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. 26/01 13:14

    Covid-19: Commission proposes update to coordinated approach on free movement restrictions

  2. 26/01 13:08

    Space tourism: Astronauts could be put into hibernation to travel to Mars

  3. 26/01 13:01

    Consumers sticking with e-commerce in Greece even after the pandemic

  4. 26/01 12:57

    Greek police permits gatherings up to 100 people until February 1

  5. 26/01 12:54

    New cold front brings snow, gale force winds and heavy rain in Greece

  6. 26/01 12:50

    Covid-19 cases slowly dropping amid nearly 3-month partial nationwide lockdown in Greece

  7. 26/01 12:30

    SNF Brain Insight Lecture on The Future of Learning and Education on February 9

  8. 26/01 11:10

    NATO head praises resumption of exploratory talks between Greece and Turkey

  9. 26/01 10:53

    Health official: Fewer than 500 vaccine doses lost from no-shows in Greece

  10. 26/01 10:47

    Artist reconstructs faces of famous Ancient Greeks on Twitter

  11. 26/01 10:30

    Greek archaeologists call for immediate opening of museums and cultural sites

  12. 26/01 10:20

    Greek commerce Sec-Gen: A third strict lockdown will be catastrophic for everyone

  13. 26/01 10:13

    Greece's updated energy and climate plans target 7GW of wind energy by 2030

  14. 26/01 01:58

    Thessaloniki’s Aristotelous Square makeover discussed at municipal meeting

  15. 26/01 01:50

    Greek MP: Deportations to begin with Pakistan and Bangladesh deemed “safe countries”

  16. 26/01 01:30

    Major drop in 2020 tax revenues recorded in Greece due to the pandemic

  17. 26/01 01:23

    American Airlines will fly from Athens to New York as of June 3, 2021

  18. 26/01 00:52

    Stavros Niarchos Foundation marks a quarter of a century of philanthropy (video)

  19. 25/01 23:54

    Decline in sales turnover recorded in Greece despite long queues

  20. 25/01 23:36

    Catholic Church in Greece announces new archbishop for seat of Tinos island

  21. 25/01 22:46

    European Investment Bank signs €200-million financing deal with Greece

  22. 25/01 22:05

    Greek FM talks EU-Turkey relations and pandemic with EU officials in Brussels

  23. 25/01 19:18

    No side effects from elderly citizen vaccinations reported in Greece

  24. 25/01 18:18

    Exploratory talks between Greece and Turkey conclude with next round in Athens

  25. 24/01 21:28

    Lockdown extension to February 1 published in Greek Government Gazette

  26. 24/01 21:25

    Greek PM: We want to create a ‘fast travel lane’ across the EU

  27. 24/01 21:19

    Up to two passengers and the driver allowed in taxis cars in Greece as of Monday

  28. 24/01 21:15

    Expert: 2021 Year of Greek wine and food

  29. 24/01 21:05

    Greek university rectors offer security-for-funding deal to government

  30. 24/01 20:24

    Ancient Greek statues discovered near Athens Airport

  31. 24/01 18:53

    Greece records 334 new Covid-19 infections and 24 fatalities on Sunday

  32. 24/01 15:10

    Colchicine drug utilized in the fight against coronavirus in Greece

  33. 24/01 14:01

    Supermarkets and retail stores allowed to stay open in Greece on Sunday, January 24

  34. 24/01 12:57

    Cyprus bids to attract investment and promote the film industry

  35. 23/01 22:05

    EU Court allows Bulgaria to make knock-off Cypriot halloumi cheese

  36. 23/01 21:58

    New Secretary of State will strive to enhnace US-Greek security ties

  37. 23/01 21:55

    Halki Summit IV dedicated to COVID-19 and Climate Change between January 26–28

  38. 23/01 21:50

    Greek high schools students will return to their classrooms on February 1

  39. 23/01 21:27

    The Crusader castle of Chlemoutsi in the Peloponnese region of southern Greece

  40. 23/01 19:09

    Greece records 605 new Covid-19 cases and 24 fatalities on Saturday

  41. 23/01 18:37

    Greek regions of Attica and North Aegean removed from Germany’s high-risk areas travel list

  42. 23/01 18:22

    Three consecutive weather fronts forecast to affect Greece until Wednesday

  43. 23/01 10:59

    The Japanese government is expected to cancel the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games

  44. 23/01 10:34

    Deadline for binding financial offers for the concession of Egnatia Odos extended to April 1

  45. 23/01 00:41

    Greek government: No levies on UK imports and only relevant VAT

  46. 22/01 16:19

    Greek retail sales record turnover drop by 5.6% during Q3 2020

  47. 22/01 16:08

    Economics Olympiad held by Secretariat General of Public Diplomacy and Greeks Abroad

  48. 22/01 16:02

    Greek FM discusses bilateral issues with German Ambassador to Athens

  49. 22/01 15:49

    Archbishop of America offers prayer at Presidential Inaugural Prayer Service (video)

  50. 22/01 15:42

    7-day quarantine for foreign passengers and restriction of flights until February 8 in Greece

