News & Articles

  • Hurry to register for the next edition of the TerraOlivo EVOO International Contest

    The first deadline to register for the next edition of the TerraOlivo Extra Virgin Olive Oil International Contest will end on March 31st. According to the statements the organizers of the event to Mercacei, those interested in participating will have a discount before this date, while from April 1st the registration period will continue until May 31st.

    Specifically, in the case of the registration before March 31st the cost for each sample will be of 220 euros (compared to the price of 250 euros of the standard registration); while the registration will be free in the case of the design prize (being 40 euros after March 31st).

    The organization has pointed out that so far it has beaten a record of foreign samples entered (302 EVOOs without including Israeli juices). “At TerraOlivo, more than 70% of the samples come from abroad, which makes it the most international competition”, they underlined.

    The founder and organizer of TerraOlivo, Moshé A. Spak, is confident on reaching the number of samples received the previous year which amounted to 608 juices and has remarked that the contest will have six commissions made up of expert collectors from around the world.

    Among the objectives of these awards, held in June in Jerusalem, Spak highlights the promotion of the nutritional benefits of EVOO and its international market and consumption, as well as spreading the benefits of the Mediterranean Diet.

    TERRAOLIVO 2017
    Terraolivo MIOOC is the most important international Olive Oil competition in the area of the eastern Mediterranean and Asia, It is because of the number of samples growing annually and growing production areas, last edition with more than 629 samples from more than 60 production areas.
    Furthermore, it is important for the quality of its international judges, who are the best specialists in Tasting Olive Oil around the world, and key personalities in their origin countries.
    Terraolivo is one of five Key Extra Virgin Olive Oil Competitions in the world where your EVOO can not miss the participation, to try to get the Terraolivo Prestige Awards.

    We expect your Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

    TERRAOLIVO

    ENGEL 46/13
    KFAR SAVA 44444 – ISRAEL
    Persona de contacto: Moshe Spak
    Phone: (+972) 543969459
    Email: info@terraolivo.org

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    The first deadline to register for the next edition of the TerraOlivo Extra Virgin Olive Oil International Contest will end on March 31st. According to the statements the organizers of the event to Mercacei, those interested in participating will have a discount before this date,... 
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  • The Best Olive Oil Treatments for Hair and Skin

    Even though one of our skin experts might be rolling in her exam chair right now, we’re gonna go out on a limb here and say, sotto voce, we still love a good DIY—operative word being “good.” That being said, we’re sure even the strictest dermatologists and hairstylists could get behind a fairly innocuous, homemade olive oil treatment (though please patch test before dunking your head in—we don’t want any nasty reactions, do we?). Here, five easy, safe recipes from Maia Hirschbein, the oleologist at California Olive Ranch.

    Olive Oil Body Salve

    Mix equal parts olive oil, coconut oil, and shea butter. Melt 3 ounces of beeswax in a double boiler, heating slowly. Once melted, add the beeswax to the oil mixture. Test the texture of the salve by putting a small drop on a spoon in the freezer—add more wax to harden or more oil to loosen it. Once you’ve reached the desired texture, add essential oil. (Hirschbein likes grapefruit or peppermint.) For extra moisture, include 40 drops of vitamin E oil to heal cracked or super-dry skin.

    Combine 1/4 cup olive oil and 1/2 cup honey. Warm the mask in the shower or bathwater before using your fingers or a comb to work it into your hair, focusing on the ends. Tie up your hair, leave it in for up to an hour, then wash and dry like normal.
    Exfoliating Olive Oil Body Scrub

    Mix 1/2 cup sea salt, 1/2 cup olive oil, and your favorite essential oil. Gently rub on body, concentrating on dry areas, such as elbows and soles of the feet.

    Olive Oil Eye Makeup Remover

    Combine olive oil and aloe water in a glass jar you can seal tightly. Before using, shake the mixture to emulsify and apply using a cotton pad. Let it rest for a few seconds, then wipe for makeup-free and moisturized eyes.

