Consumer Information Events from 4E: “Learning about Olive Oil, Olives, Health and the Mediterranean Diet”

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The Scientific Society of Olive Encyclopaedists − 4Ε has started an information campaign for consumers, under the auspices of the Hellenic Ministry of Agricultural Development and Food and with the support and cooperation of local councils in Attica. In this way, 4E actively honored the World Olive Day, the admission of olive oil to the intangible cultural heritage of UNESCO and the 60th anniversary of the formation of IOC.

The first event took place at Peristeri (1/11/2019), followed by one at Glyfada which, with around 300 people crowded into the Melina Merkouri cinema hall, showed that the local residents were thirsty for accurate and scientific but simple information on the quality of table olives and olive oil, and their relationship with health and culture in the framework of the Mediterranean diet.

It was noticeable that the audience remained in the amphitheatre until late at night and bombarded the speakers with a wide range of questions on the quality of oil (extra-virgin, virgin, etc.), production methods, storage, nutritional value, the use of olives and its oils in cuisine, including olive pomace oil in frying.

In particular, the interest of the speakers and the audience was focused on a series of practical issues, which included:

  • Directions for the correct use of olive oil in cookery
  • Methods for organoleptic evaluation, the pros and cons of using olive oil, and the different olive varieties available
  • Nutritional value of table olives, returning them to the family table, and the many categories and methods of their production
  • Olive pomace olive oil and its use in cookery
  • The benefits of the Mediterranean diet to human health

The event “Learning about Olive Oil, Olives, Health and the Mediterranean Diet” included the following talks:

  • Diet as a cultural element, by Dr Aiketerini Polymerou Kamilaki,The Hellenic Folklore Research Centre, the Academy of Athens
  • The benefits of the Mediterranean diet, from childhood to old age, by Alexandra Foskolou, scientific assistant, PhD student, Harokopeio University
  • Quality classification of olive oil, correct use and storage, by Efi Christopoulou, chemist, olive oil taster, expert, EU and IOC
  • Olives – Eat 5 a day! by George Boskou, Professor at the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, and Katerina Giazitzi, Dietician-Nutritionist, PhD student, Harokopeio University
  • Olive pomace oil, the unknown relative of olive oil, by Nikos Andrikopoulos, Emeritus Professor of Biochemistry and Food Chemistry, Harokopeio University

Conversation coordinated by Mr. Vassilis Zampounis, agroeconomist, member of 4Ε.

The participants at the consumer information function received a free 16-page leaflet produced by the Scientific Society of Olive Encyclopaedists − 4Ε which included the talks by the speakers.