The Hellenic Republic Reinvents Olive Oil

Why organoleptic competitions alone cannot determine the best olive oils.

Olive oil competitions are increasing in number along with organoleptic courses, educational programs and seminars geared to supporting this burgeoning industry. But are these highly commercialized and highly publicized events along with organoleptic seminars the way to discover the best olive oils?

The standards for organoleptic analysis of the IOC (International Olive Council) are not being followed in these highly commercialized competitions and most of the seminars are taught by individuals who have not managed to achieve certification from the IOC.

Aristoleo™ Test Kit

Aristoleo™ Test Kit demonstrated at the IOC in Madrid Dr. Eleni Melliou, Dr. Prokopios Magiatis, Dr. Fernández Albadalejo, Dr. Jose Amérigo, Dir. Livia Oliva, in front of the International Olive Oil Council building in Madrid

The IOC requires yearly testing for continued certification. The organoleptic ability of an individual can change and it is imperative they maintain their skills. On this subject the IOC got it right! The IOC has a very high standard of organoleptic assessment for olive oils; the process takes time and is done by a panel of at least 8 accredited judges. There is a limited number of olive oils (maximum 10) that can be properly assessed by each panel each day. The criteria for commercial competitions are a lot looser. Some simply smell the inside of the cap and deem the olive oil to be defective before they even taste it. There is simply not enough time to taste and properly assess hundreds of olive oils in two to three days

Best Olive Oils

But even with the IOC certified organoleptic panels, is this enough to determine the best olive oil? We first have to ask ourselves what “the best olive oil” really means.

The commercialized competitions have proliferated over the last ten years and are raking in the big bucks from olive oil producers eager to place a gold medal on their label. Does this actually help the citizens choose wisely? Is the olive oil in the bottle the same the one that won the gold medal? Has there ever been a study conducted on the longevity of the taste profile of olive oil after sitting on the shelf or a warehouse for 3, 6 9, 12, 18 months? No there has not.

It is curious with all the amount of value being placed on organoleptic awards that no such study has ever been conducted. The only time any taste test of olive oils on the shelf has been conducted the results were abysmal. Most were not even considered to be extra virgin olive oils let alone able to win any taste award. When the results are made public the same companies that gave so much weight to organoleptic assessment suddenly declare that organoleptic assessment is subjective. They claim that taste alone cannot determine if an olive oil is extra virgin or not; only chemical analysis can determine if an olive oil is extra virgin or not. WOW. See link Deleo defends itself against allegations of fraud

The NMR Saves the Day

A new method of accurately measuring the health promoting levels of phenolic compounds in olive oil was discovered, by Dr. Magiatis and his team of researchers at the University of Athens using the NMR (Nuclear Magnetic Resonance) in 2012.

Nuclear Magnetic Resonance NMR

Nuclear Magnetic Resonance NMR by Bruker

Since the use of the NMR method began to be used the olive oils with high phenolic content especially those with high levels of oleocanthal have seen a dramatic rise in price and seen an increased demand by citizens who are looking for the healthiest olive oils.

Some of these high phenolic olive oils have been sold for more than €30 per kg in bulk! These prices were achieved for small quantities but they open the door to another more effective marketing strategy for high phenolic olive oils.

Health and Nutritional aspects of olive oil becoming more important than “Award” winning gold medals won at olive oil competitions! The future of olive oil is becoming directly linked to its longevity and its health promoting attributes. Olive oil taste analysis plays a very important part to ensure there are no defects and to catagorize each olive oil within a taste profile based on the strict adherence to the IOC standards for olive oil organoleptic analysis for taste quality and freshness.

To test or to taste? Now we have both!  

Aristoleo® Test Kit

In 2014 Dr. Magiatis and Dr. Melliou went one step further and they invented the Aristoleo® Test Kit a handheld method of measuring the amount of combined oleocanthal and oleacein using a color index in minutes.

Aristoleo™ Test Vial

Laboratory in a vial measuring the combined oleocanthal and oleacein in EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)

The Aristoleo® Test Kit was widely used in Greece this harvest season with astounding results. For the first time the olive mills and olive growers themselves had the power to analyze their olive oils at the point of production and store them based on their phenolic content. The high phenolic Hellenic olive oil has been revived and is plentiful once again after 2,500 years. Once again the health promoting and health protective benefits of daily consumption of high phenolic Hellenic olive have been scientifically confirmed.

High Phenolic Olive Oil

High Phenolic Olive Oil

High phenolic Hellenic olive oil is perfectly balanced between ancient wisdom and modern science.  

ancient Hellenic Culture Invented Excellence

Why did the ancient Hellenic culture combined wine and olive oil? Scientific research has also indicated that adding wine to olive oil has a positive synergistic effect; it “Red wine and olive oil antioxidants, when consumed together, improve FMD and this effect lasts even 2 hours postprandially.” More specifically: “Our results showed that antioxidant substances found in red wine and green olive oil when consumed together cause a significant postprandial increase in FMD. It is noteworthy that no other combination of wine and olive oil increased FMD, which indicates that antioxidants of red wine and green olive oil when used separately are not capable of this beneficial effect on endothelial function.”

Less is More

Additionally, this high phenolic early harvest olive made from unripened olives produces less olive oil and is harder to extract especially in ancient times. The ancient Hellenes decided that less is more and went to great lengths to produce the best olive oil which is the most health promoting. They produced this olive oil not only from cultivated olive trees but also from wild olive trees. The olive tree was their most precious commodity and they planted olive trees wherever they went. This is the medicinal quality olive oil they traded across the Mediterranean and the middle east. According to today’s standards which rewards balanced and mild tasting olive oils these exceptional health promoting olive oils are regarded as defective by some these commercialized olive oil competitions.

