RECIPE: Do-it-yourself olives

by THE WEEKEND COOK with Maggie Cooper

OLIVES are very much an acquired taste, one that, thankfully, I learned to enjoy quite a few years ago. We grow terrific olives here in Australia. Our country has so many different climates in so many areas that there are few crops we cannot manage here once good farming practices are applied.
I often wonder how we first discovered olives were edible; the raw fruit is not thanks to a bitter compound called oleuropein. Depending on the age and variety of the fruit it can be leached out by splitting the olives and soaking them in water – changed daily – for a length of time (up to a month). Other varieties need to be cured by one of several methods using salt, brine or lye. So it’s quite a process to convert them to the tasty nibble we enjoy with drinks, on pizzas or as an addition to many Mediterranean recipes. I like to buy a good brand of Aussie olive and then marinate them myself. They are delicious served warmed with pre-dinner drinks. Just about any of your favourite herbs and spices can be used. My personal choices are thyme, rosemary, garlic, nigella (black cumin) seeds and a little dried chilli. Feel free to experiment: oregano, sage, marjoram, regular cumin seeds, mustard seeds, mandarin peel, and peppercorns are alternatives.

doityourself
Warm herbed olives
Serves 4

INGREDIENTS: 2 cups cured mixed olives
1/4 cup cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil
zest of a small lemon
2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
3 tsp fresh thyme leaves
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
1 tsp fennel or nigella (black cumin) seeds (optional)
1 tsp dried chilli flakes (optional)

METHOD: Drain brine from olives and discard.
In a small saucepan, combine oil, lemon zest, garlic and herbs, reserving one sprig of rosemary for garnish.
Add fennel or nigella seeds and chilli flakes if using.
Heat oil over a medium heat until garlic just starts to colour; don’t allow it to brown as it will become bitter.
Remove from heat and stir in the olives.
Cover and allow to sit for at least 15 minutes, preferably overnight.
Reheat gently before serving.
Contact Maggie at maggies.column@bigpond.com

(Source: https://www.chinchillanews.com.au)

OLIVE YOU

European Table Olives: Showcasing Superior Quality And Taste

olive youThe Panhellenic Association of Table Olives Processors, Packers and Exporters (PEMETE) has presented its ‘OLIVE YOU, European Table Olives’ campaign in the USA.

The campaign is a three-year promotional programme co-funded by the European Union, which aims to increase the awareness and demand for European table olives of both professionals and consumers as well as to develop exports in the target markets of USA and Canada.

The ‘OLIVE YOU, European Table Olives’ campaign was launched at the Summer Fancy Food Show, the largest food and beverage trade show in North America, held this year in New York on June 25-27, with more than 40,500 registered participants.

Under the umbrella of the Olive You campaign, PEMETE and seven of its member companies participated in this important international food show, highlighting the superior quality and high standards of European table olives.

Campaign Launch

Over 2,000 distributors and HoReCa sectors visited the ‘OLIVE YOU, European Table Olives’ booths and were presented with European Table Olives varieties and informed about their superior quality and flavours. They also had the opportunity to taste this healthy product.

olive-you-european-table-olives-showcasing-superior-quality-and-tasteIn addition, 200 participants completed campaign questionnaires aiming to provide insights about the American consumers current perception about this food product.

Following the event, the three-year ‘OLIVE YOU, European Table Olives’ campaign in the US and Canada will approach journalists, chefs, foodies, retailers and consumers of all ages, through promotional activities, events, sampling, and publicity, in order to familiarise the public with this natural and delicious food product.

PEMETE is a professional association, founded in 1970, that promotes the interests of table olive exporters. The 46 member-companies of PEMETE represent more than 90% of Greece’s exports of table olives to more than 100 countries.

(Source: https://www.esmmagazine.com)

US-Handelsministerium nimmt sich spanische Oliven vor

Zwei US-Produzenten behaupten in einer Klage, dass spanische Oliven um bis zu 200 Prozent unter Marktwert verkauft werden. Das US-Handelsministerium will den “unfairen Handel” stoppen.

oliven_1500025337079693Nach Holz aus Kanada und Zucker aus Mexiko nimmt die US-Regierung jetzt spanische Oliven ins Visier. Das Handelsministerium in Washington teilte am Donnerstag mit, es habe eine Untersuchung gestartet, ob Olivenimporte aus Spanien “unfair subventioniert” sind. Das Ministerium gehe damit einer Klage von zwei US-Olivenproduzenten nach.

