Categories: High Phenolic EVOO

by Marilyn Harding


Categories: High Phenolic EVOO

by Marilyn Harding


4th Annual Aristoleo Awards

And now for something a little different…

In 2016 Aristoleo Awards introduced the first competition for High Phenolic Olive Oils based on their phenolic content and organoleptic analysis.  Aristoleo Awards is always leading the way, tracking and awarding the growth of the high polyphenol olive oil category. Year two, recognizing the healthful contribution of polyphenol rich olives to the daily diet Aristoleo introduced the first competition to add high phenolic table olives.

Dr. Prokopios Magiatis of the University of Athens describes how the Aristoleo Awards began and what sets them apart.

This year was different again. We realize that high phenolic olive oils are being sought by you the health conscious buyers for specific health concerns as well as for general healthy addition to your daily regimen. The reality is what might be affordable as a supplement at 2 tablespoons per day is too expensive for everyday use.

Aristoleo Awards 2019 “Food as Medicine”

In addition, we found from feedback from you that you wanted a lower priced everyday olive oil for salads and cooking as well. At your request, we added olive oils with lower phenolic content, but still within the EU health claim parameters (above 250 mg per kg). We created a special chart so buyers would have a broad choice for specific health concerns as well as budget objectives.

The 4th Annual Aristoleo Awards were completely different. Instead of an academic conference we chose to loosen things up and host the awards on the island of Aegina and focus on ancient Hellenic gastronomy. Many of the presenters from the Olympia Health and Nutrition Conference link hosted by the World Olive Center for Health the day before in Athens, stayed over to join us on the island.

After a tour of the special sites of the island sights Temple of Aphaia and the healing St Nektarios monastery everyone gathered in Souvala at Saronikos restaurant for the gastronomic feast.

Special Guests:

Many of the scientists doing the leading research into the health benefits of high phenolic olive oil came over to enjoy the sights on the island and join the Aristoleo festivities.

These included Stefanos Kales, Harvard Medical School (workplace heath of First Responders “America’s bravest”), Khalid El Sayed, University of Louisiana (oleocanthal for the control of breast cancer), Amal Kaddoumi, Auburn University (oleocanthal for a natural approach to Alzheimer’s), Dan Flynn, UC Davis, Olive Center (comparing oleocanthal and ibuprofen). It was a great opportunity for Athan and I to speak informally about our Aristoleo Prostate Cancer Pilot Study and gain their support in expertise and contacts.

The Luncheon:

Aspiring chef, Andonis Kalifommatos travelled from Cyprus and assisted Saronikos Fish Taverna owner Pantelis Petritis to create an amazing array of dishes from ancient times, of course using high phenolic olive oil. There was a selection of the high phenolic olive oil brands (named below) that were entered in the Aristoleo Awards as well as olives from Imperial Olives and Potou.

Giorgos Antonopoulos provided lentils and barley from ancient seeds and a special pasta made with ancient Greek seed grains. Dessert was milk custard with high phenolic olive oil and thyme honey and cheesecake. Yes the ancient Hellenes invented cheesecake as well. ?

The food and traditional Greek music along with some wine set the after lunch mood and in true Greek style happiness was expressed in dance. Which led to another kind of dance before the final presentations…

The Dance:

Soulful notes on a sax and the still form of a dancer breathing in the music waiting to exhale into motion is not the usual preamble to an olive oil awards ceremony. But then again, the olive oils that are recognized by the Aristoleo Awards are not the usual oils one finds on a store shelf.

leap to freedom


The solo dance performance “Resilience” by Athan Gadanidis was choreographed for him by famed Flora Cushman and performed 38 years ago in Jerusalem. Internationally renowned saxophonist, Stephen Horenstein travelled from Israel to play for Athan, as he had done nearly four decades ago.

Athan introduced the dance as a tribute to the olive growers and his respect for their dedication to excellence. He explained how he became a dancer in a heartbeat. It was a defining moment. Athan insists there is this same potentiality for optimum expression within all of us and gave proof of the rapid development of the high phenolic olive oil category led by Greek olive growers.


“This rapid development is what connects us all to the ancient Hellenic culture of excellence in all things. Ancient Hellenic culture was the first and perhaps only culture that was dedicated to maximizing our human potential.

“These days our societies are not designed to maximize and entice this potential to come out but more often do the opposite and tamp it down. The olive tree is once again at the center of redesigning our societies to be more productive, sustainable, and healthy.”

Something is considered impossible until we make it possible and Athan sees this revival of his dance as a metaphor for the evolution of his work with high phenolic olive oil. It all started with his trip to Greece in 2012 when he interviewed Dr. Prokopios Magiatis on the health benefits of phenolic compounds found in olive oil. Link

Athan sees it as an odyssey; a journey of discovery, personal mastery through a natural and innate process of failure and success. There is a more poignant message to Athan’s dance, which he shared at the close of the ceremonies. But more on that later.

The Presentations:

The Aristoleo Awards presentations were warm and intimate with producers travelling from all parts of Greece, Cyprus and one family from as far away as Slovenia and USA. This core group of olive growers and high phenolic olive oil producers are keeping the faith in excellence and the science that guides them to the highest achievement and a buyers trust.

Excellence isn’t always the highest score – that can be a fluke. Excellence is about consistency and dedication in the face of challenges of nature and in protecting this health giving olive oil at every stage of its growth, production, storage, transportation and distribution.

Check out this year’s winners. Look for these brands as high phenolic olive oils you can trust. They are 2019 Aristoleo Award Winners of Excellence.

The Ultimate Challenge of Oleocanthal:

At Aristoleo, we do what we do because we believe in the health promoting benefits of high phenolic olive oil, in particular oleocanthal-rich olive oil which is the most widely researched at present. And you are reading this because you have discovered some of the research for yourself and want to know more about the properties of this oil, how it can support optimum health and how to buy the very best. Our entire mission is to provide that information. And that just became even more personal.

The research is unfolding at quite a pace with many exciting discoveries. This year Athan had the opportunity to put his faith in the healing properties of pure oleocanthal extracted from the olive oil to the test. I will let him tell you as in his own words he shared it at the closing of the Aristoleo Awards.



This is a critically important study and needs private funding

to support it to the next level.

When you purchase any of the olive oils we feature you are contributing to the discovery of new medicines with less or no negative side effects. Research is funded by the olive growers themselves.

Join Athan on his journey
Facebook Life of Ahtan
Instagram Life of Athan

To your health!


























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