Aristoleo Awards 2023
2016 – 2023

Welcome to the Market Showcase for High Phenolic EVOO & Table Olives


Aristoleo literally means “excellent oil”.


Hippocrates referred to olive oil made from early harvest, green unripe olives as “medicinal” and now science is proving why.

Aristoleo Awards is a unique competition, exclusive to High Phenolic EVOO and Table Olives. We envision a world where excellence in olive oil production is celebrated and rewarded based on scientifically proven quality. We strive to be the foremost platform that fosters the advancement of olive oil producers, promoting transparency, integrity, and innovation within the industry and out into the international consumer market.

By recognizing and honouring the finest olive oils, we inspire consumer confidence and elevate the standards of quality for health worldwide. Our vision is to establish a global community that passionately embraces the art and science of olive oil production, promoting sustainable practices and enhancing the overall appreciation for this precious gourmet medicine.

Science is Unbiased

High Phenolic EVOO with EU Health Claim and Table Olives are assessed based on qNMR analysis for phenolic content by World Olive Center for Health. Olive oils are further qualified by organoleptic opinion for no defects only by Food Allergens Laboratory.

Check out our High Phenolic EVOO Infographic to choose the Extra Virgin Olive Oil with the best phenolic content for your culinary preferences, health objectives and budget.

Creating Community

Scientists, researchers, olive growers and guests dance after a feast of ancient Hellenic recipes made with ancient grains and, of course, High Phenolic Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Olives.

Each year ARISTOLEO AWARDS expresses a theme. In 2019 it was a feast of ancient recipes at the seaside Saronikos Taverna in Souvala on Aegina Island.

Read more >

Greek dancing at Aristoleo Awards Aegina Island

Aristoleo Awards Categories

TRIPLE GOLD
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2000+ mg/kg
Total Phenolic Content

Table Olives
3.0+ mg/gr
Hydroxytyrosol & Tyrolsol

DOUBLE GOLD
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1200-2000 mg/kg
Total Phenolic Content

Table Olives
2.0-3.0 mg/gr
Hydroxytyrosol & Tyrolsol

GOLD
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
800-1200 mg/kg
Total Phenolic Content

Table Olives
1.5-2.0 mg/gr
Hydroxytyrosol & Tyrolsol

SILVER
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
500-800 mg/kg
Total Phenolic Content

Table Olives
1.0-1.5 mg/gr
Hydroxytyrosol & Tyrolsol

BRONZE
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
250-500 mg/kg
Total Phenolic Content

Table Olives
.50-1.0 mg/gr
Hydroxytyrosol & Tyrolsol

High Phenolic EVOO with EU Health Claim

What’s it all about? FAQ

What is High Phenolic EVOO?

What is the EU Health Claim?

What does the EU Health Claim mean?

The EU Health Claim 432/2012 labelling regulation identified the source of the health promoting olive oil. The EU set a minimum of 250 mg of phenolic compounds per kg of olive oil in order to qualify the olive growers to place the health claim on their label.

Olive oil polyphenols contribute to the protection of blood lipids from oxidative stress. The claim may be used only for olive oil, containing at least 5 mg of hydroxytyrosol and its derivatives (e.g. oleuropein complex and tyrosol) per 20 g of olive oil. In order to bear the claim information shall be given to the consumer that the beneficial effect is obtained with a daily intake of 20 g of olive oil.

In plain English, a minimum 20 ml dose of olive oil containing 250 mg/kg of polyphenols is equal to 5 mg per day of polyphenols. This dose was found effective in lowering LDL oxidation — it helps lower “bad” cholesteral.

“Derivatives” of hydroxytyrosol and tyrosol created during the malaxation process are the various phenolic compounds — more than 30 so far discovered.

Although there are numerous reports of anecdotal evidence supported by initial clinical studies on human volunteers of many other benefits to consumeing High Phenolic EVOO every day. However, there are no other health claims for olive oil other than the one above in regard LDL oxidation

Since High Phenolic EVOO is a food and a safe food (revered for thousands of years), it should be part of any health regimen for prevention and/or treatment of illness.

NOTE: If under medical care or on medication, always advise your health professional.

Aristoleo

Does research support the EU Health Claim?

There is no health claim for reducing inflammation; only a drug can do that. There is a wealth of evidence on the potential for these phenolic compounds, at normally achievable levels, to have a dramatic and positive impact on human health.

Follow this link to a page that lists the latest research on phenolic compounds in EVOO and their potential benefits to human health.

Research is still in the early stages. There is evidence accumulated over the years that human trials that can move forward to the next level of proof with clinical trials with a greater number of volunteers. https://aristoleo.com/research-links/

On a practical level, how do you incorporate High Phenolic EVOO into your diet plan? This is the secret sauce of the Mediterranean Diet, Lifestyle and wellness regimen. Check out this interview with Athan and Dr. Simon Poole, author of The Real Mediterranean DietThis is awesome!

