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)

“Have an Olive Day” Launches with EU Support

Have an Olive day

The European Union has teamed up with Spanish Inter-Professional Table Olive Organization, INTERACEITUNA, and Michelin-starred chef José Andrés to launch an olives campaign directed at U.S. consumers. The goal of the campaign—“A tasty message from Europe. Have an Olive Day”—is to raise awareness of the versatility, flavor, nutrition, and rich history of olive production in Europe, especially in Spain, the world leader in production and exports of table olives.

The campaign will run through 2019 and will seek to educate U.S. consumers on the different variations of European olives and their culinary uses. It will focus on U.S. regions with high olive consumption, including New York City, Miami, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago and Philadelphia.

(Source: https://www.specialtyfood.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)

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)

Olive you. Olive you more!

Cooking with this adored Mediterranean fruit

It’s difficult to describe the tastes and flavors of foods. Olives are an especially hard case. Nothing tastes remotely like them, so it’s impossible to compare them to any other food.

Olive bread

Olive bread

Novelist Lawrence Durrell did the best job of evoking them when he wrote, “The whole Mediterranean, the sculpture, the palms, the gold beads, the bearded heroes . . . all of it seems to rise in the sour, pungent smell of these black olives between the teeth. A taste older than meat, older than wine. A taste as old as cold water.”

Cultivation of the olive is certainly ancient. The gnarly trees, their green-and-silver leaves trembling in any breeze, are native to the Mediterranean. In Israel, there’s evidence of olive oil production in 6000 BC, and on the Greek island of Naxos, archeologists have discovered remains of olive oil in a jug dating to 4,000 BC.

Indeed, the olive tree was so vital to the Greeks that they embedded it in their myth of Athena. When she struck the Acropolis with her spear, the first olive tree sprang forth. This magic underwhelmed the witnesses, who grumbled that the sea-god Poseidon would have given them a better gift. But after Athena taught them how to cultivate the tree and process its products for food, light and timber, they realized its many virtues and named their city Athens in her honor.

Greece remains a major grower, producing 11 percent of the world’s olives and consuming 23 liters of olive oil per person per year. (Americans consume about one liter.)

(Source: http://www.amherstbulletin.com) Continue reading

Chocolate Made With Olive Oil

K & M Chocolates are made with olive oil instead of cocoa butter.

K & M Chocolates are made with olive oil instead of cocoa butter.

The chef and restaurateur Thomas Keller is now in the chocolate business: a bean-to-bar partnership with Armando Manni, a Tuscan olive oil producer. The idea was born five years ago, when the men were discussing the antioxidant properties of dark chocolate and olive oil. The results, called K & M Extravirgin Chocolate (they say it “K plus M”), are made in a former warehouse in Napa, Calif., where the cacao undergoes a special, gentler process to preserve the bean’s antioxidant properties. Mr. Manni’s olive oil is used in place of cocoa butter. The 75 percent cacao bars come in three varieties, according to the source of the chocolate. The Peruvian bar has coffeelike depth, the bar from Ecuador is smooth with woodsy hints of chestnut, and the Madagascar bar is spicy with notes of pineapple and passion fruit. You do not taste the olive oil.

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)

Spanish scientists say Mediterranean diet improves sperm quality

It has been said that consuming fish, seafood, poultry, cereals, vegetables and fruits, low-fat dairy and skimmed milk can improve sperm quality

Scientists REVEAL magnesium is the secret magic ingredient to healthy Mediterranean Diet

The secret ingredient which makes the Mediterranean Diet so healthy is magnesium, according to the latest research. By CYRIL DIXON

Scientists say the mineral is more important than previously thought in slashing the risk of heart disease, strokes and diabetes. And they are convinced the results of their work explain why foods such as nuts, whole grains, leafy greens and oily fish help people live longer. The team conducted the largest ever analysis of dietary magnesium data, covering more than a million people in nine countries. Mediterranean-Diet-741021They found that eating a diet rich in magnesium cut the risk of coronary heart disease or stroke by 12 per cent. The danger of developing Type 2 diabetes was reduced by 26 per cent, according to the research at Zhejiang University’s School of Public Health in eastern China.

Low levels of magnesium in the body have been associated with a range of diseases. Dr Fudi Wang

Dr Fudi Wang, who led the project, said: “Low levels of magnesium in the body have been associated with a range of diseases. “But no conclusive evidence has been put forward on the link between dietary magnesium and health risks. “Our analysis provides the most up-to-date evidence supporting a link between the role of magnesium in food and reducing the risk of disease.” His team, based at one of China’s top universities, analysed data from 40 studies covering a seven-year period. Their findings, published in the journal BMC Medicine, suggest people in “developed” countries in the West do not take in enough magnesium. 3B284E5C00000578-0-image-a-33_1481154562612Dr Wang believes public health departments should encourage people to consume more – and to get it from several sources because individual food items do not contain enough. He said: “Green leafy vegetables such as spinach provide magnesium while spices, nuts, beans, cocoa and whole grains are also rich sources. 
“Importantly, the daily requirement is difficult to achieve through a single serving of any one food item.”