    Calming Olive Oil Face Mask

    Mix together 1 tablespoon of olive oil, one tablespoon of warm honey, and one beaten egg. Once the mixture is emulsified, apply to your face with a facial brush or your hands, and let it sit for 15–30 minutes.

    source

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    Even though one of our skin experts might be rolling in her exam chair right now, we’re gonna go out on a limb here and say, sotto voce, we still love a good DIY—operative word being “good.” That being said, we’re sure even the strictest dermatologists... 
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  • Recipe: Chocolate Spice Olive Oil Cake

    INGREDIENTS:
    4 eggs
    1 cup sugar
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
    1 cup flour
    1/3 cup cocoa powder
    1 teaspoon instant espresso
    1 tablespoon baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon cinnamon
    1 teaspoon ground ginger
    1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
    1-2 tablespoons powdered sugar

    DIRECTIONS:
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

    In the bowl of a mixer blend the eggs and sugar until pale. Add vanilla and olive oil. Mix to combine. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, espresso powder, baking powder salt, and spices. Add to wet ingredients, blend until combined.

    Lightly oil a 9-inch springform pan. Pour in batter and bake in oven for about 40 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let cake cool completely. Dust top with powdered sugar.

    Source

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    INGREDIENTS: 4 eggs 1 cup sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil 1 cup flour 1/3 cup cocoa powder 1 teaspoon instant espresso 1 tablespoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1 teaspoon ground ginger 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg 1-2 tablespoons... 
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  • Spring Recipe: Braised Lamb With Egg, Lemon and Extra-virgin olive oil

    For a springtime stew, this classic Mediterranean lamb braise is perfect. Tart with lots of lemon juice and enriched with egg yolks, it’s especially good with succulent young lamb. For optimal flavor, it’s best to make the stew the night before. Most gourmet food shops and Italian delis sell fregola, a large couscous-like pasta from Sardinia.

    Ingredients

    4 pounds boneless lamb shoulder, cut in 3-inch pieces
    Salt and pepper
    Extra-virgin olive oil
    1 large onion, diced
    4 large garlic cloves, chopped
    2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    1 tablespoon tomato paste
    Pinch of saffron, crumbled (optional)
    ½ cup white wine
    4 cups good chicken broth
    2 sprigs thyme
    2 sprigs rosemary
    Bay leaf
    1 cup fregola, or use Israeli couscous
    4 egg yolks
    ½ cup lemon juice, plus 1 teaspoon lemon zest
    3 tablespoons chopped parsley
    3 tablespoons chopped celery heart leaves
    4 hard-cooked eggs (8 to 9 minutes) at room temperature, for garnish

    Directions:

    For a springtime stew, this classic Mediterranean lamb braise is perfect. Tart with lots of lemon juice and enriched with egg yolks, it’s especially good with succulent young lamb. For optimal flavor, it’s best to make the stew the night before. Most gourmet food shops and Italian delis sell fregola, a large couscous-like pasta from Sardinia.

    1.Position a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 400 degrees. Season lamb pieces generously with salt and pepper. Put 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottom soup pot over medium-high heat and brown the lamb lightly on each side. (Do this in batches so as not to crowd the pan.) Remove browned lamb from pan and set aside.

    2.Lower heat to medium, then add onions and cook until soft, allowing them to brown a bit, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic, flour, tomato paste and saffron, if using, and stir to coat the onions. Stir in wine and broth, then bring to a simmer. Add the browned lamb pieces, thyme, rosemary and bay leaf.

    3.Cover pot and place on the middle rack of the oven. Bake for 15 minutes, then lower heat to 350 degrees and cook for an additional hour. The meat should be meltingly tender when pierced with a paring knife or skewer.

    4.Remove lamb pieces with a slotted spoon. Strain cooking liquid through a fine-mesh sieve, then return lamb pieces and strained liquid to the pot. Taste and adjust seasoning. Cool to room temperature, then cover pot and refrigerate overnight; this makes removing the fat easier and improves the flavor.

    5.Remove the stew from the fridge and remove congealed fat. Place pot over medium heat and bring to a bare simmer.