Sie behaupten, dass spanische Oliven in den USA bis zu 200 Prozent unter Marktwert verkauft werden.

Handelsminister Wilbur Ross erklärte, die Regierung werde “rasch handeln, um jeglichen unfairen Handel zu stoppen”. Bis zum 7. August will das Ministerium entscheiden, ob Unternehmen und Beschäftigte in den USA tatsächlich geschädigt werden. Ab September könnte die Regierung vorläufige Strafzölle gegen spanische Oliven verhängen, im November dann endgültige.

Oliven-Exporte in Höhe von 71 Millionen Dollar

Spanien exportierte im vergangenen Jahr Oliven im Wert von knapp 71 Millionen Dollar (62 Mio. Euro) in die USA, wie das Ministerium mitteilte. Es handelte sich um “alle Farben, alle Formen, alle Größen” von reifen, verpackten Oliven. “Spezial-Oliven” etwa für den Martini gehören nicht dazu, auch mit Knoblauch oder Käse gefüllte Oliven nicht.

Die USA streiten sich bereits mit Kanada um den Import von Nadelbaumhölzern und den Export von US-Milchprodukten dorthin. Der Zuckerstreit mit Mexiko ist mittlerweile beigelegt – der Preis für Zucker aus Mexiko, der in die USA geliefert wird, wurde leicht angehoben.

US-Präsident Donald Trump hat auch in der Handelspolitik die Parole “Amerika zuerst” ausgegeben. Die Regierung will mehrere Freihandelsabkommen neu verhandeln. Multilaterale Abkommen mit vielen Mitgliedsländern sieht sie kritisch.

(Source: http://diepresse.com)

Are Spanish olive producers playing dirty on trade? Trump administration investigates

By Jackie Wattles
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — The Trump administration is taking its fight for American trade to the market for Spanish olives.

commodity trading 2The U.S. Department of Commerce said Thursday that it’s launching investigations into whether Spanish olive producers are violating fair trade laws. Investigators are concerned that the foreign producers are “dumping” olives into the U.S. — meaning Spanish olives are selling in the United States for less than they would sell for in Spain. That goes against laws that seek to protect American producers from being unfairly undercut by outside competition. It’s not a big market: About $70.9 million worth of Spanish olives were imported to the United States last year, according to the Commerce Department. Officials are working to determine whether olive dumping is taking place, and whether “olive producers in Spain are receiving alleged unfair subsidies,” the department said.
According to Commerce, the petitioner is the Coalition for Fair Trade in Ripe Olives, whose members are Bell-Carter Foods and Musco Family Olive Co. Bell-Carter CEO Tim Carter said in a June press release that “dumped and subsidized Spanish ripe olives are severely impacting” his business. He added that when the American olive industry was at its peak, there were 20 olive processors and 1,100 growers, but today there’s only two processors and 890 growers. Felix Musco, CEO of Musco Family Olive Co., has called the olive industry’s decline “painful.” “Our ripe olive industry takes great pride in the industry it created, the high quality of its product, and the thousands of workers and families the industry supports. Without import relief, all of this is at risk,” he said in a June statement. If wrongdoing is found, and if the International Trade Commission determines that U.S. producers were harmed, the Commerce Department promised it “will act swiftly to halt any unfair trade practices,” Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in a statement. Specifically, the U.S. government plans to impose taxes on Spanish olive imports “in the amount of dumping and/or unfair subsidization found to exist.” Bell-Carter and Musco have suggested those tariffs should be between 78% and a whopping 223%. The Commerce Department said it plans to have the first round of preliminary investigation results by later this year. commodity trading 1The move marks the 51st fair trade investigation that the administration has launched since President Trump took office in January, the Commerce Department said. One of those probes seeks to uncover illegal steel trading. Trump doubled down Thursday on his threats to slap a hefty tariff on steel, citing “dumping” concerns. As Trump steps up his tough actions to protect U.S. producers, some economists and business people are worried about possible retaliation from other countries. A report earlier this month by the Centre for Economic Policy Research, which is based in London, suggested that America’s biggest trade partners have taken far fewer protectionist measures against U.S. business so far this year.

–CNNMoney’s Ivana Kottasová and Patrick Gillespie contributed to this report

TM & © 2017 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

(Source: http://www.wnem.com)

Secrets of One of the World’s Healthiest Villages

Pioppi, Italy is known as the world’s healthiest village because many of its residents live past the age of 100. What are the factors responsible for their remarkable longevity? A leading doctor in Britain revealed their secrets.

