that brings the highest standards of integrity and professionalism and applies the strictest quality criteria, distinguished ELAWON as one of the excellent virgin olive oils and won the silver medal. We also won the gold medal at the Olive Oil World Contest «Terraolivo International Competition 2015» in June 2015, held in Israel.

    Question: And what about the packaging prize?
    Answer: In “7th Elaiotechnia 2015 Mediterranean exhibition of olive and olive oil ‘, the most comprehensive report on the olive sector in Greece, ELAWON won the Gold Packaging Award and got a praise for the overall image. The package is like a museum showcase andn it offers a day experience full of aesthetics, history and flavor.

    Question: Do these distinctions create responsibility?
    Answer: It works as an incentive for even greater distinctions in international competitions. We insist on the systematic work and on maintaining our quality standards of the E-LA-WON, like the aromas range, the unique flavors of the blessed Peloponnesian land. We respect the consumer and propose a timeless genuine product that encompasses our love and desire. Although we are young in the project, we have five generations of family tradition which goes back to 1858.

    Question: Did the crisis scare you?
    Answer: I am a writer, professor and businessman and was recently turned into somebody dealing with land and olive oil. What moved me to take this turn was a combination of memories, passion and sorrow. Memories of the olive trees of Imvros, which is Turkish now. An unforgettable childhood… The “Liostasi”, the oil mill in the village next to the stream, the smell of oil from the golden faucet, damp with all the scents of the island, the “sfides” with the oil of the year in the basement, this first oil-bread, called “ladopsomo” with salt and oregano, all these images made me, when I was away from the place of my homeland, convey all this tradition to my privately owned olive groves in the blessed land of the Peloponnese, in the eternal land of the Atreides.

    Question: What makes your product stand out?
    Answer: It is the same recipe handed down from generation to generation. A unique dining experience, the result of long experience and know-how, responsibility and respect of the human-consumer. Also its authentic taste, that of pure olive oil, exactly as it was 3500 years ago, from olives grown in mild ways, environmentally friendly, pesticide-free, chemical-free formulations and zero pollution index.

    Question: What is the variety of your product? What are the features available?
    Answer: Our oil olive is of the “Koroneiki” variety, the queen of the oil that is in the highest position in the value system of the Mediterranean gastronomy products. It is a result of “cold” export, with marvelous organoleptic properties, low acidity with fruity tomato leaf aromas and lemon flower, with subtle and spicy almond flavor and a slightly bitter aftertaste of the early harvest, as the harvest is done when the olives are painted with their best colour, the golden. It contains high amount of polyphenols – oleocanthal and oleacain- that contribute to the protection of blood lipids from oxidative stress.

    Question: Is the olive oil market in our country interesting?
    Answer: The “Liquid Gold of Greece” must be given the place it deserves in the stock of nutrition and health. We looked back to go forward and we built the E-LA-WON whose values excel in quality, taste and price. The product is produced in strictly limited quantities and will be available in delicatessen and selected luxury hotels in Greece, Norway, the United Arab Emirates, Germany and England while in the immediate plans is the development and distribution in the US and Russia.

    Question: And how does all this feel for the creator?
    Answer: “When you make it, you feel like an alchemist of nature, as it encapsulates bottled sunshine and the generosity of Greek olives and these waves of flavors that are emerging and dancing as if in a festival …”

    Article originaly was published here

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    The writer, professor and entrepreneur Ioannis Kampouris from Imvrian descent, knows the secrets of olive oil. So he created an olive oil full of flavors, aromas and memories that won prizes in international competitions. The legacy of his grandparents becomes his standard for... 
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  • Giving Olive Oil a Tasty New Purpose

    No longer just for dipping and drizzling, olive oil is a good fat in the creative hands of local chefs

    Tuna tartare with olive oil “caviar” at Picasso, and a cone of Gelatology’s olive oil gelato. | Photo by Krystal Ramirez

    Olive oil has come a long way since the stuff Vito Corleone used as a front for his family business. Between the estates that produce it, the harvest dates, the various flavor infusions and countless other factors, modern EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) experts can sound rather pretentious as they rattle off facts about their favorite oils. And with such diverse and high-quality products available, it’s not surprising that chefs are inventing more interesting uses for them. Here are a few dishes Don Corleone probably never would have imagined.

    Potato Puree

    Alizé chef Mark Purdy uses olive oil in his potatoes in lieu of milk and butter. The result is a smooth-but-firm take on mashed potatoes. Purdy says oils offer him something the traditional preparation cannot: the opportunity to subtly flavor the potatoes to accompany the entrée. In fact, he says the oil actually ends up being the star of the side dish. “The potato itself is kind of neutral,” he says. “So it’s just a way to get the oil’s flavor on the plate.” Included with entrée, the Palms, 702-951-7000, AlizeLV.com.

