The global ambitions of Lebanon’s hardpressed olive-oil makers

The love for the olive and olive oil knows no boundaries.

The fund will grow in numbers, especially in new distribution areas, including South America and China. The family of olive oil only accounts for 1.7% of global consumption of fat, with a per capita annual consumption of only 420 grams

And the future?

An international study, sponsored by GEA, reveals how they are already 56 countries producing olive oil and expects the sector to grow inexorably over the next four years.

At present, it produces the world an average of 3.1 million tons of olive oil, with an annual growth of 3.1% (13% in the last four years), which allows you to seek to achieve, in 2020, the 4.1 million tons.

But the oil from olives like more and more. In fact, there is an increase in consumption over the last four years, amounting to 13.4%, and it is estimated that they will grow up to 2.9 million tons of olive oil, thanks all'ingressi ten new consumer countries , bringing the total number of oil "in love" at an altitude of 174 countries from olives.

And although the olive oil represents only 1.7% of the global consumption of fat, with a per capita annual consumption of only 420 grams, the growth potential is high.

In fact, since most of the consumption it is strongly supported by the producers (83% countries of the world population), who have an average annual consumption of about 10 kilograms of olive oil per person (with peaks in the Greek island of Crete that reach 32 kg), is not this a very strong reason and the key to hope for the increase of the olive territories?

Postcard from South Africa!

The time has come, I have to leave!

I am quite used to travelling and often!

I know places, people, customs and traditions from most parts of the world.

I am leaving, but this time the baggage I am taking back with me is heavy, one of those that is difficult to forget or lose at the airports.

Too full of things, packed with dear memories and too precious to let it vanish.

A baggage filled with experiences, men and women, lands and mountains, trees, olive oil and wines, wales and penguins, surfers and baboons.

Unique things that only this land is able to offer.

And it is this new land which is now embarking on the history of olive growing, even if quite recently, compared to the millenniums of history which linger between the waves of the mediterranean sea.

But down in South Africa, they have made the most of the millennial european experiences, skipping the first “uncertain” steps, and aiming straight for quality, top quality. 

So now, in Italy ( and in Europe as well ) we have an extra competitor, as if the ones in our country or just over the borders wheren't enough…..

But this is the world, down here, and such is life.

So hurrah for this new fine olive growing , hurrah for this beautiful and kind attitude, hurrah for extra virgin olive oil.

And above all, thank you!

Thank you for your welcome, thank you for having looked after me for so many days.

Thank you South Africa!


With love, yours Antonio Giuseppe Lauro.

TerraOlivo: the brotherhood of competition.

Today first day of tastings at the "Mediterranean International Olive Oil Competition - TerraOlivo Jerusalem".

With light behind schedule provided here, magically, the doors of the competition is open to the impatient tasters. The competition judges are present!

Argentines, Spaniards, Italians, Greeks, Israelis ... all answered the call! All in their places.

The tasting room anxiously waiting to start, but here's the pleasant surprise: a Palestinian Authority court, a judge pretty woman in chador.

That the olive evoke peace since the days of Noah and the Ark, and that was biblical symbol of brotherhood, welfare and sacredness of man, he was known to all, but to see you here, concretely, in their eyes this brotherhood, this peace, then everything takes on another appearance! And he has the appearance of a Palestinian taster, initially shy and awkward, but immediately at ease among many colleagues.

I'm lucky to have her at my table, we discuss and talk thickly oil, olive, world. Then the official recall and the via in the competition.

Mise en bouche, thundering from the chairman's table, evidence of realignment - specific self. I explain the champion, look at the other tables, all right, we can start.

TerraOlivo begins.

Antonio G. Lauro - Panel Leader TerraOlivo


Photo: Taghreed Mohamed A. Shehadeh - International Judge

A cultural and spiritual journey in the olive groves.

In Spain, local governments have shifted the focus from mere production of olives and olive oil, concentrating efforts on the conservation of the natural and historic landscape

There have been, over the centuries, a multitude of methods used to enhance and protect the cultivated fields with the Mediterranean species most valuable: the olive tree.

All methods that put their attention to the protection of a plant essential and many uses in the kitchen, thanks to the fleshy olives and the precious oil that they drew, and essential basis for the construction of modest homes and rudimentary tools, but also excellent source of firewood.

Today, local government and the Entities, have shifted the focus from mere production of olives and olive oil, concentrating efforts on the conservation of the natural and historic landscape and agriculture.

Daughters of this ancestral culture, areas of protection (protected natural parks, areas of natural interest, agricultural areas with high natural value) and parks to artistic interest.

