Healthy Greek extra virgin olive oils win international awards

Α Decrease font Enlarge font
Healthy Greek extra virgin olive oils win international awardsInternational olive oil competitions have begun to present awards for healthy elements as well as flavor

By Lisa Radinovsky

Are you looking for food that is both tasty and nutritious? Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) is the perfect choice. With scientists finding more evidence for EVOO’s health benefits all the time, international olive oil competitions have begun to present awards for healthy elements as well as flavor. In 2020, Greek EVOOs earned many awards in both categories.

Extra virgin olive oil’s health benefits have been discussed in untold numbers of popular and scientific articles. There is scientific evidence that these benefits may include reducing inflammation, improving levels of cholesterol, triglycerides, blood pressure, and blood glucose, and helping to avoid or alleviate depression, type 2 diabetes, strokes, certain cancers, Alzheimer's disease, and heart disease.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Food Safety Authority have recognized that olive oil can help control cholesterol levels when used in place of animal fat, with both organizations authorizing specific health claims for olive oil.

Scientists have shown that many of extra virgin olive oil’s health benefits are due to its phenolic compounds (also called polyphenols and bio-phenols). These compounds have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties that can help prevent many serious diseases. Some of these polyphenols have also shown antiviral activity in laboratory experiments—an exciting discovery that needs additional investigation. There are more polyphenols in some olive oils than others. Several international competitions now recognize this distinction with awards based on polyphenol content or on the level of specific phenols, such as oleocanthal.

The G-Team’s HYPERELEON® high phenolic EVOO won an impressive number of these awards this year. These include 2nd place for Healthy Bio-Phenols Composition, 3rd Place for Healthy Oleocanthal Composition, and 3rd place overall at the World Best Healthy EVOO Contest, as well as a Platinum award for high polyphenols at the Berlin Global Olive Oil Awards (GOOA) and another Platinum in the Health Claim category at the London International Olive Oil Competition (IOOC). Dimitrios Mourlas told Greek Liquid Gold HYPERELEON’s success is due to his team’s cultivation, harvesting, production, transportation, and storage methods, such as their “exemplary biodynamic organic cultivation, an extremely early harvest,” use of ventilated containers, cold extraction within a few hours of the harvest, and “natural sedimentation instead of filtering.” G-Team procedures “preserve the maximum concentration of natural, extremely beneficial ingredients” in their EVOO, “as these ingredients seem to contribute to the protection of human health” by helping to fight serious diseases.

Theodoros Koutsotheodoris produces another “powerful superfood, as shown by the extremely high levels of antioxidants” in his single estate organic EVOO, Olive Poem - a drop of art. This year, OIive Poem won Extra Gold quality prizes from the BIOL and BIOLNovello competitions for organic EVOOs, plus designation as Best of Greece at the former and Top 13 at the latter. Olive Poem also took home a Gold Health Claim award at the London IOOC and a Gold for high phenolic content at the Olympia Health & Nutrition Awards (Olympia Awards), as well as Gold quality awards at the London, Athena, and EVO IOOCs, among others. Koutsotheodoris explained that his “work is based on respect for nature and the trees and a lot of study and effort in order to get the best result” at a “small production plant which allows full control” of the process.

Working at Bläuel Greek Organic Products, a larger operation in southern Greece, Silvia Lazzari attributed MANI EVOOs’ success to a “long, close cooperation with hundreds of producers” and strict, efficient selection of “only the very best” products for 40 years. The results of their work include Gold awards for high polyphenols from the Berlin GOOA and the Olympia Awards for their MANI Polyphenol Natives Olivenöl Extra, a Gold quality award from the BIOL competition for MANI organic Greek extra virgin olive oil, and the Best of Greece quality award at EVO IOOC for the same EVOO. Lazzari reported to Greek Liquid Gold that their team is “absolutely delighted” by these awards, which offer “great encouragement” and help “build consumers' trust.”