    6.Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Cook fregola until al dente, about 8 to 9 minutes, drain and put into a large serving bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and drizzle with olive oil. Keep warm.

    7.Just before serving, whisk egg yolks and lemon juice together until well combined. Gradually whisk in some of the hot stew liquid to temper the eggs. Turn off the heat under the stew. Pour egg mixture back into the stew, stirring carefully with a wooden spoon. The sauce will thicken very slightly. Taste for seasoning. (Sauce may curdle if it gets too hot. If necessary, keep stew warm over a double boiler.)

    8.Transfer stew to a serving dish. Mix together parsley, celery heart leaves and lemon zest, and sprinkle abundantly over the stew. Garnish with peeled and halved hard-cooked eggs. Serve with fregola and, if desired, vegetables such as spring carrots, turnips, asparagus or peas.

    Recipe source

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    For a springtime stew, this classic Mediterranean lamb braise is perfect. Tart with lots of lemon juice and enriched with egg yolks, it’s especially good with succulent young lamb. For optimal flavor, it’s best to make the stew the night before. Most gourmet food shops... 
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  • Olive oil prices have risen up to 20% in the past two weeks

    Olive oil prices have risen up to 20% in the past two weeks as output has fallen in the main producing countries. Suppliers such as Cargill, Field Fresh and Borges may raise it further this year, which can hit demand.

    “Olive oil production in key producing nations like Italy, Greece and Tunisia has remained low. This has led us to correct olive oil prices in retail since the past fortnight by as high as 15% to 20%,” said Rajneesh Bhasin, MD at Borges India.

    According to him, Italy and Spain contributed 96% of total import of olive oil in the country.

    Bhasin said the current retail price of pomace oil, which was cheapest in the olive oil category, has seen a 15% increase and is selling at Rs 350-375 a litre, while extra light or refined oil is up 20% at Rs 650 a litre and extra virgin oil is up 15% at Rs 750 a litre.

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    Olive oil prices have risen up to 20% in the past two weeks as output has fallen in the main producing countries. Suppliers such as Cargill, Field Fresh and Borges may raise it further this year, which can hit demand. “Olive oil production in key producing nations like... 
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  • Movements in the prices paid to producers for extra virgin olive oil

    PRODUCER PRICES – OLIVE OIL
    Graph 1 tracks the weekly movements in the prices paid to producers for extra virgin olive oil in the top three EU producing countries and in Tunisia, while graph 3 shows the weekly changes in producer prices for refined olive oil in the three main EU producer countries.

    The monthly price movements for these categories are given in Graphs 2 and Extra virgin olive oil – Producer prices in Spain over the last few weeks continued increasing steadily to reach €3.85/kg at the end of February 2017, which was a 19% increase compared to the same period the previous year. If we compare this price with the maximum price in the third week of August 2015 (€4.23/kg), it presents a 9% decrease (Graph 1).

    Italy – Producer prices in Italy began rising in mid-August and this trend remains unchecked. They broke the €5 barrier in the first week of November, coming in at €6.07/kg at the end of February 2017, which is a 67% year-on-year increase.

    Graph 2 shows the movements in monthly prices for the extra virgin olive oil category in recent campaigns.

    Greece – The prices in Greece from mid-August to the end of October remained stable but, as in other markets, they levelled off in November and have remained stable over the last few months at €3.46/kg, which is a 15% increase compared to the same period the previous year.

    Tunisia – Prices in Tunisia, following some weeks of relative stability, increased as of the third week of January, breaking the €4 barrier and coming in at €4.08/kg at the end of February 2017 for a 17% year-on-year increase.

    Refined olive oil: The producer prices for refined olive oil in Spain and Italy generally follow the same trend as the prices for extra virgin olive oil. The price in Spain at the end of February 2017 stands at €3.73/kg, up by 25% compared to the previous year. In Italy it came in at €3.84/kg, which was a 22% year-on-year increase. No price data are available for this product category in Greece.

    At the end of February 2017, the price difference in Spain between refined olive oil (€3.85/kg) and extra virgin oil (€3.73/kg) was of €0.12/kg. In Italy the price difference between the two categories was greater at €2.23/kg (Graph 3).