Interesting what happens in Spain, the land of olive trees beyond imagination, that in the south of the province of Salamanca, in the municipalities of San Martín del Castañar, Sequeros and Las Casas del Conde, protected by the Natural Park of Las Batuecas-Sierra de France, offers the opportunity to make a trip out of the ordinary, immersed in installations of works of art that surprise the passer.

Among all, in the municipality of Las Casas del Conde and to a lesser extent in San Martín del Castañar, amaze the sculptures en plei air directly in the trunks of olive "alive".

These are works of art themselves, that embellish places and make it nice the way in this vast wilderness area.

The works, carved in olive groves of the area, are composed of images austere, between the sacred and the royal, expressing - all - a sense of peace and security. Protection towards us and towards this tree, symbol of ancient and modern reconciliation between nature and man.

For those wishing to travel this "unusual" way and more news on the nature trail complete, may inquire into the network:

Don't cook with olive oil!

A suggest that comes from a British research, readily taken up by the tabloids. Extra virgin only for salads and for cooking? "Fry as do the Chinese, with olive oil and water"

The British research seemes a spot for butter or seed oil and a new attack on the "King of Fat": the extra virgin olive oil.

The British tabloid "Daily Mail" and "The Telegraph" published the results of this study: eating unripe bananas, mashed not eat, do not cook with olive oil, for a healthy diet.

This, in short, the title of the article published in the newspapers on-line that draws the British and what was said by biochemistry professor Rodney Bilton, who has worked for 15 years in search of a healthy diet, based on scientific evidence. 

I don't hate bananas, fruit also nice, but the cultivation of which brings with it untold atrocities (but that's another story), I compared the mashed potatoes (which I do not particularly like), but that for a healthy diet should avoid cooking with a generic "olive oil", no, I can not get through.

Sure, it's comforting (in part), as stated by Professor Bilton that recommend eating "olives and extra virgin olive oil only raw in salads rather than in the kitchen," but it is a very small thing compared to the advice to "fry as they do the Chinese, with olive oil and water, to avoid the heating of the oil and the consequent production of toxic chemicals."

Not later than for the other search results (do not mash the potatoes, drink water to reduce back pain, be wary of tofu, eat like the Masai, the danger of smoothies), I willingly leave to others the task, but my concern is legitimate: I (we) probably got it all wrong? I do not believe, you?

No more malaxation. Just an electric shock.

Short pulses created by a strong electric field to enlarge the pores of the cellular membranes and facilitate the outflow of the oil. The new machine being tested at the Centre de Recerca I Investigaciò de Catalunya

 "We have improved the process of extracting olive oil, using a technology based on a pulsed electric field," said Arturo Portugal, research engineer at the CRIC (Centre de Recerca I Investigaciò de Catalunya - Barcelona). A Malagon in central Spain, a small company is testing a new module for the extraction of olive oil dale.

The idea is to apply an electric shock before you squeeze the olives, using short pulses generated by a strong electric field, and these, widen the pores in cell membranes, facilitating the extraction of oil.

Portugal explains that "The electrical pulses generated by the machine, through the olive paste, with the result of obtaining more oil extracted from the same amount of raw material. Furthermore the electrical impulse that opens the pores of the drupe olive oil makes it easier Also get the oil from unripe olives. "

The owner of the company where we held the trial - Aniceto Gomez-confirmed the quality of the device and reported that "To ensure the best quality of oil is important to remove it without heating the olive paste and the car's design facilitates this extraction process, making it possible to extract oil from the best green olives even at room temperature. "

The pilot plant, which currently can "treat" six liters of olive paste will extend to the second, after the trial developed within an EU project, the technology to full production levels.

The new technology, says Arturo Portugal "It will improve the competitiveness of the olive oil sector, increasing productivity."

by Antonio G. Lauro

The true sixth sense is the taste of fat.

A group of scientists from Melbourne found out that humans identify the taste of fat from its chemical composition and not from its texture

How many are the tastes? A recent Australian research changed our idea at this regard. From the begin of the last century (1908) science recognized officially just four tastes perceived by the tongue: sweet, salty, bitter and sour. This classification though didn’t take into account the common experience of Eastern countries where a fifth taste was commonly perceived: the umami. 

Then, thanks to Kikunae Ikeda, in 1908, the umami taste was universally recognized. This taste is typical of foods rich in proteins and it is characterized by a savor taste, which derives from the presence of molecules similar to the Monosodium glutamate (the common bouillon cube). All the same this definition is still poorly widespread in Western countries and in physiology textbooks its presence is still usually ignored.