    “Caviar”

    Since Ferran Adria and José Andrés launched the molecular gastronomy craze, chefs have been scrambling to capture the essence of just about any ingredient they can think of in spherical encapsulations reminiscent of fish eggs. Swing by Artisanal Foods and you’ll find an entire shelf section dedicated to Caviaroli. Or, to see them in use, head to Picasso (Bellagio, 866-259-7111, Bellagio.com/Picasso), where chef Julian Serrano garnishes his tuna tartare with olive oil caviars because, Serrano says, “they add a nice oily component that has a little bit of bite.” $45/200 grams, $30/50 grams, 2053 E. Pama Lane, 702-436-4252, Artisanal Foods.com.

    Muffins

    Giada de Laurentiis has long been a proponent of baking with olive oil. In one entry on her official blog, GiadaWeekly.com, de Laurentiis noted that it was a healthier alternative to butter, and promised, “It gives cakes, muffins, and breads a melting tenderness, and makes them seductively rich and moist.” You can judge for yourself during the weekend brunch at her eponymous restaurant in the Cromwell, where she serves up EVOO-infused muffins in both banana and gluten-free blueberry varieties. $4 each, 702-777-3777, Caesars.com/Cromwell.

    Cake

    Giada isn’t the only chef to embrace the use of olive oil in baked goods. At Hearthstone Kitchen & Cellar, chef Brian Massie offers a moist, round honey olive oil sponge cake. The two main ingredients combine to create a sweet, smooth base that seems to coat the interior of your mouth—but in a good way. The topping of blood orange sorbet is almost superfluous on a cake this good, although a dollop of whipped cream complements it nicely. $9, Red Rock Resort, 702-797-7344, HearthstoneLV.com.

    Gelato

    Superstar gelato maker Desyree Alberganti has plenty of far-out flavors on the rotating menu at her new shop, Gelatology. In fact, once you’ve tried her jalapeño cornbread gelato, or the foie gras version, olive oil doesn’t even seem all that wild. And it’s not. On the contrary, it’s a comforting take on plain vanilla. But the oil gives this scoop something special, offering up mild hints of its underlying flavors, while adding an extra layer of “smooth” to the product. It may not be as flashy as some of its neighbors in the freezer, but has just as much to offer. $4-$8.50, 7910 S. Rainbow Blvd., 702-914-9144, Facebook.com/GelatologyLV. 

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    No longer just for dipping and drizzling, olive oil is a good fat in the creative hands of local chefs Tuna tartare with olive oil “caviar” at Picasso, and a cone of Gelatology’s olive oil gelato. | Photo by Krystal Ramirez Olive oil has come a long way since the stuff... 
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  • Making Japan’s award-winning Olive no Mori variety of olive oil

    Fresh harvest and worker on Shodoshima gathers olives that will be used to produce the award-winning Olive no Mori variety of olive oil produced by SHODOSHIMA HEALTHY LAND CO., LTD.

    When I first married, I stocked the pantry with a can of affordable Spanish olive oil sourced through a friend. But as time meandered along and finances became more secure, I began to buy better quality oil, until I was using an organic variety procured at our local flea market. Somewhere along the line, I also purchased a bottle of high-end Italian olive oil at an upscale Tokyo supermarket.

    One spring day I found myself home alone fixing a solitary dinner. I harvested a few heads of the gorgeous red oak leaf lettuce I had planted from seed, mashed some garlic in a mortar with a few pinches of Japanese sea salt, added some ground Tellicherry black pepper and splashed in my homemade red wine vinegar. What olive oil did I reach for to finish it? The high-end Italian.

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    Fresh harvest and worker on Shodoshima gathers olives that will be used to produce the award-winning Olive no Mori variety of olive oil produced by SHODOSHIMA HEALTHY LAND CO., LTD. When I first married, I stocked the pantry with a can of affordable Spanish olive oil sourced... 
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  • Restaurant meal ideas: Olive oil, black pepper coming to ice cream

    The combination of olive oil and ice cream emerged in 2015 as a handful of brands introduced this product to retail. Olive oil had already grown as a new ice cream trend in foodservice and among bloggers over the past few years.

    The olive oil idea stems from the rise of sea salt used in ice creams, as the number of global ice cream launches that featured sea salt as a flavor or ingredient tripled in the two years ending July 2015.

    As another savory flavor to offset the traditional sweetness of ice cream, black pepper, while not big at retail yet, is growing in popularity among small parlors, boutiques, and food trucks, which may inspire more manufacturers to pick up on the savory trend.