(Source: http://www.express.co.uk)

Pitting yourself against olive etiquette? Here is the CORRECT way to eat olives with pits

IS THERE a polite way of eating pitted olives without spitting the remains into your hand?

By KATRINA TURRILL

Olive-704360

While olive connoisseurs reckon olives with a pit inside are tastier than those without, eating them can prove particularly difficult – especially in front of a crowd.
Most people simply pick the pit out from between their teeth or spit it into their hand, which doesn’t seem too polite. But is this the only way to dispose of it? Or is their a much more glamorous way? Website Olive Central reveals how one should dispose of the pit correctly when eating olives.
Olive Central says there are two scenarios you’ll find yourselves with olives – the first is when they’re served as snacks. The site adds: “To pick them up, use a toothpick if they have been made available, otherwise fingers is fine. Small olives of into your mouth whole, while big olives can be held not he ends with your thumb and forefinger and the flesh bitten off the olive.
“If biting the flesh off the olive, the pit remaining between the two fingers can simply be discarded. When eating the olive whole the pit can be gently spat into your palm or the end of your upright fist.”
Olive-635654“For a slightly more sophisticated version, hold you other handing front of your mouth to hid this spitting activity from view.”
And where should you discard of the pit?
If a bowl has been provided for the pits, they can be put in there, but if not, the side of your own plate is deemed acceptable.Alternatively they can be stored in a paper napkin for later disposal.
The second scenario is when olives form part of a salad. In this scenario, according to Olive Central, table etiquette applies. This means the olive should be put in your mouth using a fork.
The site says: “The easiest way to pick it up is to hold the olive down with your knife and then stab it with your fork. Place the olive in your mouth.
“Tables etiquette suggests that anything thatches out of your mouth should do so the same way it went in. In this case the fork should be used to discard the pit.
“Place one hand in front of your mouth to hide this activity and gently push the pit onto the fork using your tongue.”
But if this forms too much of a challenge for you, you can revert to spitting the pit onto your hand and discarding it.
Again, the other hand should be places in front of your mouth for that added level of sophistication.

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

Gin Mare Cured Sea Bass with Pickled Cucumber, Black Olives, Chilli & a Scallop Beignet in Tonic Bat

Gin Mare Cured Sea Bass with Pickled Cucumber, Black Olives, Chilli & a Scallop Beignet in Tonic Batter
gin-mare-cured-sea-bass

Ingredients:

  • 1 large sea bass fillet, scaled and pinned
  • 80g sea salt
  • 25g caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp black peppercorns, crushed
  • 1 lemon zest of
  • 1 orange zest of
  • ¼ bunch mint, chiffonade
  • 70ml gin mare
  1. Mix together the sugar, salt, lemon zest, orange zest, peppercorns and mint then mix in the gin, completely cover all sides of the sea bass with the cure.
  2. Place the fillet in a tray or plate with the cure with another plate on top to press slightly and place in the fridge.
  3. Leave to cure for 24 hours in the fridge. Wash off well under cold running water and pat dry.

For The Dressing:

  • 100ml of the marinade (passed)
  • 1 orange juice of
  • 2 lemon juice of
  • 250ml virgin rapeseed oil
  1. Mix all ingredients together.

To Garnish:

  • 6 medium scallops, cleaned
  • 75g plain flour
  • 50g corn flour
  • 125ml tonic
  • 1 red chilli, de-seeded and sliced fine
  • 10g coriander cress
  • 6 black olives, sliced
  • ¼ cucumber sliced
  • 40g sea salt
  • 100ml white wine vinegar
  • 50g sugar
  • 1tsp mustard seeds
  1. First mix the sliced cucumber with the sea salt and leave for 20 minutes, in the meantime bring to the boil the vinegar, sugar and mustard seeds until the sugar has dissolved, allow to cool.
  2. Wash off the cucumber under plenty of cold running water and pat dry on a clean towel, place in a bowl and pour over the boiled vinegar sugar mixture and put to one side.
  3. Next make the tempura batter, in a bowl mix the plain flour, corn flour, baking powder and tonic together to achieve a very light batter.

To serve:

  1. Slice the sea bass thinly leaving the skin behind, lay out on a cold plate and smother with the dressing.
  2. Place the scallops in the batter and then deep-fry @190c for 1-2 minutes, remove and drain on kitchen paper then place on top of the sliced sea bass plates.
  3. Finish by sprinkling over the pickled cucumber, chilli, olives and coriander cress and serve immediately.

Cooking with Gin Mare at Rocksalt Folkestone Recipes by Mark Sergeant

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

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)

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.

lebanon-health-olives

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)