The EU Health Claim makes clear that the health benefits of polyphenol-rich olive oil are dose dependent. So, an olive oil with higher levels of phenolic compounds per kg. will provide the same beneficial amount of polyphenols in a lesser measure of oil — fewer calories.

What is the difference between Polyphenols and Phenolic Compounds?

The main difference between phenols and polyphenols is that phenols are aromatic compounds containing a benzene ring substituted with a hydroxyl group, while polyphenols are aromatic compounds containing more than one phenolic group.

The raw olives are rich in polyphenols like tyrosol and hydtoxytyrosol.

But when the olives are crushed and the paste in mixed well for about 30 minutes, derivatives of hydroxytyrosol and tyrosol are created. But these new compounds are monophenols such as oleocanthal, oleacein, and oleuropein aglycon.

Research is suggesting these monophenols are the true health mediators and more effective than their counterparts hydroxytyrosol and tyrosol.

Is High Phenolic EVOO medicinal?

It all depends on how you define the word medicinal. Most people define medicinal as treatment for disease. In that sense, of course, high phenolic EVOO is NOT medicinal. But the interesting fact is the phenolic compounds are shown to possess a strong anti-inflammatory action.

According to Hippocrates and Dioscorides, the ancient Medica Materia states that olive oil from early harvest, unripe, green olives is “medicinal”. To be sure, each physician sited a number of recipes to reduce inflammation using this specially harvested and processed olive oil. This could be the reason the Ancient Hellenes (Greeks) exported olive oil to olive oil producing countries and planted specific variety of olive trees wherever they settled.

The minimum amount of phenolic compounds required to be present in the olive oil in order to generate a favourable physical response and possible alleviation of symptoms of certain conditions is 250 mg per kg as defined by the EU Health Claim.

Clinical trials on human volunteers have proven that daily ingestion of 40 ml of this olive oil with the minimum amount of high phenolic EVOO, may reduce LDL oxidation. This simply means it helps reduce LDL (bad cholesterol). Other initial clinical studies are indicating that it may improve the initial onset symptoms of Alzheimers such a lower retention, concentration and reduced memory. Learn more here.

Another study with 25 volunteers diagnosed with CLL (Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia), not yet under any medication saw their white blood cell count reduced. It seems there is a direct correlation between the daily ingestion of triple the amount of phenolic compounds 750 mg per kg containing at least 450 mg of oleocanthal and the reduction of white blood cells.

There is followup study being planned with a greater number of volunteers to better understand the mechanism of the phenols in reducing white blood cell counts for people diagnosed with the initial stages of CLL. Learn more here.

Oleocanthal-rich olive oil has been referred in one clinical study as a “medical food” and we are optimistic that future research will corroborate these initial findings. Learn more.

What’s so special about Oleocanthal?

Oleocanthal became the most famous of all the phenolic compounds in olive oil when its anti-inflammatory action was first discovered by Gary Beauchaump of Monell Chemical Senses Center. Learn more here

Beauchamp recognized the distinctively similar taste to anti-inflammatory medicine — ibuprofen. This is the main compound that causes the tickle in the throat when swallowing raw olive oil in a salad or with bread.

He named it oleo for olive oil, canth for the stinging sensation, al for the aldehyde component of oleocanthal.

In a clinical study with human volunteers, oleocanthal was shown to be 20 times more effective than ibuprofen in certain cases – with no negative side effects.

Beauchamp shares the story of his serendipitous discovery here.

Can high concentrations of polyphenols be toxic?

Polyphenols found in olive oil are not considered to be toxic. But any food in excess can be toxic. For example if you drink 3 litres of water in 1 hour you could die from water toxicity.

There is no evidence that phenolic compounds consumed within olive oil has ever caused any toxicity even at high levels, such as in Crete where locals consume up to 3 litres a month… and so do we!

Is it safe to take High Phenolic EVOO if I am on medication?

We advise anyone that is on any medication or under doctors’ care to first let their health professional know.

Never stop or reduce your medication because of anything you read in this article. That is a decision between you and your doctor. The content on this article is only for informational reasons, and should not ever be considered medical advice or used as a substitute for care by a doctor or health professional.

The anti-inflammatory properties of a variety of phenolic compounds must be considered for their blood thinning effect — especially when facing surgery.

Many natural treatments, like medicinal herbs and TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) remedies can impact the efficacy of allopathic medication — either negatively or positively. Just because elements are natural doesn’t mean they are not potent. Caution should always be exercised even when crossing over natural medicine protocols.

How is High Phenolic EVOO different from other EVOOs?

Here is the different about high phenolic EVOOs: First the olive fruit is picked early before it is ripened. Some as early as August 20th in Greece. In many areas, traditionally, olive mills do not open until November when olives are ripe for harvest — with highest yield of oil.

The method of harvest is very gentle and often by hand. Olives fall into nets under the trees and are then gathered in open bins to prevent bruising, which causes oxidation impacting the freshness of the fruit.

The fresh olives are taken to the mill within hours of harvesting. Some olive growers own their own olive mill and may press olives several times a day, all day and sometimes all night.

