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)

Food Flags

When you think of French food, smelly cheese and grapes are probably the first things that come to mind. As is pasta at the mention of Italian cuisine, or curry when asked about Indian gastronomy. Olives and feta cheese celebrate their Greek origins and spicy orange and red curries remind viewers of Indian and Indonesian flavours.

So it’s not hard to see why these commonly associated foods have been plated up alongside others to recreate some of the world’s national flags in a collection of photographs.

Food Flags

The Australian company behind the images chose meat pie and sauce to represent its home nation, making sure to cut out star-shaped holes in the pie’s crust to stick to the flag’s design while France’s Tricoleur is completed by brie, blue cheese and grapes. More adventurous creations are seen in Thailand’s blue swimmer crab, shredded coconut and sweet chilli sauce – three local delicacies that are best served separately perhaps. Basil, pasta and tomatoes, three of the most common ingredients in Italian cuisine are used to represent the country’s green, white and red flag, while Japan’s well known red dot is formed by raw tuna on a bed of rice. Spain’s civil flag is identified by its chorizo and paella rice. Unsurprisingly, Turkish delight was used to represent it’s national namesake as was Swiss cheese, often known as Emmental. More exotic foods were sourced for the display such as South Korean kimbap, which resembles Japanese sushi but uses sesame oil to flavour rice rather than vinegar. Lebanese lavash, a soft, thin flatbread, is served with fattoush which is a bread salad made of sliced pita and vegetables.

Ahead of the Sydney International Food Festival, the company has released photographs of their efforts which cleverly serve up 17 national flags made entirely from international delicacies. The agency, WHYBIN/TBWA, is making preparations ahead of the festival’s opening in October, when hundreds of thousands are expected to gather to celebrate global cuisine for a whole month.

The festival is the largest of its kind in Australia and attracted close to 1million foodies last year. Its highlights are the Night Noodle Market and Breakfast on Bondi which invites enthusiasts to the most important meal of the day on the fames stretch of beach.

(Source: : http://www.dailymail.co.uk/)

Everything you wanted to know about olives

– The olive tree, Oleaeuropaea, is native to countries in Asia and Africa and along the Mediterranean Sea.
– Unripe olives are green in color and as they ripen they turn black or dark purple.
– Olives are a fruit, not vegetables as many people believe.
– Olive oil contains no cholesterol, salt or carbohydrate.
– Olives are rich in vitamin E and healthy fats.
– An olive tree can live up to 600 years.
– It can take up to 10 years for an olive tree to bear fruit.
– Globally, people consume approximately 2.25 million tonnes of olive oil each year.
– Spain, Italy and Greece are the top olive producing nations in the world.
– Since 1990, consumption of olive oil in the United States has increased significantly. In the last two decades, its consumption has increased from 30 million gallons to nearly 70 million gallons a year.
– 2,550 olive branches were used at the 2004 Olympics Games when the tradition of crowning Olympians with an olive wreath was reintroduced.

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Hear what our expert has to say

“Olives, whether eaten whole or as olive oil, offer exceptional health properties. Olives contain an abundance of antioxidants, protective disease fighting compounds found in plants. Few other foods with high fat content offer such a wide range of antioxidant nutrients. All these elements combine to reduce excessive inflammation and keep the body healthy. They also work to neutralise the damaging effects of free radicals on the body’s cells, which can contribute to disease and ill health. Despite being high in fat, olive oil is a better choice compared to other oils for your heart. The majority of fat found in olives is monounsaturated fatty acid and oleic acid, both healthy forms of fat. These elements suppress the production of unhealthy cholesterol which has been shown to play a role in the development of cardiovascular disease. Even though monounsaturated fat is good for your heart, it is still high in calories. So it should be consumed only in moderate amounts if you are concerned about weight gain and excess calorie intake.

Care must be taken when using olive oil for frying. Shallow frying is safe; but with deep frying and intense heating the olive oil is heated beyond its smoke point and starts to break down chemically. This results in the oil losing most of its antioxidants, releasing toxic chemicals in the form of smoke and producing free radicals (atoms that damage healthy cell).”

Contributed by Aisha Pookunju, Dietitian at Hamad Medical Corporation

(Source: http://thepeninsulaqatar.com)

USDA Marketing Order Provides Ingredients for Olive Industry’s Success

Posted by Mike Durando, Agricultural Marketing Service Fruit and Vegetable Program Marketing Order and Agreement Division Director, on April 16, 2015 at 1:00 PM

Each industry has its own recipe for success. For the ripe olive industry, the recipe for success includes many ingredients. This includes a commitment to consistency, marketing, and research. These factors help the nearly 1,000 family farms from California supply 95 percent of the ripe olives grown in the U.S.

usda1The USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) provides the ripe olive industry many of the ingredients for its success. One of the ways we do this is by overseeing the federal marketing order for olives grown in California, which is administered locally by the California Olive Committee. Federal marketing orders and agreements are requested by various groups in the U.S. produce industry to help growers and handlers within a geographic region to overcome marketing barriers and increase awareness of the commodity. Industry groups get together to decide the tools needed to support the commercial and financial success of the businesses in the industry.