George Mathiopoulos said his team at the Greek Olive Estate also “couldn't be happier” about their awards. Their Drop of Life Organic, Drop of Life Limited Reserve, and PhenOLIV Organic EVOOs took home Gold Olympia Awards for high polyphenol content, with PhenOLIV Organic’s phenol measurement the highest among Greek producers tested there and second highest among all entrants. The Greek Olive Estate also captured a Platinum medal for high polyphenols from Berlin GOOA for Drop of Life Organic. Mathiopoulos told Greek Liquid Gold that his team works with “a splendid olive variety” called Olympia, Choraitiki, or Nemoutiana, which has been “grafted on wild olive trees that have been there for hundreds of years,” yielding “a really unique olive oil.” Eight years of work “to improve our procedure means we can consistently produce olive oil with really high polyphenols.”

Working with wild olive trees using a different kind of innovation, the team at E-LA-WON has launched a new blend of EVOO from wild olive trees (Agrielia) and EVOO from Botsikolia variety olives. This new creation, Super Premium Elawon, won a Platinum award for high polyphenols at the Berlin GOOA and a Gold award for high phenolic content at the Olympia Awards. E-LA-WON’s Premium EVOO also won a Gold Olympia Award this year. Ioannis Kampouris linked this success in making EVOOs with extra health benefits to his team’s early October harvest of their olives, extraction of the oil within just three hours, and use of the inert gas nitrogen to exclude from the bottles any oxygen that could harm the olive oil.

Athina Theodorakopoulou, a researcher working on biodynamic cultivation at the University of Patras, has helped two olive oil companies on the island of Antiparos and another in Zakynthos find new ways to make extra healthy EVOOs in cooperation with a research program in the Biology Department at the University. Made with olives grown organically using agrobiodynamic management, these EVOOs are so healthy that they are participating in clinical studies about olive oil’s health benefits.

Working with Koroneiki and Lianolia olives with advice from Theodorakopoulou, Think Greece has had great success with Eleagnos EVOO, which earned a Double Gold medal at the Aristoleo Awards for “high phenolic content with perfect taste,” a Gold for high phenolic content at the Olympia Health & Nutrition Awards, and Gold medals for quality at the London IOOC and the Olymp Awards. Made from Koroneiki, Askouda, and Kolovi olives with help from Theodorakopoulou, Ioanna Martinou’s Holy Oil EVOO also took home a Double Gold from the Aristoleo Awards and a Gold from the Olympia Awards for health benefits, as well as Silver quality awards from the London IOOC and the Olymp Awards.

Hailing from the island of Zakynthos in the Ionian Sea, on the other side of the Peloponnese peninsula, Therianos Family High Phenolic Olive Oil also earned a Double Gold Aristoleo Award and a Gold Olympia Award for its high polyphenol content with the assistance of Theodorakopoulou. “From the moment the tree prepares to give birth and grow its fruits,” Dimitris Therianos explained, “we are completely connected with it, starting from the way we take care of it and continuing until the moment we take its fruit.” Therianos views trees as “living organisms, hundreds and thousands of years old.” The soil and the microclimate, as well as the cultivation, harvesting, and oil extraction methods all make a difference to these organisms and what they give us.

Many producers of especially healthy extra virgin olive oil quote the ancient Greek physician Hippocrates (the “father” of western medicine), who considered olive oil “the great healer” and prescribed it for more than 60 medical conditions. He urged, “let food be your medicine, and medicine be your food.” While some of us may not wish to conflate food and medicine today, scientific studies have provided extensive evidence that extra virgin olive oil can help improve and protect our health, and its potential as a functional food or nutraceutical is being explored. With extra virgin olive oils’ varied flavors and culinary uses already well established, EVOOs are ideal for consumers who are interested in both flavor and health.