    Source: International Olive Council MARKET NEWSLETTER No 113 – February 2017

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    PRODUCER PRICES – OLIVE OIL Graph 1 tracks the weekly movements in the prices paid to producers for extra virgin olive oil in the top three EU producing countries and in Tunisia, while graph 3 shows the weekly changes in producer prices for refined olive oil in the three main... 
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  • World trade in olive oil and table olives 2016/17 crop year

    OLIVE OIL- OPENING OF 2016/17 WITH A SHARP RISE IN IMPORTS
    Sales of olive oil and olive pomace oil open the 2016/17 crop year on a sharp upturn in certain markets. In the first three months (October–December 2016) the eight markets that appear in the table below present an increase of 74% in Australia, 51% in Brazil, 42% in China, 24% in Canada; 15% in Japan; and 1% in the United States, compared to the same period the previous year. At the time of publishing this Newsletter, figures for Russia are only available up to December 2016, presenting a 14% year-on-year increase.

    As regards EU1 trade in the first two months of the current crop year (October–November 2016), intra-EU acquisitions increased by 19% and extra-EU imports fell by 36% compared to the same period the previous year.

    TABLE OLIVES– 2016/17 CROP YEAR OPENING
    Trade in table olives in the first four months of 2016/172 (September–December 2016) in the five markets that appear in the table below show a year-on-year increase of 21% in Brazil; 11% in Australia, while there was no change in import levels in the United States. However, imports in Canada fell by 5%.

    In the first three months of the 2016/17 crop year (September–November 2016) EU data3 shows a 3% decrease in intra-EU acquisitions and a 6% increase in extra-EU imports compared to the same period the previous year.

    Source: International Olive Council MARKET NEWSLETTER No 113 – February 2017

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    OLIVE OIL- OPENING OF 2016/17 WITH A SHARP RISE IN IMPORTS Sales of olive oil and olive pomace oil open the 2016/17 crop year on a sharp upturn in certain markets. In the first three months (October–December 2016) the eight markets that appear in the table below present an... 
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  • Olive oil and olive pomace oil imports in China (+42% in the first months of 2016/17)

    Olive oil and olive pomace oil imports in China increased by 12% over the last crop year. As Graph I indicates, the olive oil market in China has grown steadily over the period 2001/02 – 2011/12), reaching a peak of 46 000 t in 2011/12.

    However, it then fell by 6% and 15% in 2012/13 and 2013/14, compared to the respective previous crop years. General stability was maintained in 2014/15 compared to the previous years, rallying to end the 2015/16 crop year with a 12% increase. Over the first 3 months of the current year (2016/17), imports of olive oil have undergone a strong increase of 42% (Graph II). Graph II tracks monthly imports and also shows the largest import volumes in the first months of the campaign (November, December and January), with a marked decrease in February.

    As regards the origin of olive oil imports to China, in the 2015/16 crop year, 96% of the total came from countries in the European Union, with Spain in the lead with 81% of the total, followed by Italy with 13% and Greece with 2%. The remaining 4% come from Australia, Tunisia,
    Morocco, Turkey and Portugal.

    As regards import volumes per product category, 77% of total imports come under the code 15.09.10 (virgin olive oils), followed by 14% under the code 15.10.00 (olive pomace oils) and 9% under code 15.09.90 (olive oils). Graph II – China – Monthly import trends of olive oil 2014/15–2016/17(t)

    Source: International Olive Council MARKET NEWSLETTER No 113 – February 2017

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    Olive oil and olive pomace oil imports in China increased by 12% over the last crop year. As Graph I indicates, the olive oil market in China has grown steadily over the period 2001/02 – 2011/12), reaching a peak of 46 000 t in 2011/12. However, it then fell by 6% and 15% in... 
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  • The consumption of olive oil protects our health

    Olive is a prime example of a monosaturated fat, as a fundamental component of the Mediterranean diet. It is not only a pleasantly flavoured cooking fat that enhances other foods, but there is ample evidence of its nutritional properties and health benefits and further scientific studies are currently under way to confirm its other benefits.

