When & where
The project started on 1st November 2016 and is foreseen to be completed on 31st October 2019. However, the results and the offset of the project are planned to last.
The partners that participate in it are from 5 different Mediterranean countries: Greece, Italy, Cyprus, Croatia, Spain.
However, more than 20,000 olive mills are operating in the Mediterranean countries and several millions of people are directly or indirectly affected by the economic viability of the olive oil sector. The olive fruit and the olive oil are the most important agricultural products in the three countries concerning their contribution to the agricultural GDP (5-10%).
The main problem that has hindered the exploitation of the health claim advantage for olive oil is the lack of commonly accepted methods for the measurement of the ingredients related to the health claim. Although three partners (UOA, UOC, ARI) have developed and published or patented innovative methods of analysis their joined effort to conclude to commonly accepted methods is expected to resolve this problem. In addition their joined effort will make the final outcome more easily adopted by international organizations like the international olive oil council.
Moreover the adoption of a common transnational strategy towards the production of olive oils with increased health protecting properties will strengthen this approach. A local or regional effort does not have the critical mass of producers to influence the worldwide opinion of the consumers about olive oil. A transnational effort to produce olive oil with officially recognized and certified healthy properties has increased possibilities to change the view of olive oil from a simple lipid food to a health protecting food.