2020 Awards for Greece’s Top Winners in the Health Benefits Category

Awards listed are for health benefits or high phenolic content for extra virgin olive oils, except where quality awards (for EVOO flavor and aroma) are indicated

G-Team (Selected Awards)

  • World Best Healthy EVOO Contest – 3rd Place Overall – HYPERELEON®   
  • World Best Healthy EVOO Contest – 2nd Place for Healthy Bio-Phenols Composition – HYPERELEON®   
  • World Best Healthy EVOO Contest – 3rd Place for Healthy Oleocanthal Composition – HYPERELEON®   
  • London IOOC – Platinum – HYPERELEON®   
  • Berlin GOOA – Platinum – HYPERELEON®        
  • Japan Olive Oil Prize – Gold for Quality (Organic) – HYPERELEON®   
  • Aristoleo Awards – Double Gold – HYPERELEON®   
  • Olympia Health & Nutrition Awards – Gold – HYPERELEON®

Olive Poem - a drop of art

  • BIOL – Extra Gold & Best of Greece for Quality (Organic) – Olive Poem
  • BIOLNovello – Extra Gold & Top 13 for Quality (Organic) – Olive Poem
  • London IOOC – Gold for Quality – Olive Poem
  • London IOOC – Gold – Olive Poem
  • Berlin GOOA – Gold for Quality – Olive Poem
  • Athena IOOC – Gold for Quality – Olive Poem
  • EVO IOOC – Gold for Quality & Finalist for PDO Olive Oils – Olive Poem
  • Mediterranean Taste Awards – Gold for Quality – Olive Poem
  • Olympia Health & Nutrition Awards – Gold – Olive Poem
  • New York IOOC – Silver for Quality – Olive Poem

Bläuel Greek Organic Products  

  • Biofach – Recommendation for Quality (Organic) – MANI Organic Greek EVOO
  • Kotinos – Silver for Quality – MANI Organic Greek EVOO
  • BIOL – Gold for Quality (Organic) – MANI Organic Greek EVOO
  • New York IOOC – Silver for Quality – MANI Organic Greek EVOO
  • Berlin GOOA – Silver for Quality – MANI Organic Greek EVOO
  • Berlin GOOA – Gold – MANI Organic Polyphenol Natives Olivenöl Extra
  • Berlin GOOA – Bronze for Quality – MANI Greek Gold Natives Olivenöl Extra
  • Olympia Health & Nutrition Awards – Gold – MANI Polyphenol Natives Olivenöl Extra
  • EVO IOOC – Gold for Quality – MANI Organic Greek EVOO
  • EVO IOOC – Silver for Quality – MANI Greek Gold Natives Olivenöl Extra
  • EVO IOOC – Best of Greece – MANI Organic Greek EVOO

The Greek Olive Estate

  • Berlin GOOA – Platinum – Drop of Life Organic
  • Healthy Diet Awards – Silver for Functional Products – Drop of Life Organic
  • Healthy Diet Awards – Bronze for Food Supplement for Adults – PhenOLIV Protect
  • Olympia Health & Nutrition Awards – Gold – Drop of Life Organic
  • Olympia Health & Nutrition Awards – Gold – Drop of Life Limited Reserve
  • Olympia Health & Nutrition Awards – Gold and Highest Polyphenol Content for Greece – PhenOLIV Organic

E-LA-WON

  • Berlin GOOA – Platinum – Super Premium Elawon
  • Olympia Health & Nutrition Awards – Gold – Super Premium Elawon
  • Olympia Health & Nutrition Awards – Gold – Premium Elawon

Think Greece  

  • Olympia Health & Nutrition Awards – Gold – Eleagnos
  • Aristoleo Awards – Double Gold – Eleagnos
  • London IOOC – Gold for Quality – Eleagnos
  • Olymp Awards – Gold for Quality – Eleagnos
  • Mediterranean Taste Awards – Bronze for Quality – Eleagnos

Holy Oil by Ioanna Martinou

  • Olympia Health & Nutrition Awards – Gold – Holy Oil
  • Aristoleo Awards – Double Gold – Holy Oil
  • London IOOC – Silver for Quality – Holy Oil
  • Olymp Awards – Silver for Quality – Holy Oil
  • Mediterranean Taste Awards – Bronze for Quality – Holy Oil

Therianos Family Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil

  • Olympia Health & Nutrition Awards – Gold – Theta Organic
  • Aristoleo Awards – Double Gold – Theta Organic

Due to time and space limitations, this article focuses on the Greek olive oil companies that won a competition’s “best of” or highest award for their olive oil’s health benefits or for their organic EVOO, plus at least one more of the highest category of general awards for health benefits at a second competition (Gold, etc., depending on the competition). One article could not possibly mention all the extremely healthy, flavorful Greek extra virgin olive oils. For a longer (but still incomplete) list of Greek extra virgin olive oils with noteworthy health benefits, see also the World Olive Center for Health’s list of winners at the Olympia Health & Nutrition Awards. Other Greek Liquid Gold articles feature top award winning Greek extra virgin olive oils as well as top award winning Greek flavored olive oil condiments.