    Virgin olive oil is a natural juice that conserves the taste, fragrance, vitamins and properties of olives, being the only vegetable oil that can be consumed as it is produced, without chemical processing.

    Olive oil is principally made up of oleic acid, which constitutes approximately 75% of its components. It is also rich in vitamin A, D, K and especially in vitamin E, betacarotene and other antioxidants.

    Although it is a fat and therefore a calorie-rich food product (9 kilocalories per gramme), experience shows that populations that consume 60 g of olive oil a day are generally healthier and that its consumption as part of a balanced diet, substituting other less healthy fats, does not make consumers overweight.

    The World Health Organization projects that diabetes will be the seventh cause of death by 2030. A healthy diet such as the Mediterranean diet, rich in olive oil, has become one of the best options to prevent and control diabetes.

    Consuming olive oil improves the body’s metabolic functions and it brings glucose levels down by 12% in healthy people. As an antioxidant, olive oil helps to slow cell aging. Various studies report that olive oil reduces the risks of heart disease and various types of cancer, as well as helping to keep blood pressure low and alleviating arthritis.

    Among its other properties, it helps digestion, the absorption of calcium and it improves the appearance of skin.

    Source: International Olive Council MARKET NEWSLETTER No 113 – February 2017

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    Olive is a prime example of a monosaturated fat, as a fundamental component of the Mediterranean diet. It is not only a pleasantly flavoured cooking fat that enhances other foods, but there is ample evidence of its nutritional properties and health benefits and further scientific... 
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  • Recipe: Crostini make Oscar-worthy snacks

    Pear and Blue Cheese Crostini with Balsamic Cream, Nuts and Olive Oil

    Set the baguette slices on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Brush each slice lightly with olive oil. Bake the crostini, seven to eight minutes, or until lightly toasted. Crostini can be made a few hours before topping. Cover and keep at room temperature until needed.

    Sweet and smoky fruit, tangy cheese and rich walnuts combine in these crostini. Those items are drizzled with balsamic cream. It is syrupy, reduced balsamic vinegar found at specialty food stores and in the deli section or vinegar aisle of most supermarkets.

    Preparation: 20 minutes
    Cooking time: a few minutes
    Makes: 12 crostini

    Ingredients

    1 medium, slightly under-ripe pear
    2 tsp lemon juice
    2 tsp olive oil, plus some for the grill (suggested Extra Virgin Olive Oil OLIORAMA)
    12 crostini
    12 thin slices blue cheese, each large enough to fit the top of the crostini (see Note)
    12 walnut or pecan halves
    • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    • balsamic cream, to taste
    12 small rosemary or Italian parsley sprigs (optional)

    Instructions

    Preheat an indoor grill or barbecue to medium-high. Quarter pear lengthwise and remove core. Now cut each quartered pear, lengthwise, into three wedges. Toss pear slices with lemon juice and 2 tsp olive oil. Oil the bars of your grill. Grill the pears about 30 seconds per side, and then set on a plate.

    Set crostini on a serving platter. Top each with a slice of cheese, pear wedge and a walnut or pecan half. Sprinkle with pepper and drizzle with a little balsamic crema. If desired, garnish crostini with a small rosemary or parsley sprig, and then serve.

    Note: Don’t care for blue cheese? Then top crostini with Brie, mascarpone or goat cheese.

    How to make crostini

    To make the crostini, toasted pieces of bread, for today’s recipes, I started with a baguette about two and half to three inches wide, a size that will yield bite-sized crostini. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Slice the baguette, widthwise, into thin slices, stopping when you have the number of crostini you’ll need. Just so you know, a two-foot long baguette will yield about 60 crostini.


    Hummus, Olive and Feta Crostini

    Mediterranean-style bites you can quickly make with store-bought hummus.