The villagers have a diet of whole natural foods comprised of things that are in season and available according to the local climate.– Kathy Gruver

Imagine living in a community where the average man lives to be 89 and many reach the 100-year mark. Picture what it would be like to enjoy one’s golden years without dementia or type 2 diabetes, maladies that are an integral part of aging in the rest of the world. After hearing about Pioppi, cardiologist Aseem Malhotra became fascinated with discovering what diet kept the residents so healthy and what lessons could be learned from them.

After studying the village, Malhotra developed a formula for optimal health. For starters, the Pioppians have a very low sugar intake, eating it only once per week. It is this dietary practice that the doctor considers essential for their good health. He contends that western society’s fear of fat is to blame for the high consumption of sugar and refined carbohydrates. Malhotra attributes these foods as the cause of the widespread incidence of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and obesity.


Pioppi has received notoriety because it’s known as the home of the Mediterranean diet. As the villagers have no supermarket, their diet consists largely of vegetables, olive oil and fish. They also eat cheese, but other dairy products aren’t available. Pasta and bread are consumed in small quantities. In addition to sugar, their diet is low in meat and refined carbohydrates.

Other lifestyle practices aside from a healthful diet play a role. The villagers get seven hours of sleep per night and experience freedom from much stress. Although it isn’t intentional, intermittent fasting is a natural part of their lives. They don’t engage in exercise per se, but they’re very active.

Malhotra is the coauthor of a new book, The Pioppi Diet: A 21-Day Lifestyle Plan. Below are his top recommendations for vibrant health and longevity based on the Pioppians:

• Don’t fear fat; sugar and refined carbs are the enemies.
• Keep moving. Exercise for health, not weight loss (and walking is best).
• Extra virgin olive oil is medicine, as is a small handful of nuts – eat both, every day.
• Get seven hours of sleep a night.
• Stop counting calories because not all are created equal.
• Eat 10 eggs a week. They’re satiating and full of protein.
• Have two portions of vegetables in at least two meals a day.
• Fast once a week for 24 hours. Have dinner, then don’t have breakfast or lunch the next day.

While Malhotra is an allopathic doctor, his advisories are in line with tenets of naturopathic medicine. Olive Oil Times sought out the perspective of Kathy Gruver, natural health author, speaker and practitioner. “I think there are several points to this that we can all adopt. The villagers have a diet of whole natural foods comprised of things that are in season and available according to the local climate,” she said.

“This is unlike the western diet that involves a huge amount of processed and packaged foods. It’s not only laden with sugar but also contains fake and unhealthful components such as high fructose corn syrup, MSG, artificial sweeteners, additives, preservatives and fast food. Our bodies weren’t made to process all this fake stuff. It doesn’t know what to do with it,” Gruver added.

“Furthermore, he mentions though they don’t ‘exercise,’ they are very active. We put so much emphasis on workouts, which can be a big turn-off to people. They think it means that they have to go to the gym or run on a treadmill. But it’s about moving your body in a way that works for you.”

“I laud the doctor’s suggestions on sleep, stress and intermittent fasting as well. All of these things, clearly, are combining to promote optimal health and a longer life.”

VILLAGERS IN NORTHERN CRETE HAVE LOW RATES OF HEART DISEASE DESPITE FATTY DIET

People living in isolated Greek mountains villages live long and healthy lives thanks to a unique gene that protects them against heart disease, recent research has found.

Scientists studied the villagers in an area of northern Crete because they had low cases of heart disease despite eating lots of animal fats.

The study, for the first time made a genetic portrait of the population of of Zoniana and Anogia by sequencing the entire genome of 250 individuals.

They found a new genetic variant, common among villagers, which appears to protect the heart by lowering levels of ‘bad’ fats and cholesterol.

Researchers from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute found that the variant is 40 times more common in this small Greek population than in other European populations.

Lead author Professor Eleftheria Zeggini said: ‘Genetic studies like this can help us begin to understand why this is.’