Whether it was wearing and eating olive rings as children or using them later on when making a tapenade spread, olive lovers always have the same fond memories. A good reason for this is because the California olive marketing order provides standards for cans of ripe olives. The olive standards specify that USDA employees inspect canned, ripe olives to ensure consumers enjoy the same eating experience, can after can, no matter what form the olives take – whole, pitted, sliced, wedged, or chopped.

One of the ways that the industry maintains this consistency is through the help of the marketing order’s Section 8e requirement. This requires imports of olives and other select commodities to meet the same or comparable grade, size, quality, and maturity requirements as commodities produced within the United States. “The Section 8e requirement has really helped our industry,” said California Olive Committee Executive Director Alexander Ott. “It levels the playing field for our growers and handlers in California but it also ensures consumers are eating quality olives – a win for all.”

usda2The U.S. olive industry uses the order’s marketing and research provisions in a number of ways. Olive lovers can visit the California Olive Committee’s website to find a wealth of information that includes delicious recipes, cooking tips, videos, and much more. The industry has conducted a number of production and marketing research projects which not only improve olive production, but help find new marketing opportunities for California olives. Continue reading

Olive growers go from frying pan to fire

HOT and dry weather throughout Australia’s south has olive farmers nervous after last year’s devastating harvest.

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A heatwave earlier this month saw temperatures soar past 45C in Adelaide and 40C in Melbourne, placing further pressure on plantations, which already suffered from a drier than usual December according to Olives South Australia president Michael Johnston.

Just 6mm of rain fell in Adelaide in December, less than half the amount from 2013. And although isolated rain of up to 40-50mm fell on parts of South Australia and Victoria in the past week, for many farmers the damage is done.

Temperatures are again expected to climb into the high 30s for both states by Tuesday.

(More: http://www.theaustralian.com.au)

 

Olive oil about to get a lot more expensive

NEW YORK, Dec 7 — New research from Harvard University suggests it could put years on your life.

But a Mediterranean diet rich in pungent olive oil does not come cheap, and it is just about to get a lot more expensive. Disastrous olive harvests in much of southern Europe have sent wholesale prices shooting up, meaning consumers around the world are going to have to get used to paying substantially more for a culinary staple prized equally by gourmets and physicians. Nowhere has the impact of freakish summer weather been felt more painfully than in Tuscany and Umbria, where the subtly aromatic, extra-virgin oils reaped from timeless landscapes provide the industry’s global benchmark for quality. In Spain, which last year accounted for half the world’s production of all grades of olive oil, a toxic cocktail of scorching temperatures, drought and bacteria is expected to halve output this year.

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A silent press

A different bacteria threatens to decimate olive groves in southern Italy. In the heartland of poshly-packaged oils that connoisseurs discuss like fine wines, it was a humble fly that wreaked havoc after being handed optimal breeding conditions by the erratic climate. At Fiesole, in the heart of Tuscany’s “Chiantishire”—so called because of its rich British ex-patriots—Cesare Buonamici’s olive processing facilities should be whirring at full capacity. Instead, thanks to the olive fly, the sophisticated presses and extraction machines lie dormant for lack of the organically-cultivated fruit that would normally keep them busy until nearly Christmas. “Our production has been halved,” the former engineer says gloomily. Figures from the International Olive Council suggest wholesale prices of Italian oil have risen 37 per cent from 2013, but Buonamici warns the rise for top quality oils like his will be steeper. “Those are the prices ex-press,” he told AFPTV. “For the final consumer the increase is likely to be more than 60 per cent.”

Continue reading

6 Health Secrets of Greek Food

Shivangana Vasudeva, NDTV, Modified: December 08, 2014 13:30 IST

490451511Beautiful blue waters, sun-soaked beaches and white-walled towns, Greece is unmatched for its breathtaking landscapes. While that may have taken many of you miles away, my fantasy is incomplete without Greek food. During those long lunches and balmy alfresco dinners, I see myself feasting on some of the finest ingredients in the world. Whether it’s a fresh Greek salad, the famous fava dip or a lovely spinach pie, the Greek table offers a variety of colours and flavours.

For a health freak, who is as paranoid about the health quotient as the flavour, it was love at first bite. Greek cuisine is served with a rich history of about 4000 years. When I recently caught up with Chef Paris Kostopoulos from Greece, I could easily agree that Greek food goes beyond the pleasures of simple eating. There was coffee, curiosity and a whole lot of chatter. I discovered that there is a lot that we can learn from the Greeks when it comes to healthy eating.

By now, you’ve probably heard about the miraculous Mediterranean diet. Most health experts claim that it is one of the healthiest diets to follow and there’s ample scientific evidence to prove that. A Harvard study shows that switching to a Mediterranean diet reduces the risk of heart disease by 30%. It has also been named as the ‘longevity diet’.(Why the Mediterranean Diet Beats All Others)

Here’s our take away from what the Greeks have done right and six reasons to love their cuisine. Continue reading