The Naked Truth

Since the discovery of the NMR method, ancient Hellenic wisdom about high phenolic olive oil has been once again revived. The earlier you pick the olives the higher the health promoting phenolic content. The fascinating fact about this discovery for modern Hellenes is that most of our olive trees are not cultivated from seedlings.

Corfu olive trees

They have not been planted in neat rows like a chessboard. They have their origins from wild olive trees that have been grafted to produce bigger olives and more olive oil. But many wild olive trees remain around the olive groves across the Hellenic republic and are flourishing without the need for fertilizers, insecticides or irrigation. Wild Hellenic olive oil is once again taking its place in the Pantheon of the healthiest olive oils in the world.

Double Standards

Now the olive oil companies and organoleptic analysts are demanding these high phenolic olive oils be time tested to see if the phenolic content remains the same year after a year. If they were to take the time to read research conducted on the durability of high phenolic olive oils, they would quickly learn that high phenolic olive oils have been proven to stay fresher longer and they have a higher smoke point making them ideal for frying. Funny how suddenly they are concerned about the ability of olive oil to maintain its phenolic content but they have no concern about the rapid taste profile degradation that occurs to the winner of the “gold medal” in their “competitions” before and after it is bottled. They have never even tested award winning olive oils to see how they stand the test of time. High phenolic olive oils however have been tested and proven to be superior in every respect.

It seems when it comes to competing everyone likes to make their own rules. These highly commercialized events are not even competitions that seek to discover the truly best olive oil; it is a pure marketing game. Let’s face it at the end of the day paying $200-$400 to enter a competition is well worth the cost marketing wise if you position it properly… but marketing value and health value are two different things and health conscious citizens are waking up to the health value of olive oil rich in phenolic content and are willing to pay a higher price.

The Dawn of a New Era for Olive Oil Competitions

What if we were to combine the taste standard of the IOC certified organoleptic panel with the NMR method of accurately measuring each phenolic compound in olive oil?

Would this not give us a very clear picture on the quality of olive oil? After all olive oil is not consumed for its taste like wine it is a highly nutritional food with the added feature of its health protective and health promoting properties mainly due to its unique phenolic content.

Dr. Eleni Meliou and Dr. Prokopios Magiatis

Melliou and Magiatis present the results of the latest research

Greek funded research reveals EVOO’s secret.

The Best of Both Worlds

Why not use organoleptic analysis in order to confirm its freshness and proper production and handling methods and leave the rest of the judging to the amount of phenolic content in each olive oil? Would this not be the best way to find the best olive oils?

Any reasonable person would agree but the humungous industrialized food industry is not comprised of reasonable people. It is mostly controlled by those who only see the numbers of profit and loss. They look to adulterate a product to lower costs and increase profits instead of looking to produce the best olive oils at a lower cost and make them available to their citizens. This is why the ancient Hellenes went on expeditions to find new lands to plant their olive trees. So they could have fresh olive oil for their citizens all year round. They went to present day Sicily in order to begin the harvest in September or even August. Their wars were geared to expanding their supply of high quality food supply. Our wars are geared to expanding markets for fast food outlets and low nutritional food sales, genetically modified seeds and insects and destabilizing countries causing untold suffering to their citizens.

The four horsemen of the disease apocalypse;

increase production,

lower the quality,

open new markets,

lower labor costs,

are now being seen for what they are; resounding failures on all counts. 

Malnutrition and low nutrition is rampant in affluent western societies who continue to promote the fast food and soft drink diet for their citizens and aggressively export it to developing countries. A Sub nutritional food supply inhibits the immune system and opens the gates of hell filled with over-prescription of antibiotics, pain killers along with their severe side effects.

Citizens are Waking Up

Citizen awareness and demand for high nutritional food supply is increasing. High phenolic Hellenic olive oils are ready and able to feed this need.

The Aristoleo® Awards

For this reason, we have created the “The Aristoleo® Awards” which will bring publicity and greater awareness to the Hellenic roots of this vital resource. Combining cutting edge NMR technology to accurately measure individual phenolic compounds with IOC certified organoleptic analysis.

We will separate the EVOOs in 3 categories; Organic, Traditional and Wild EVOOs. We will have 3 sub categories of taste based on IOC organoleptic assessment;




Phenolic content will be measured by Dr. Magitis using the NMR at the University of Athens and the organoleptic analysis will be conducted by the IOC certified Kalamata Olive Oil Tasting Panel at the TEI Peloponnese.

The  olive oil with highest phenolic content in each category will win the Aristoleo Award of excellence.

Hellenic Revival

We believe The Aristoleo® Awards is an opportunity for Hellenic olive oil to set a new standard of high quality and lead the global olive oil industry back to its Hellenic roots of nutritional excellence.αριστολεο-βραβεια-το-ελληνικο-θαυμα 

Athan Gadanidis

For more details contact:

30 6947287828

Mystery of the Parthenon

How did they built it? How did they get so smart so fast? High Phenolic olive oils and proper nutrition makes all the difference.

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The information and views set out in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of the Aristoleo Ltd or Artemis Alliance Inc. . Neither Aristoleo Ltd or Artemis Alliance Inc. any person acting on their behalf may be held responsible for the use which may be made of the information contained therein.