    Preparation: 15 minutes
    Cooking time: none
    Makes: 12 crostini

    Ingredients

    12 crostini
    3/4 cup store-bought or homemade hummus
    1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
    6 pitted black olives, each quartered
    • extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling (suggested Extra Virgin Olive Oil OLIORAMA)
    • finely grated lemon zest, to taste
    • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    • fresh oregano leaves, to taste

    Instructions

    Set crostini on a serving platter, and then divide and spread with the hummus. Top each crostini with some feta cheese and two quarter pieces of olive. Drizzle and top each crostini with a little olive oil, grated lemon zest, pepper and oregano leaves, and serve.

    source 

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    Pear and Blue Cheese Crostini with Balsamic Cream, Nuts and Olive Oil Set the baguette slices on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Brush each slice lightly with olive oil. Bake the crostini, seven to eight minutes, or until lightly toasted. Crostini can be made a few hours... 
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    There could be another worldwide olive oil crisis looming

    Heavy rains and the olive fly have decimated Southern Europe’s crop of olives, dropping the region’s output of olive oil and pushing prices through the roof.

    A worldwide olive oil shortage may be looming, but this time nobody will have to weather long lines at the gas station. They’ll just have to pay more for olive oil. Bad weather and a pesky insect have all but decimated this year’s olive crop in Southern Europe, which produces more than 70 percent of the world’s olive oil and generated $2.2 billion in 2013.

    Italy alone produces about 442,000 tons (401,000 tonnes) of olive oil annually. But the Italian olive harvest recently took a beating when early rains knocked the buds off the trees, decreasing its yield. Next came an infestation of Bactrocera oleae, more commonly referred to as the olive fly. The destructive insect devastated Italy’s crop from the inside out. Italian oil producers are expected to produce only 290,000 tons of oil this year, far below 2016’s 470,000 tons (426,000 tonnes).

    “It’s really bad,” Borri says. “These Italian companies are going to lose a lot of revenue this year. There is not enough production. The price for extra virgin olive oil is crazy; a 13 to 14 percent increase. The price changes every day.”

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    Heavy rains and the olive fly have decimated Southern Europe’s crop of olives, dropping the region’s output of olive oil and pushing prices through the roof. A worldwide olive oil shortage may be looming, but this time nobody will have to weather long lines at the... 
    Read More →
  • Italian police said they have busted a crime ring exporting fake EVOO to the United States

    talian police said they have busted a crime ring exporting fake extra virgin olive oil to the United States, highlighting the mafia’s infiltration of Italy’s famed agriculture and food business.

    Twelve people with links to the ‘Ndrangheta, the organized crime group based in the southern Calabria region, were arrested on Tuesday on a series of charges including mafia association and fraud, police said in a statement.

    The gang shipped cheap olive pomace oil to the U.S. where it was re-labeled as the more expensive “extra virgin” variety, prized for its rich taste and health benefits, and distributed as such to retail stores in New Jersey, they said.

    Italian crime syndicates earned an estimated 16 billion euros ($16.85 billion) in 2015 through illegal activities in the agriculture sector, up from 15 billions in 2014, according to Italy’s agricultural association, Coldiretti.

    Besides counterfeiting products, gangs make money seizing control of farmland and firms, fixing prices, controlling distribution and through labor exploitation, studies say.

    In 2015, crime groups forced more than 100,000 Italians and migrants to work long hours for little pay in fields across the country, according to a report by Italian General Confederation of Labor union (CGIL).

    Police said they found no evidence of labor exploitation linked to the fake olive oil scheme, which saw at least ten tonnes of low quality oil, in some cases past sell-by date, sent to the United States.

    Pomace oil is extracted from olive pulp left-over from the production of higher quality oils using chemical solvents.

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    talian police said they have busted a crime ring exporting fake extra virgin olive oil to the United States, highlighting the mafia’s infiltration of Italy’s famed agriculture and food business. Twelve people with links to the ‘Ndrangheta, the organized crime... 
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  • Gastronomia Toscana with a new restaurant in the heart of Manhattan

    A restaurant in the heart of Manhattan, where the Tuscan tradition can be tasted and breathed, surrounded by a modern and comfortable environment. The new generation at the head of Gastronomia Toscana in the last year, after a thorough market analysis, developed a strong brand strategy and started an action of rebranding, which involved logo, packs, and corporate website.