(Sources: https://www.oliveoiltimes.com, http://www.dailymail.co.uk)

The world’s first unisex contraceptive – made from olives

50539508_l_620x310A natural substitute for the morning after pill has been found in olives.
Eating handfuls of olives will not prevent pregnancy, but a chemical found within them can stop a sperm from reaching an egg, the Daily Mail reports.
The natural compound, also found in grapes and mangos, could replace the morning after pill if taken within five hours of unprotected sex.
It could also become the first unisex pill, able to be taken by both men and women without the current side-effects of heart disease, blood clots and depression.
The chemical, lupeol, works by stopping the sperm’s “power kick”, where its tail is whipped up forcefully to propel it towards and into the egg. Another chemical, primisterin, which is found in the thunder god vine used in Chinese medicine, has the same effect.
Researchers at the University of Berkeley in the US say it could be available within two years for women to take before or after sex, and within four years for men.
Co-author Dr Polina Lishko said: “It is not toxic to sperm cells – they still can move. But they cannot develop this powerful stroke, because this whole activation pathway is shut down. This is a potentially safer morning after pill, regular pill, and a future male contraceptive. Essentially it is a future version of a unisex contraceptive.”
Fertility expert Allan Pacey, professor of andrology at the University of Sheffield, said:
“This is probably one of the most innovative approaches to male contraception, allowing men to take equal responsibility for family planning that we have seen in a long time.
“Scientists have been tinkering with different kinds of hormonal contraceptives for men for 30 years and they have not yet got them to marketplace, so we really need a new kind of approach like this.”
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Oliven gegen das Vergessen

unnamedDr. Anke Sauter Marketing und Kommunikation
Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main
Ein neues Forschungsprojekt untersucht Inhaltsstoffe der Olive, die vor Alzheimer schützen sollen. Beteiligt sind Forscher der Goethe Universität Frankfurt, der Technischen Universität Darmstadt und des Darmstädter N-Zyme BioTec. Das Projekt “NeurOliv” wird vom Bundesministerium für Forschung und Wissenschaft gefördert.

FRANKFURT/DARMSTADT. Längst gilt als erwiesen: Wer sich mediterran ernährt und körperlich und geistig aktiv ist, wird weniger wahrscheinlich an der Alterskrankheit Demenz leiden. Vor allem Oliven scheinen dabei eine Rolle zu spielen. Doch welche Inhaltsstoffe der kleinen ovalen Frucht sind es genau, die so hilfreich wirken? Dies will ein hessischer Verbund von Forschern der Frankfurter Goethe-Universität, der Technischen Universität (TU) Darmstadt und dem Darmstädter Unternehmen N-Zyme BioTec GmbH herausfinden. Das auf drei Jahre angelegte Projekt „NeurOliv“ hat ein Projektvolumen von 1,3 Millionen Euro und wird im Rahmen der High-Tech Initiative KMU-innovativ Biochance vom Bundesministerium für Forschung und Bildung gefördert.
Die Kooperation vereint mehrere Ansätze, wobei die Initiative von N-Zyme BioTec GmbH ausging. Ziel ist es, mit Hilfe der Olivenstoffe neue funktionelle Lebensmittel für die alternde Gesellschaft entwickeln zu können, die vor der Alzheimerkrankheit schützen. „Wir wollen prüfen, ob Olivenpolyphenole auch einen Beitrag zur Heilung der Krankheit leisten können. Daher sehen wir unsere Produkte auch im Bereich der Arzneimittel angesiedelt“, sagt Dr. Joachim Tretzel, Geschäftsführer von N-Zyme BioTec GmbH. Gerade kleine und mittlere Unternehmen sollen durch die High-Tech Initiative der Bundesregierung gefördert werden.
Das Team um Prof. Heribert Warzecha am Fachbereich Biologie der TU Darmstadt befasst sich mit der Entwicklung neuer biotechnologischer Verfahren, um die spezifischen Pflanzenstoffe zu gewinnen. Mit den entsprechenden genetischen Informationen sollen Bakterienkulturen helfen, Inhaltsstoffe in reiner und definierter Form darzustellen. „Durch unsere neuen Techniken lassen sich das aufwendige Extrahieren von Stoffen aus Olivenblättern erleichtern und die geringen Ausbeuten deutlich verbessern“, erklärt Warzecha. „Damit sind wir bei der Produktion auch unabhängig von der saisonalen Oliven-Ernte in den Anbaugebieten“, freut sich Dr. Stefan Marx, ebenfalls Geschäftsführer von N-Zyme BioTec.
Die Arbeitsgruppe „nutritional-neuroscience“ des Lebensmittelchemikers Dr. Gunter Eckert, Privatdozent an der Goethe-Universität (GU) Frankfurt, wird die Wirksamkeit dieser biotechnologisch hergestellten Olivenstoffe testen. Dabei werden zunächst die Olivenstoffe in Zellkulturmodellen getestet, die möglicherweise vor der Alzheimer Krankheit schützen. „Wir sehen uns vor allem Veränderung in den Kraftwerken der Nervenzellen (Mitochondrien) an, die sich bei der Alzheimer-Krankheit schon früh verändern“, so Eckert. Die aktivsten Verbindungen sollen dann in einem Mausmodell der Krankheit zeigen, dass sie die Gehirnfunktion verbessern können.
„Wir überprüfen die These, dass bestimmte Polyphenole aus Oliven Krankheitsprozesse im Gehirns verlangsamen, die mitochondriale Dysfunktion verbessern und somit Evidenzen für einen Schutz vor Alzheimer liefern“, fasst Fachpharmakologe Eckert sein Forschungsziel zusammen. Die GU-Forscher erhalten 288.000 Euro Fördermittel für dieses Projekt. In einem anderen Forschungsprojekt nimmt Eckert den Zusammenhang zwischen Ernährung und Bewegung in Hinblick auf die Entwicklung von Alzheimer unter die Lupe.
Bilder zum Download finden Sie unter
Bildunterschriften:
Bild 1 (stehend vor Gebäude): Die Mitglieder des BMBF-Projektes „NeurOliv“ treffen sich zum Kick-off Meeting des das Projektes. Erste Reihe, von links: Dr. Jens Zotzel (N-ZYME), Alexander Webersinke (N-ZYME), Alla Sarafeddivo (N-ZYME), Christopher Fuchs (N-ZYME), Jascha Folk (TU Darmstadt). Zweite Reihe, von links: Dr. Stefan Marx (N-ZYME), Dr. Joachim Tretzel (N-ZYME), Prof. Warzecha (TU Darmstadt), Dr. Gunter Eckert (GU).
Bild 2 (am Konferenztisch): Die Mitglieder des BMBF-KMU Innovativ Konsortiums diskutieren das Projekt „NeurOliv“. Von links: Alla Sarafeddivo (N-ZYME), Christopher Fuchs (N-ZYME), Dr. Jens Zotzel (N-ZYME), Dr. Gunter Eckert (GU), Jascha Folk (TU Darmstadt), Prof. Warzecha (TU Darmstadt), Dr. Stefan Marx (N-ZYME), Dr. Joachim Tretzel (N-ZYME), Alexander Webersinke (N-ZYME).