Thanks to The G-Team (HYPERELEON®), Olive Poem, Bläuel Greek Organic Products, E-LA-WON, and Dimitris Therianos for the photos used with this article. Marc Doradzillo took the photo of Fritz and Felix Bläuel inspecting olive trees with a producer.

All businesses, organizations, and competitions involved with Greek olive oil, the Mediterranean diet, and/or agrotourism or food tourism in Greece, as well as anyone else interested in supporting Greeks working in these sectors, are now invited to consider the advertising and sponsorship opportunities on the Greek Liquid Gold: Authentic Extra Virgin Olive Oil website. The only wide-ranging English-language site featuring news and information from the Greek olive oil world, it has reached readers in more than 200 countries around the globe.

“Originally published on Greek Liquid Gold: Authentic Extra Virgin Olive Oil (greekliquidgold.com). See that site for recipes with olive oil, photos from Greece, and olive oil news and information.”

RELATED TOPICS: GreeceGreek tourism newsTourism in GreeceGreek islandsHotels in GreeceTravel to GreeceGreek destinationsGreek travel marketGreek tourism statisticsGreek tourism report

Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons License: CC-BY-SA Copyright: Petr Pakandl

Tornos
  1. 16/04 22:20

    Migrant departures again surpassed arrivals in Greece during first quarter of 2021

  2. 16/04 22:12

    National Hellenic Student Association to Host Digital Spring Convention on April 16-17

  3. 16/04 21:50

    Conference: Cyprus tourism will continue to face challenges during summer 2021

  4. 16/04 21:45

    Park project at old Pyrkal premises auctioned in Greece by early 2022

  5. 16/04 19:56

    Over 100 events honoring Independence Bicentennial in Greece and abroad

  6. 16/04 19:36

    WHO/Europe chief visits vaccination megacenter in Maroussi suburb of Athens

  7. 16/04 19:22

    Greece records 3,067 new Covid-19 infections and 91 deaths on Friday

  8. 16/04 19:12

    TUI and AIDA to restart Greek cruise schedules in May

  9. 16/04 18:59

    Media report: Greece will not quarantine tourists from EU, US, UK, UAE, Israel and Serbia

  10. 16/04 16:16

    Greek Prime Minister announces fast and free access to land registry

  11. 16/04 13:06

    Greek Orthodox Archbishop urges vaccinations as Easter travel remains uncertain

  12. 16/04 11:18

    Minister: Cyprus tourism recovery will hugely depend on vaccinations

  13. 16/04 00:20

    New WHO office on quality of care and patient safety opens in the Greek capital

  14. 16/04 00:05

    AHEPA establishes new award to honor outstanding high school athletes in the US

  15. 15/04 23:32

    Israeli Ambassador to Athens: Greece and Israel anchors for stability

  16. 15/04 23:26

    Major parties vote for bill simplifying business procedures in Greece

  17. 15/04 23:25

    IATA issues statement on US Centers for Disease Control study

  18. 15/04 22:21

    Greek Tourism Minister in Moscow to promote reopening of sector

  19. 15/04 21:41

    Halloumi prospects after PDO registration “huge”

  20. 15/04 21:21

    IATA warns that lengthy UK border checks put travel sector restart at risk

  21. 15/04 20:59

    Greek government makes COVID-19 self-tests mandatory for more workers

  22. 15/04 20:31

    Embassy of Greece and UCLA SNF Center present poet Odysseus Elytis event on April 17

