There’s a new project underway that seeks to develop the healthiest olive oil. OILOX, whose Spanish acronym stands for Extra Virgin Olive Oil as a Functional Food, is being undertaken by a consortium of five companies: Smartrural, Laboratorio Juan Antonio Tello, Acesur, Almazaras de la Subbética, and Aceites Valdezarza.
This group is looking to produce a superior quality extra virgin olive oil high in the polyphenol hydroxytyrosol and its derivatives. Hydroxytrosol is considered to be the most powerful antioxidant compound and has anti-inflammatory and anti-atherogenic properties that help inhibit atherosclerosis, among many other health benefits.
Over time they have been using a range of techniques to increase and, ultimately, to predict, their oils’ polyphenol content. They are analyzing the impact of a combination of factors in the olive groves, in their growing techniques and in their production methods on the final product. The project is being funded by the Center for the Development of Industrial Technology.