Informationen: Dr. Gunter Eckert, Goethe-Universität, Tel. (069) 798-29378, E-Mail g.p.eckert@em.uni-frankfurt.de; Dr. Stefan Marx, N-Zyme BioTec GmbH Tel. (06151) 3912-772, E-Mail: marx@n-zyme.de; Prof. Dr. Heribert Warzecha, TU Darmstadt, Tel. (06151) 16-20900, E-Mail: warzecha@bio.tu-darmstadt.de

Die Goethe-Universität ist eine forschungsstarke Hochschule in der europäischen Finanzmetropole Frankfurt. 1914 gegründet mit rein privaten Mitteln von freiheitlich orientierten Frankfurter Bürgerinnen und Bürgern, fühlt sie sich als Bürgeruniversität bis heute dem Motto “Wissenschaft für die Gesellschaft” in Forschung und Lehre verpflichtet. Viele der Frauen und Männer der ersten Stunde waren jüdische Stifter. In den letzten 100 Jahren hat die Goethe-Universität Pionierleistungen erbracht auf den Feldern der Sozial-, Gesellschafts- und Wirtschaftswissenschaften, Chemie, Quantenphysik, Hirnforschung und Arbeitsrecht. Am 1. Januar 2008 gewann sie mit der Rückkehr zu ihren historischen Wurzeln als Stiftungsuniversität ein einzigartiges Maß an Eigenständigkeit. Heute ist sie eine der zehn drittmittelstärksten und drei größten Universitäten Deutschlands mit drei Exzellenzclustern in Medizin, Lebenswissenschaften sowie Geisteswissenschaften.

Herausgeber: Die Präsidentin der Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main. Redaktion: Dr. Anke Sauter, Wissenschaftsredakteurin, Abteilung Marketing und Kommunikation, Theodor-W.-Adorno-Platz 1, 60323 Frankfurt am Main, Tel.: (069) 798-12472, Fax: (069) 798-28530.


(Source: https://idw-online.de)

20 Healthy foods that look like the body parts they’re good for

They say you are what you eat, but we never thought that meant “literally” speaking.