    Restaurant meal ideas are making their way to manufacturers and then retailers in less time now because of social media, Nestle USA’s Jeff Hamilton, president of prepared foods, told Food Dive earlier this year.

    “Where it used to take four to five years for an idea to go from one small restaurant in San Francisco or New York to being something that you might find on the shelves of Wal-Mart … today that can frequently happen in one to two years,” according to Hamilton.

    Hot new flavors for ice cream aren’t only relegated to small producers and boutique ice cream parlors.

    Ben & Jerry’s, under the Unilever umbrella, is creating craft beer ice cream, Salted Caramel Brown-ie Ale, in partnership with New Belgium Brewing.

    This will be the second collaboration between the two companies, as earlier this year, they released the ice cream’s complementary beer, Salted Caramel Brownie Brown Ale. The ice cream will hit retail in November and be on shelves through the holiday season.

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    The combination of olive oil and ice cream emerged in 2015 as a handful of brands introduced this product to retail. Olive oil had already grown as a new ice cream trend in foodservice and among bloggers over the past few years. The olive oil idea stems from the rise of sea salt... 
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  • Greek Extra-Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) & Greek Olives

    Nothing is more closely associated with Greek cooking than its delicious, excellent olive oil. Here are some basic facts about Greek olive oil:

    Most (more than 80%) Greek olive oil is extra virgin by nature.
    The country’s predominant oil olive is the small Coroneiki.
    Most groves are small and family owned, which means farmers tend to their trees, harvest their fruits, and extract their oil with great care.
    Greece is the third largest producer of olive oil in the Mediterranean and the first in consumption.

    Olive Oil Regions and Flavour Profiles

    Peloponnese General
    Oil from the Peloponnese is made predominantly with the Coroneiki olive, which imparts a deeply herbaceous tone to oil.

    Southern Peloponnese, Kalamata and the Mani: When made with pure Coroneiki olives these oils tend to be robust, with plenty of grassy tones, bitter almond skins and spicy pepper.
    Messinia, also in the Peloponnese, produces olive oil that is typically made with a mixture of Coroneiki and two other varieties, the local Manaki and the Athinolia, which result in a lighter oil, with more citrus and nutty tones.

    The Mani peninsula, further south, with its arid, rough terrain produces oil from the Coroneiki olive that is softer and gentler, but still with those characteristic herbaceous tones. This is a remote area which sticks to traditional methods and many of the oils are certified organic.
    Laconia, over the Taigetos mountains, offers more first-class oils with three PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) regions and a more general PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) for the whole region. The Greeks themselves praise the sweeter oils of Lygourio and Kranidi, also PDO areas, in the eastern Peloponnese, where the Manaki olive is dominant. These oils offer subtle aromas of apples and citrus fruits with only a touch of bitterness and pepper.

    Crete general
    Crete leads the islands in production and international presence and accounts for a large portion of total Greek olive oil production. Coroneiki dominates here as it does on the mainland but there are some local varieties such as Tsounati in Chania, Throumbalia in Rethymnon and Hondrolia in Heraklion and the taste and flavors of the oils are quite varied.

    Kolymvari
    On the western side of the island, swept by the sweet sea breezes of the coastline which lies but a few kilometers away, Kolymvari produces some of the fruitiest olive oils on the island, with grassy, apple, and lettuce overtones and a peppery bite.

    Sitia
    Situated on the opposite, eastern side of Crete, Sitia’s oils have been award winners at international competitions time and again over the past decade. These oils, also produced with the Coroneiki variety, tend to have a peppery finish, and to be buttery and herbaceous on the palate. Most production is in co-operatives but there are also a number of smaller producers who press excellent oils.

    Lesvos
    An island in the northeastern Aegean with approximately 87,000 inhabitants, Lesvos is home to 11 million olive trees, or about 126 trees per inhabitant. Almost one third of the island’s entire land mass is planted with olive trees. The trees are generally of two local olive varieties, the Kolovi, which accounts for 65% of production, and the Adramytiani, which accounts for about 30%.

    Needless to say, Lesvos, after the Peloponnese and Crete, is Greece’s most important olive oil producing region. The oil produced here tends to be a lighter, almost golden color, and not the emerald green color typical of Cretan and Peloponnese oils; it is light on the palate, with a mildly herbaceous aroma.

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    VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
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    Nothing is more closely associated with Greek cooking than its delicious, excellent olive oil. Here are some basic facts about Greek olive oil: Most (more than 80%) Greek olive oil is extra virgin by nature. The country’s predominant oil olive is the small Coroneiki. Most groves... 
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