Greece Flip-Flops on EVOO Labeling

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Last year Dr. Prokopios Magiatis and Dr. Eleni Melliou from the Athens University announced their discovery of a new fast and accurate tool to measure key health promoting compounds found in extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) such as oleocanthal and oleacein. Using Quantitive 1H-NMR (Nuclear Magnetic Resonance) calibrated to specific frequency the amount of these two compounds found in EVOO can be accurately measured.
At the same time, the EU clarified the use of health claims placed on the labels of extra virgin olive oils that contained a base amount of hydroxytyrosol and its derivatives: ”Olive oil polyphenols contribute to the protection of blood lipids from oxidative stress.”

The regulation further stipulated, “The claim may be used only for olive oil which contains at least 5 mg of hydroxytyrosol and its derivatives (e.g. oleuropein complex and tyrosol) per 20 g of olive oil. In order to bear the claim information shall be given to the consumer that the beneficial effect is obtained with a daily intake of 20 g of olive oil.”

Using the NMR method of measurement, tests were conducted on a variety of Greek EVOOs. Many were found to contain high levels of oleocanthal and oleacein. Olive growers were eager to publicize their results and sought to get an opinion from the Greek authorities on whether the measuring of oleocanthal and oleacein was sufficient to make the above health claim on the label based on the EU Regulation 432/2012. Read full article at OliveOilTimes

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