These 18 foods actually reflect the body parts they provide nutrients for – read along to know why they say eating carrots is good for your eyes – it’s not just a coincidence.

olive_ovary1. Olives

Olives assist the health and function of the ovaries. Olives and olive oil contain an abundance of phenolic antioxidants as well as the anti-cancer compounds squalene and terpenoid.


grapes2. Grapes

Grapes have an undeniable resemblance to the alveoli of the lungs. Alveoli are tiny sacs within our lungs that allow oxygen and carbon dioxide to move between the lungs and bloodstream. Including red/purple grapes in your diet has proven to reduce the risk of lung cancer and emphysema (a long term disease of the lungs).


kidney_beans3. Kidney Beans

Interesting fact: the Kidney beans got their name due to the resemblance they have to real human kidneys. Kidney beans have significant amounts of fiber and soluble fiber, they are also very high in protein and iron.


sweet-pancreas4. Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potatoes resemble the pancreas and can actually balance the glycemic index of diabetics. Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene). They are also a very good source of vitamin C, manganese, copper, pantothenic acid, and vitamin B6. Additionally, they are a good source of potassium, dietary fiber, niacin, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, and phosphorus.

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Greek Volunteers Harvest Olives for Fellow Residents in Need

As olives were harvested this fall to be prepped for the massive olive oil production that takes place throughout Greece, a special harvest took place in the municipality of Glyfada involving a humanitarian effort by the city and volunteers to provide olive oil to people in need.

O πρώτος διεθνής διαγωνισμός ελαιόλαδου στη χώρα μας είναι γεγονός!

της Κικής Τριανταφύλλη

Την πρωτοβουλία διοργάνωσης του Πρώτου Διεθνούς Διαγωνισμού Ελαιολάδου Αθηνών, «Athena International Olive Oil Competition», που θα διεξαχθεί στις 21 και 22 Μαρτίου 2016 στο ξενοδοχείο  Electra  Palace στην Πλάκα, έχει αναλάβει η Vinetum Event Management, εταιρεία επικοινωνίας με μεγάλη πείρα στην οργάνωση εκθέσεων, συνεδρίων, διαγωνισμών και άλλων εκδηλώσεων υψηλού κύρους και απαιτήσεων.

olive-oil-1-thumb-large

Δυο επαγγελματίες που διατηρούν στενή σχέση με το κρασί αλλά και με το ελαιόλαδο είναι οι εμπνευστές που ανέλαβαν, σε περίοδο κρίσης, το ρίσκο της διοργάνωσης. Πρόεδρος του διαγωνισμού είναι ο Ντίνος Στεργίδης, ιδιοκτήτης και Διευθύνων Σύμβουλος της Vinetum, και Διευθύντρια η Μαρία Κατσούλη, 1η ελληνίδα οινοχόος, διαπιστευμένη γευσιγνώστρια ελαιολάδου και 1η οινοχόος ελαιολάδου της Ελλάδος, ενώ panel leader όλων των κριτών θα είναι η διεθνώς καταξιωμένη γευσιγνώστρια ελαιόλαδου Αλίκη Γαλή.

Ο διαγωνισμός «Athena International Olive Oil Competition» είναι διεθνής τόσο ως προς τους κριτές όσο και τη συμμετοχή δειγμάτων και αφορά μόνο τυποποιημένα ελαιόλαδα της κατηγορίας εξαιρετικά παρθένα (extra virgin). Οι ξένοι κριτές αποτελούν τα 2/3 του συνολικού αριθμού κριτών ενώ στόχος των οργανωτών είναι τα δείγματα ελαιολάδων από το εξωτερικό να υπερβαίνουν το 30% του συνολικού αριθμού δειγμάτων.Το πρώτο ξένο δείγμα ήρθε ήδη από την Πορτογαλία ενώ αναμένονται επίσης δείγματα από ελαιοπαραγωγούς χώρες όπως το Ισραήλ, η Ιταλία, η Ισπανία, η Κροατία, η Τουρκία, το Μαρόκο, η Τυνησία ακόμη και από το Περού.
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Decoding the complete genome of the Mediterranean’s most emblematic tree: the olive

• A team of scientists from three Spanish centers has sequenced, for the first time ever, the complete genome of the olive tree.

• The results have been just published this week in the Open Access journal GigaScience. This work will facilitate genetic improvement for production of olives and olive oil, two key products in the Spanish economy and diet.

• The specimen sequenced is an olive tree of the Farga variety, one of the most widespread in eastern Spain, and over 1,300 years old.

dna1The olive was one of the first trees to be domesticated in the history of mankind, probably some 6,000 years ago. A Mediterranean emblem par excellence, it is of vital importance to the Spanish and other regional economies (Italy, Greece and Portugal). In fact, Spain is the leading producer of olive oil in the world. Every year, nearly three million tons of oil are produced, for local consumption and export. Spain produces one third of this total.