    Gastronomia Toscana, which has been on the market of fresh products for 30 years, emphasizes its role as a corporate brand, after a long analysis of the market, with the signature on all product brands and a major restyling, from the logo to packaging, to meet the needs expressed by consumers who are increasingly attentive and sensitive.

    Gastronomia Toscana was born in 1985 in Prato thanks to the intuition the three brothers Franco, Marcello and Giovanni Tempestini had at that time. It is present on the market with its historic line of appetizers, sauces and ready first courses with Gastronomia Toscana brand; with the line of first courses and gourmet sauces with ‘Piccoli Lussi Quotidiani (Small Daily Luxuries)’ brand, realised in collaboration with chef Gianfranco Visscher; with the line of ready meals for coffee bars with ‘Siamo pronti (We are ready)’ brand. In the last few years ‘Mi garba (I like it)’ brand was added. The last one is the great challenge on the US market.

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    A restaurant in the heart of Manhattan, where the Tuscan tradition can be tasted and breathed, surrounded by a modern and comfortable environment. The new generation at the head of Gastronomia Toscana in the last year, after a thorough market analysis, developed a strong brand... 
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  • New study: For a Healthy Heart, add a little Olive Oil

    The effectiveness of the Mediterranean diet isn’t really up for debate anymore—at this point, it’s more a question of how to tweak it, and home in on what the active ingredients are. (For example, the MIND diet is a science-based variant of the Mediterranean diet, developed purely from what the research has shown.) Now, a new study looks at whether olive oil or nuts do more for cholesterol in people at high risk of heart disease, since both have been shown to have significant heart benefits in the past, and both contain healthy fats. The short answer is that olive oil seems to do more for cholesterol, but nuts are not without their own benefit.

    High-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol is considered the “good” cholesterol, since it clears less healthy forms of cholesterol from the blood. But it hasn’t been shown to function so well in people who are at higher risk of heart disease. “At the same time, small-scale trials have shown that consuming antioxidant-rich foods like virgin olive oil, tomatoes and berries improved HDL function in humans,” said study author Montserrat Fitó in a news release. “We wanted to test those findings in a larger, controlled study.” The authors underline that how well HDL functions is at least as important as how much of it you have.

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    The effectiveness of the Mediterranean diet isn’t really up for debate anymore—at this point, it’s more a question of how to tweak it, and home in on what the active ingredients are. (For example, the MIND diet is a science-based variant of the Mediterranean diet, developed purely... 
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  • Bad harvests in Europe and fake olive oil raise the question, are you getting the real deal?

    Olive oil is a staple ingredient in many Mediterranean dishes, yet the source for the highest quality olive oil these days may be thousands of miles from Europe and the Middle East.

    The countries best known for olive oil — Italy, Spain and Greece — have had bad harvests this year from unruly weather, Bloomberg recently reported, and the prices for olive oil have jumped in response. Meanwhile, California has been steadily increasing its olive oil manufacturing, and implemented strict standards for the oil. “More and more people are aware of the high standards we have and embracing locally produced products,” said Patricia Darragh, executive director of the California Olive Oil Council based in Berkeley, a trade association with a seal certification for local farmers.

    More domestic players are joining the U.S. olive oil production business, which has seen a 9.2% increase in revenue over the past five years, and demand and revenue are expected to continue to rise through 2021, though at a slower pace, according to research firm IBISWorld. California alone makes up more than 99% of U.S. olive oil production, according to the California Olive Oil Council.

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    Olive oil is a staple ingredient in many Mediterranean dishes, yet the source for the highest quality olive oil these days may be thousands of miles from Europe and the Middle East. The countries best known for olive oil — Italy, Spain and Greece — have had bad harvests this... 
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  • Olive Oil Prices are going through the roof

    Hoarding oil of a new kind after terrible harvests in Italy, Spain and Greece. Now erratic weather in Spain and Italy, the world’s biggest producers, is rippling through global olive oil markets, and it’s about to get worse. Prices for extra virgin olive oil in Italy have soared almost one-third since October to €5.75 ($6.15) a kilogram, while Spanish costs jumped about 10%, according to the International Olive Council in Madrid. The forecasters at Mintec Ltd. in England see room for even further gains.

