“Let Your Food Be Your Medicine, Let Your Medicine Be Your Food”.
Olive oil is not an ingredient that its primary use is limited in the kitchen. Its use expands to cosmetics and to medicine. The Department of Biology and the Department of Medicine of the University of Crete, in a research, lead into the development of a new medicine, that has positive effects against cold and flu, and it is made with olive oil and herbs.
Three of the island’s herbs and olive oil have been used for the manufacturing of this wonderful medicine. In the island of Crete, the gifts from Mother Earth are used frequently to fight illness. In connection with the oleocanthal in extra virgin olive oil, the pharmaceutical industry has gained a winning new player.
Another study at the University of Crete allowed researchers to manufacture a filter which holds the residue from the olive oil’s extraction process, the phenols. The phenols are high quality antioxidants which with the right process, can be used in the food industry as beneficial ingredients.
Oleocanthal and oleacein which are both derivatives of hydroxytyrosol and tyrosol are the key compounds in extra virgin olive oil that protect health. The hydroxytyrosol and its derivatives protect the blood lipids from oxidative stress. These special characteristics highlight the benefits of the olive oil to stand out.
In the year 2012 Dr. Prokopios Magiatis and Dr. Eleni Meliou at the University of Athens discovered a tool to measure the oleocanthal and oleacein accurately. Using the Nuclear Magnetic Resonance method (NMR) on a number of Greek extra virgin olive oils tested, high levels of oleocanthal and oleacein were found.
This claim published on the label, would be a great win for the Greek olive growers who are marketing Greek olive oil globally, based on its health benefits. This also is going to be a blessing for the Greek olive growers who are struggling to survive due to bad governmental policies applied for years. Consumers also will benefit from this tool, based on the identified amounts of polyphenols.
The NMR method will help olive growers to highlight their product and consumers to get the kind of extra virgin olive oil they are looking for.