Nonetheless, up to now, the genome of the olive tree were unknown. The genome regulate such factors as the differences among varieties, sizes and flavor of the olives, why the trees live so long or the reasons for their adaptation to dryland farming.

Now a team of researchers from the Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG) of Barcelona, the Real Jardin Botánico (CSIC-RJB) and the Centro Nacional de Análisis Genómico (CNAG-CRG), has brought new insight to the genetic puzzle of the olive tree, by sequencing the complete genome of this species for the first time ever. The results of this work, fully funded by Banco Santander, have been published this week in the groundbreaking Open Access and Open Data journal GigaScience. The article will pave the way to new research work that will help olive trees in their development and protecting them from infections now causing major damage, such as the attacks of bacteria (Xilella fastidiosa) and fungi (Verticillium dhailae).

“Without a doubt, it is an emblematic tree, and it is very difficult to improve plant breeding, as you have to wait at least 12 years to see what morphological characteristics it will have, and whether it is advisable to cross-breed,” says principal author of this paper Toni Gabaldón, ICREA research professor and head of the comparative genomics laboratory at the CRG. “Knowing the genetic information of the olive tree will let us contribute to the improvement of oil and olive production, of major relevance to the Spanish economy,” he adds.

Private funding to support public science

The story of this project begins with a presentation, a coincidence and a challenge. Four years ago, Gabaldón worked with Pablo Vargas, a CSIC researcher at the Real Jardín Botánico, on the presentation of scientific results of projects focused on endangered species, such as the Iberian lynx, that had been financed by Banco Santander.

At that time, Banco Santander had expressed great interest in financing scientific projects in Spain. Over the course of the presentation, Pablo Vargas proposed to Emilio Botín the complete sequencing of the olive tree genome, using the same technology as had been used to sequence the lynx; in other words, the most state-ofthe-art technological strategy to achieve a high-quality genome.

Five months after that meeting, a contract was signed to carry out the first complete sequencing of the olive tree’s DNA, a three-year research effort coordinated by Pablo Vargas.

“There are three phases to genome sequencing: first, isolate all of the genes, which we published two years ago. Second, assemble the genome, which is a matter of ordering those genes one after the other, like linking up loose phrases in a book. Last, identify all of the genes, or binding the book. The latter two phases are what we have done and are now presenting,” says the CSIC Real Jardín Botánico researcher.

To continue with the book analogy, according to Tyler Alioto of the CNAG-CRG “this genome has generated some 1.31 billion letters, and over 1,000 GBytes of data. We are surprised because we have detected over 56,000 genes, significantly more than those detected in sequenced genomes of related plants, and twice that of the human genome.”

Decoding its evolutionary history

In addition to the complete sequencing of the olive tree genome, researchers have also compared the DNA of this thousand-year-old tree with other varieties such as the wild olive. They have also found the transcriptome, the genes expressed to determine what differences exist on the genetic expression level in leaves, roots and fruits at different stages of ripening.

The next step, researchers say, will be to decode the evolutionary history of this tree, which has formed part of old-world civilizations since the Bronze Age. At that time, in the eastern Mediterranean, the process of domesticating wild olive trees that led to today’s trees began. Later, selection processes in different Mediterranean countries gave rise to the nearly 1,000 varieties of trees we have today.

Knowing the evolution of olive trees from different countries will make it possible to know their origins and discover the keys that have allowed it to adapt to very diverse environmental conditions. It will also help discover the reasons behind its extraordinary longevity, as the trees can live for 3,000 to 4,000 years.

“That longevity makes the olive tree we have sequenced practically a living monument,” says Gabaldón. “Up to now, all of the individuals sequenced, from the fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster) to the first human being analyzed, have lived for a certain time, depending on their life expectancy, but then died or will die. This is the first time that the DNA of an individual over 1,000 years old, and that will probably live another 1,300 years, has been sequenced.” say Gabaldón and Vargas.