  51. 22/01 15:37

    AHEPA congratulates Biden-Harris Administration on their inauguration

  52. 22/01 15:36

    Meeting at Greece's health ministry on the issue of coronavirus mutations

  53. 22/01 15:25

    The Hellenic Initiative Australia awards $50,000 ‘Winter Appeal for Greece’ grants

  54. 22/01 15:10

    Finance Ministry: Greece has to exploit all of its comparative advantages to advance

  55. 22/01 13:20

    Conde Nast Traveler: The top 5 Greek islands worth visiting during 2021

  56. 22/01 13:14

    Holocaust Remembrance Day of the Greek Jews features The Good Shepherds

  57. 22/01 11:20

    Greek PM underlines need to speed up EU's vaccines approval process

  58. 22/01 01:26

    Microsoft investment will transform Lavrio port through extended housing reconstructions

  59. 22/01 01:15

    US-Greek relations set to improve even more under Biden administration

  60. 22/01 01:11

    Turkish occupied side of Cyprus imposes COVID-19 night curfew as well

  61. 22/01 01:05

    Athens Municipality to support entrepreneurs in culture sector with up to € 7.7 million

  62. 22/01 00:55

    AP: Restructuring Norwegian Air to get government support

  63. 22/01 00:46

    Daily Covid-19 cases ease again, albeit marginally in Greece on Thursday

  64. 22/01 00:38

    Prime Minister: “Brand Greece” must be refreshed this year

  65. 22/01 00:28

    The opening of all schools among top priorities of the Greek government

  66. 22/01 00:18

    New US President to sign Covid-19 measures requiring mask use to travel

  67. 22/01 00:02

    Reinforcing bridges between Greek universities and diaspora on January 24

  68. 22/01 00:01

    Greek police to procure specialized vehicles against the Covid-19 pandemic

  69. 21/01 22:21

    Olympic Museum set to open in the Greek capital of Athens during 2021

  70. 21/01 22:02

    Survey: Greece among world bucket list destinations for global travel writers in 2021

  71. 21/01 21:54

    Greece still the only EU country with 'green' zones on ECDC Covid-19 map

  72. 21/01 21:44

    UNWTO Global Tourism Crisis Commitee meets again to explore safe travel in age of vaccines

  73. 21/01 21:43

    Smithsonian: DNA analysis sheds light on the mysterious origins of the Ancient Greeks

  74. 21/01 20:20

    Vaccination appointments for citizens aged 80-84 available in Greece at 18:00 on Friday

  75. 21/01 20:16

    Bank of Greece records increase in NPLs stock by 8-10 billion euros

  76. 21/01 19:38

    Greek PM at EU Summit: Digital vaccination certificate 'is about opening up freedom of movement'

  77. 21/01 19:08

    Minister: Journalists covering protest rallies to have 'designated positions' in Greece

  78. 21/01 13:28

    Google and Koala study: Americans look to Greece for post-pandemic vacations in 2021

  79. 21/01 04:06

    Ice sculpture replica of Odeon of Herodes Atticus presented at China’s Harbin Ice Festival

  80. 21/01 03:48

    Fewer customers allowed in Greek supermarkets since store re-opening on Monday

  81. 21/01 01:45

    Analysts expect Greek tourism sector to rebound in 2021

  82. 21/01 01:33

    Greek PM tweets congratulations to Joe Biden and Kamala Harris

  83. 21/01 01:14

    Greece proposes three measures to restart global tourism industry

  84. 20/01 22:53

    Night curfew in Greece remains in force despite easing COVID-19 lockdown

  85. 20/01 22:19

    Greek President: Cooperation with US even stronger during Joe Biden's tenure

  86. 20/01 21:52

    Wizz Air Abu Dhabi operates inaugural flight to Greek capital of Athens (video)

  87. 20/01 21:09

    Greek Parliament approves extending territorial waters to 12 miles in Ionian Sea

  88. 20/01 20:38

    Grand Club in the northern Greek city of Kavala reopens after extensive renovations

  89. 20/01 19:32

    Registered unemployment in Greece records an increase of 2.42% during December

  90. 20/01 18:12

    Emergency number 112 upgraded with e-Call vehicle services in Greece

  91. 20/01 16:22

    Travel receipts in Greece at €4.24 billion during first 11 months of 2020

  92. 20/01 12:43

    Two stolen 18th-century religious icons to return to Greece from Beirut

  93. 20/01 12:37

    Greek island of Crete most popular summer holiday destination for British travelers in 2021

  94. 20/01 04:20

    AP: EU Commission urges member states to speed up vaccination

  95. 20/01 04:15

    Emirates among first airlines globally to trial IATA travel pass

  96. 20/01 04:08

    Archbishop of America to take part in virtual Presidential Inaugural prayer service

  97. 20/01 04:02

    Nominated to lead UNWTO for four more years

  98. 20/01 04:00

    Finance Minister: Greek state raised two billion euros in liquidity

  99. 20/01 03:49

    Etihad Airways one of the first carriers globally to launch IATA Travel Pass

  100. 20/01 03:38

    Cyprus Deputy Tourism Minister briefs Parliament on 2021 action plan