  23. 15/04 19:16

    Greece records 3,833 new Covid-19 infections and 104 deaths on Thursday

  24. 15/04 18:38

    Greek Orthodox Church calls for Easter openings during COVID-19 pandemic

  25. 15/04 17:41

    Greece, Cyprus, Israel, UAE FMs to discuss tourism in Paphos on Friday and Saturday

  26. 15/04 14:53

    Greek Civil Servants Confederation declares nationwide strike on May 6

  27. 15/04 11:45

    UNWTO, ONCE foundation and ENAT delivering accessible tourism for everybody

  28. 15/04 01:44

    Draft bill simplifying bureaucratic procedures welcomed by major parties in Greece

  29. 15/04 00:26

    Greece acquires two new air ambulance planes through $18M SNF grant

  30. 14/04 23:54

    Greece, Cyprus, Lebanon trilateral foreign ministers' meeting held in Athens on Thursday

  31. 14/04 22:48

    Tourism test: Paid Dutch vacationers on Rhodes can't leave 5-Star hotel

  32. 14/04 21:38

    Greek Orthodox Archbishop of America receives letter from US President

  33. 14/04 21:29

    Mandatory self-tests extended to selected public and private sector jobs in Greece

  34. 14/04 21:26

    Walking through history: Tracing resistance and the Great Famine in Athens on April 15

  35. 14/04 19:48

    Cyprus ministries in consultation to prepare health protocols for cruises

  36. 14/04 19:44

    Greece records 3,089 new Covid-19 infections and 81 deaths on Wednesday

  37. 14/04 19:10

    1/3 of striking civil staff to remain on the job to prevent disruption of services in Greece

  38. 14/04 18:53

    Over 1,100 refugees transferred off Lesvos island during the last 20 days

  39. 14/04 17:34

    Greek Tourism Minister visits iconic photo exhibit while on official visit to Russia

  40. 14/04 16:01

    European Union Court rejects two Ryanair challenges of airline subsidies

  41. 14/04 12:31

    Greek Alternate Foreign Minister on official visit to Italy on Thursday-Friday

  42. 14/04 10:20

    First 33,600 doses of Johnson & Johnson single-shot vaccine delivered to Greece

  43. 13/04 23:27

    Greek Tourism Minister in Moscow on Wednesday

  44. 13/04 23:21

    Argentina-Greece: Global Literary Competition "200 Years of Freedom and Hellenism"

  45. 13/04 23:08

    Greeks turn to rum, whiskey, beer to find comfort amid the pandemic

  46. 13/04 22:51

    Cyprus considers adoption of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine use restrictions

  47. 13/04 22:30

    Easter gifts for all ages from the Museum of Cycladic Art in Athens

  48. 13/04 22:26

    Greece records 4,033 new Covid-19 cases and 93 deaths on Tuesday

  49. 13/04 22:16

    Free COVID-19 self-test kit distribution expanded to 900,000 Greek workers

  50. 13/04 21:13

    Greeks may enjoy Easter vacations by utilizing self-tests this year

  51. 13/04 20:14

    New vaccination mega-center at Greek city of Patras launched on Thursday

  52. 13/04 19:58

    Orthodox Greek Easter performances live streamed by Athens Concert Hall on April 25-27

  53. 13/04 19:55

    EU moves toward Greek proposal for COVID-19 travel passports

  54. 13/04 18:47

    Pipeline repairs to affect water supply on Greek island of Salamina on Thursday

  55. 13/04 18:47

    Greek Teachers Federation announces protest rallies on Wednesday and Thursday

  56. 13/04 16:04

    Greek Labor Confederation announces 24-hour Labour Day strike on May 4

  57. 13/04 15:05

    More than 1.5 million Greeks have received at least the first vaccine dose

  58. 13/04 01:53

    Bill lifting restrictions for Diaspora Greeks registration in voters’ lists tabled

  59. 12/04 22:47

    Foreign Minister visits Greek community in Benghazi of Libya

  60. 12/04 22:40

    Health official: Inoculations with Johnson & Johnson's vaccine begin in Greece on April 19