Reference: Fernando Cruz, Irene Julca, Jèssica Gómez-Garrido, Damian Loska, Marina MarcetHouben, Emilio Cano, Beatriz Galán, Leonor Frias, Paolo Ribeca, Marta Gut, Manuel Sánchez-Fernández, Jose Luis García, Ivo G. Gut, Pablo Vargas, Tyler S. Alioto, and Toni Gabaldón. “Genome sequence of the olive tree, Olea europaea” GigaScience 2016. DOI: 10.1186/s13742-016-0134-5

Image available at: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/k11ulb9k7kbb2iw/AACTz3H45t6b0PPjlrX53wQKa?dl=0

For more information and interviews:

Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG) Laia Cendrós, press officer Tel. +34 93 316 0237 – Mobile +34 607 611 798 – laia.cendros@crg.eu

Real Jardín Botánico – CSIC Jesús García, head communications officer Tel. +34 91 420 30 17 ext 188 – press@rjb.csic.is

Centro Nacional de Análisis Genómico (CNAG-CRG) Anna Borrell, communication assistant Tel. + 34 93 402 0580 – anna.borrell@cnag.crg.eu

(Source: http://www.crg.eu)

7 Snacks, die ihr den ganzen Abend essen könnt

Ihr sucht gesunde Alternativen zu Chips, Schokolade, Plätzchen und Co, die ihr abends bedenkenlos naschen könnt? Kein Problem! Von diesen 7 Snacks nehmt ihr definitiv nicht zu.

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Grüne und schwarze Oliven

Statt zu Chips oder Nachos mit Käse-Dip solltet ihr besser zu grünen und schwarzen Oliven greifen. Am besten schmecken diese pur oder in Olivenöl. Die Früchte des Ölbaums sind reich an ungesättigten Fettsäuren, Vitamin A, Natrium, Kalcium und Eisen – und sollen sogar vor Herz-Kreislauf-Erkrankungen schützen. Schwarze Oliven weisen etwa 185 Kalorien, grüne Oliven rund 140 Kalorien pro 100 Gramm auf. Zum Vergleich: 100 Gramm Kartoffelchips haben etwa 535 Kalorien.

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Eingelegte Gurken

Gurken, die man selbst eingelegt hat, sind ein wunderbar würziger und gesunder Snack für zwischendurch – und noch dazu kalorienarm. Auf 100 Gramm Cornichons kommen lediglich 15 Kalorien, aber auch eingelegte Honiggurken sind mit 70 Kalorien immer noch ein leichter Snack. Dasselbe gilt für Mixed Pickles, bei dem ihr bedenkenlos den ganzen Abend zugreifen könnt.

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More at: http://www.brigitte.de

(Source: http://www.brigitte.de)

Olives bring warmth to Lebanese health centre

In preparation for the coming winter, which is expected to be particularly harsh, the ICRC recently delivered 10 tons of olive husk fuel to heat the Al Rahma health clinic in the mountainous area of Chebaa in the south-east of Lebanon.

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Chebaa is squeezed between the Syrian and Israeli borders and has long been directly or indirectly exposed to conflicts and their effects. Over the past few years, its population has grown considerably because of the presence of refugees from neighbouring Syria, which has put a significant strain on the already fragile local infrastructure.

Located at more than 1,300 meters above sea level on the slopes of Mount Hermon, this secluded area is also exposed to adverse weather conditions. Last January, it was hit by the Zina storm, claiming the lives of several Syrian refugees and seriously affecting many other inhabitants.
“Life is not easy here at times, and access to health services remains a major concern, especially in winter. It often snows heavily, roads get blocked and it becomes difficult to move around,” says the director of the Al Rahma health clinic, Mohamed Al Jarrar.

“Last year, because of the snow and the cold, we even had to close our clinic for a few days. But this winter, thanks to the biofuel supplied by the ICRC, we’ll be able to receive and treat our patients in warm conditions.”

(Source: https://www.icrc.org)

 

Greece: 15 Things You Never Knew

Greece is one of the most historic and well-known countries in the world, along with being a top vacation choice for anyone visiting Europe. Not only does it offer beautiful landscapes and plenty of sunshine, but those of us who appreciate history have a lot to learn from this significant country. We are here to tell you some lesser known facts about the ancient nation. Come back soon for part two.

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Number Fifteen: It’s About the Size of Alabama

Greece is roughly the same size as this American state. However, its population (10 million plus) is more than double Alabama’s (about 4.5 million).

Number Fourteen: 13th Century Olive Trees

They are the world’s leading olive producers, which you probably knew. But did you know that there are trees that date back as far as the 13th century that are still yielding olives? That is pretty amazing.

Number Thirteen: Greece Is Almost Entirely Mountainous

A staggering amount (80%) of the country is covered by mountainous terrain. It is because of this that they have no navigable rivers there.
(Read more: http://ppcorn.com)