    Nowhere is the surge felt more than Britain. Thanks to the Brexit-induced collapse of the pound, olive oil is the most expensive it’s been in at least seven years. Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver is closing six of his Italian restaurants around the country after the currency’s crash drove up costs.

    “Olive oil is expensive and very much in the hands of nature,” said Oliver. “The really good stuff is worth every penny. You pretty much charge the oil per tablespoon, like you would foie gras or caviar.”

    Chef Ben Tish, who runs Salt Yard, a Spanish and Italian tapas restaurant in central London, says he normally buys 100 liters of olive oil per week to drizzle over charcoal grilled flat breads,whip into alioli, and pour into a polenta cake batter. His price rose 13% to £26 ($32.70) for five liters, from £23 over the past three months.

    Prices have become more volatile because of erratic weather in the past few years, and global production is set to drop about 8% this season, according to Bourne End, England-based Mintec.

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    Hoarding oil of a new kind after terrible harvests in Italy, Spain and Greece. Now erratic weather in Spain and Italy, the world’s biggest producers, is rippling through global olive oil markets, and it’s about to get worse. Prices for extra virgin olive oil in Italy... 
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  • Olive Fruit Extract shows promise for consumers at risk of arterial stiffness

    A study on a standardized olive fruit extract shows promise for consumers at risk of arterial stiffness, as measured by a reduction in triglycerides. The extract showed less effect when measured with a vascular index.

    In a recent study published in the journal Drugs R&D, a standardized olive fruit extract (Proliva, supplied by Euromed) improved scores on an arterial measurement index as well as in measurements of mean triglyceride for the higher dosage group.The authors noted that arterial stiffness is an important risk factor for cardiovascular disease and mortality. The researchers chose to measure this with something called the Cardio-Ankle Vascular Index, a measurement tool that has been gaining traction among cardiovascular researchers. The index, which was first proposed in 2008, derives a stiffness parameter by plotting the natural logarithm of systolic-diastolic pressure ratio against the arterial wall extensibility.According to a 2013 review paper , the index has the advantage of being theoretically independent of blood pressure, as higher pressure naturally would put more stress on the arterial wall and cause it to appear to be more stiff. “CAVI has been widely applied clinically to assess arterial stiffness in subjects with known cardiovascular diseases including those with diagnosed atherosclerosis, coronary heart disease, and stroke as well as those at risk, including those with hypertension, diabetes, the elderly, and the obese,” the authors of the 2013 paper wrote.

    Modest benefit showing need for more research
    In the most recent olive extract study, the Euromed researchers divided 36 subjects in the double-blind, placebo-controlled study into three groups, one receiving 250 mg of the extract daily, which delivered 50 mg of the active ingredient, hydroxytyrosol, a 500 mg dose (100 mg of hydroxytyrosol) or a placebo. The subjects, who were all between the ages of 45 and 65, were followed for 11 days.Measurements at the end of the study showed no statistical differences between the groups in the CAVI measurement, with all three improving slightly. The authors said that a larger-scale, longer term study could better define the placebo effect, but did note that the high dose extract group did show the biggest improvement in the measure of blood triglyceride levels, and had the largest CAVI improvement, which they said showed a trend toward “improved arterial elasticity”. More research could better define this benefit, they said. The researchers also included a Visual Analog Scale (VAS) questionnaire portion of the study, looking at various parameters of ‘energy,’ including tiredness, fatigue and appetite, by which it was determined that the extract was well tolerated.

    Article sources:nutraingredients-usa and pmc

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    A study on a standardized olive fruit extract shows promise for consumers at risk of arterial stiffness, as measured by a reduction in triglycerides. The extract showed less effect when measured with a vascular index. In a recent study published in the journal Drugs R&D,... 
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