This situation has been recently modified again by the findings of the scientists of the Dealkin University of Melbourne (Australia), lead by Russel Keast and Jessica Stewart, in cooperation with the University of Adelaide, CSIRO, and the Massey University (New Zeeland), that were able to find a sixth taste, the fat one, to be added to the original five.

The discovery of the fat taste could be a key to fight obesity. By employing a series of tastings, the researchers of the Australian University concluded that humans identify the taste of fat from its chemical composition and not from its texture.

People involved in the research were able, even if with different sensitivities, to recognize a vast set of fat acids typically found in food – such as the oleic acid or the linoleic acid, present in the olive oil – or in drinks milk flavored. Following experiments also demonstrated that the different sensitivity to the fat taste correlates with the body weight of volunteers. This finding can be a step in the fight against obesity.

As Keast explains, “we found that people who are sensitive to food fats, who are able to recognize the presence of fat even at very low concentrations, eat less ipercaloric foods in comparison to the less sensitive ones. We were then able to find a smaller body mass index in the first group in comparison to the second group. At the moment we are interested in understanding why someone is sensitive to fat taste and someone is not, in order to help people to reduce their fat uptake and to develop new low-fat foods”. 

This finding could help to contrast the obesity epidemic, according to many nutritionists, and it could help in the production of anti-obesity foods, able to mimic the fat taste and to deceive in this way the body desire of fat. 

Source: Antonio G. Lauro, MD



Jessica E. Stewart, Christine Feinle-Bisset, Matthew Golding, Conor Delahunty, Peter M. Clifton and Russell S. J. Keast. Oral sensitivity to fatty acids food consumption and BMI in human subjects. British Journal of Nutrition, 2010.

Domina IOOC, the winners of the international olive oil competition held in Palermo 

9 May. 2017

By Indra Galbo 




The competition

The D-IOOC, Domina International Olive Oil Contesthas just closed its last day of events on May 7th, 2017. Despite its young age (two years) it has quickly become one of the most important worldwide olive oil ranking competitions. There was a slight decrease in the number of Italian participants compared to last year, due mainly to the year’s low production yield. This however did not stop Italy from shining in the “Best 10” and Gold and Silver Awards categories.

The awards

The award ceremony opened with the president of the competition, Antonio Giuseppe Lauro who spoke a heart-warming homage for Professor Raul Castellani, pillar and founder of many wine and olive oil tasting competitions around the world, including D-IOOC. But here are the numbers of the current edition. A whopping 347 entered the competition coming from 19 participating countries, 154 of which Italian, 42 from Spain, 40 from Turkey, 26 from Greece, and from the rest of the world including new entry China, which presented 3 champions. Award parameters were 5: Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Single Origin Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Blend Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Protected Designation of Origin Extra Virgin Olive Oil (DOP/IGP).

Here are the Top 10 of Internationally Awarded champions:

– Best International Award 2017 Northern Hemisphere

Azienda Agricola Donato Conserva – Mimì Coratina (Italy)

– Best International Award 2017 Southern Hemisphere

Solfrut Sa – Oliovita Edición Limitada Picual (Argentina)

– Best International Monovarietal 2017 Northern Hemisphere

Almazaras De La Subbetica – Rincon De La Subbetica Dop Priego De Cordoba (Spain)

– Best International Monovarietal 2017 Southern Hemisphere

Verde Louro Azeites Ltda – Verde Louro Arbosana (Brazil)

– Best International Blend 2017 Northern Hemisphere

Muela-Olives Sl – Venta Del Baron Aceite De Oliva Virgen Extra (Spain)

– Best International Blend 2017 Southern Hemisphere

Agroland Sa – Colinas De Garzón Olio Novo 2016 (Uruguay)

– Best International Organic 2017 Northern Hemisphere

Domenica Fiore – Olio Reserva (Italy)

– Best International Dop/Igp 2017 Northern Hemisphere

Frantoio Franci – Bio Igp Toscano (Italy)

– Best Of Sicily 2017

Frantoi Cutrera – Primo Dop (Italy) 

– Best Of South America Special Award Raul C. Castellani 2017

Trilogía – Aceite De Oliva Virgen Extra (Argentina)

– Best Of Turkey 2017

Zeytindostu İktisadi İşletmesi – Öveçli (Izmir)

– Best Of Crete 2017

Terra Creta – Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Kolymvari Chania)


To view the rest of the Gold and Silver Awards go to:

by Indra Galbo

translated by Eleonora Baldwin