  61. 12/04 22:33

    New Democracy government will lift Greek Diaspora voting rights restrictions

  62. 12/04 21:34

    Volume of private building activity up rises by 3.85 in Greece during January

  63. 12/04 21:31

    UNWTO: Advancing harmonized travel protocols and financing tourism's survival

  64. 12/04 21:15

    IATA statement on United Kingdom Global Travel Taskforce

  65. 12/04 21:03

    Laconia family firm imports top Greek olive oil to the USA

  66. 12/04 20:22

    Greek supermarket sales up increase by 1.9 pct during first quarter in 2021

  67. 12/04 19:16

    Greece records 1,606 new Covid-19 infections and 76 fatalities on Monday

  68. 12/04 19:11

    Artists and culture sector workers to organize protest in Athens on Thursday

  69. 12/04 18:30

    Fitch Ratings: Greek debt sustainable despite the Covid-19 pandemic

  70. 12/04 13:37

    Greek PM: Self-tests in retail, transportation, food delivery at the end of the week

  71. 12/04 11:23

    The Hellenic-American Chamber of Commerce offers the Acropolis Museum first virtual tour

  72. 11/04 15:02

    Greek President at Amfissa commemorating Salona Castle liberation

  73. 11/04 14:58

    The longest sand beach in Europe is in Greece

  74. 11/04 14:49

    Diaspora in Argentina celebrates Greek Bicentennial with impressive video

  75. 11/04 14:45

    Greek schools preparing for return of 16-18 year old students as of Monday

  76. 11/04 11:53

    Archbishop of Greece: Older citizens must not hesitate to be vaccinated

  77. 10/04 22:33

    Tourism 2021 survey: 95% of travelers eager to visit abroad as soon as bans are lifted

  78. 10/04 21:26

    Cyprus seeks United Kingdom visitors as UK COVID-19 variant cases rise

  79. 10/04 20:25

    Aviation urges Latin American governments to establish open dialogue for planning restart

  80. 10/04 15:00

    Minister: Greece and Cyprus cooperating on issue of migration flows

  81. 10/04 14:55

    Latest seaplane announced for holiday destination Kassandra of Halkidiki in Greece

  82. 10/04 14:51

    President of Hellenic Republic expresses condolences on death of Prince Philip

  83. 10/04 14:37

    Bank of Greece: Tourism plays leading role in Greek economic growth prospects

  84. 10/04 14:30

    Stores in Greek city of Thessaloniki to reopen only for pick up of online orders

  85. 10/04 11:14

    Greek island of Corfu birthplace of late Prince Philip of Britain remembers him fondly

  86. 09/04 19:31

    GNTO President Angela Gerekou: Greece an ideal destination for investments in tourism

  87. 09/04 19:29

    Swedish firms eye Greek maritime spatial planning and waste management projects

  88. 09/04 19:21

    Greece records 2,747 new Covid-19 infections and 78 fatalities on Friday

  89. 09/04 18:39

    Greek Jewish history lecture series presented online from April to June

  90. 09/04 18:31

    Bicentennial Virtual Conference: The Orthodox Church and the Greek Revolution

  91. 09/04 18:26

    Greek PM may require public sector health professionals to receive Covid vaccinations

  92. 09/04 17:50

    Hellenic Seaplanes joins tourism campaign “All you want is Greece”

  93. 09/04 17:42

    Greek Tourism Minister Theoharis presents plan for resumption of global travel

  94. 09/04 17:26

    AHEPA District 6 United States and Greek veterans meet in New York

  95. 09/04 16:23

    Greek National Vaccination Committee approves AstraZeneca vaccine for ages over 30

  96. 09/04 15:35

    Greek government: We urge our elderly fellow citizens to get vaccinated

  97. 09/04 14:22

    Free Covid-19 self-testing kits available in 11,000 Greek pharmacies from Friday

  98. 09/04 13:15

    Stavros Niarchos Foundation: Renovations at 15 Greek hospitals concluded

  99. 09/04 11:04

    Power grid interconnections with the Greek islands to save 400 million euros a year

  100. 08/04 23:38

    Greek Transport Ministry: 40 new buses to join Athens fleet on Friday