Special care is given to the olive mill settings to control the temperature and the speed of the crusher. Fresh olive oils are then stored in a temperature controlled storage tank 15°C. This is the ideal temperature for storage and display of high phenolic EVOOs to protect the phenolic content. Phenolic content is extremely sensitive to heat, light, oxygen and time.

How is phenolic content measured?

Originally when research was conducted on human volunteers, by Dr. Maria Isobel Covas of Barcelona University, the concentration of hydroxytyrosol and tyrosol in the urine of the volunteers was the system of measurement. The method used was HPLC. The chromatographic method can accurately measure the concentration of hydroxytyrosol but fails miserably when trying to measure their derivatives — individual phenolic compounds.

The team added the Mass Spectrometer in tandem with a second one to become HPLC-MS/MS, commonly referred to as LC-MS/MS. This was the method used to measure ORIGINALLY. This comprehensive analytic solution based findings on the actual molecular weight of each phenolic compound. and not by the colour as does the simple chromatographic method HPLC.

The IOC (International Olive Council) continues to rely on HPLC as verified 20 years ago. Time has relegated the HPLC method as inadequate, noting that we have qNMR and LC-MS/MS. The qNMR (quantitative Nuclear Magnetic Resonance) was verified to produce similar results as the LC-MS/MS during an EU funded 3-year, five-country study ARISTOIL Interreg MED program on high phenolic olive oil. Verification was supported by tests on the original olive oil preserved (frozen) by Dr. Covas and provided for this verification.

Following a 5 year research effort a new method using qNMR (quantitative Nuclear Magnetic Resonance) was developed by Dr. Prokopios Magiatis, Dr. Eleni Melliou and their team of researchers at the University of Athens. The 2 methods were compared in a ring test to verify the accuracy as part of the ARISTOIL Interred MED program. The NMR method was faster and did not require the use of any standards or pure samples to complete the analysis. The ring test results confirmed the NMR method provides similar results in identifying each phenolic compound as the LC-MS/MS.

The EU Commission has confirmed the HPLC method should not be used for compliance for the health claim polyphenol concentrations even if it is the official method of the IOC.

It should be noted that various approaches to modifying HPLC analysis to compete with LC-MS/MS and NMR accuracy are being used. Since these methods are approximations based on chromatographic analysis, not actual individual phenolic measurements, they can be vastly inaccurate — both in higher numbers and lower numbers.

The Folin-Ciocalteau method is another flawed method for measuring polyphenols in accordance with the EU Health Claim criteria. Folin is not limited to measuring phenolic compounds. Here is the official wording:

 The method is not specific for polyphenols because other reducing compounds such as ascorbic acid, sugars and proteins will also be included in the quantification, thus leading to an overestimation of the actual polyphenol content. The total polyphenol content assessed with this method is not suitable for characterization of polyphenols in foods. Learn more (page 7, para 5).

It can be a temptation for producers to choose a higher ‘score’ for polyphenols to meet the growing demand for high phenolic olive oil — but that does not help the consumer — you — when seeking accurate information and reliable sources for real health objectives.

Ask to see the certificates of analysis. Caveat Emptor. Buyer beware.

How or why do I use different ranges of phenolic content?

The EU Health Claim is very clear that the beneficial effect is dose dependent. When you have high concentration of phenolic compounds in the olive oil, less is required to meet the basic level of 5mg of polyphenols per day in 20ml of olive oil. For example if you buy an olive oil with 1000mg per kg and you consume 20ml a day you will get 4 times more phenolic compounds than the minimum requirement stated in the health claim which is 250mg per kg. Instad of 5mg per day you will beable to consume 20mg using the same amount of olive oil. You don’t have to add calories in order to consume a higher dose of phenolic compounds.

Producers are changing harvest times and methods and working with Nature to achieve truly astonishing levels of phenolic content — some over 3,000 mg/kg and more. This is very rare and fetches commensurate prices.

However, as established by the Health Claim, health benefits are derived from levels as modest as 250 mg/kg. Choice of phenolic concentration then becomes one of health objectives, culinary application, flavour preferences, and, let’s be honest — budget.

Having a variety of tested and proven high phenolic EVOOs within reach, allows you to enjoy the health benefits of phenolic compounds throughout your day. You can cook with it, drizzle it and take power shots and have the best of all worlds. For more clarity check out our infographic.

Infogram

What should I look for to buy High Phenolic EVOO?

We encourage buyers to do their research, know their own objectives and ask questions. Cultivation method, climate controlled storage and trustworthy analysis are the basics. Here is a guide to check off when you are looking for the most appropriate for your needs.

Get your 12 Tips Buyers’ Guide

Can I cook with High Phenolic EVOO?

Depending on your budget, yes you could. It has a higher smoke point than regular olive oil. The phenolic compounds are water soluble and are absorbed by fish, meat and vegetables — greens, potatoes and any other vegetable you may want to sauté or roast in high phenolic EVOO. You can even enrich your pasta by a tablespoon or two into your pasta water — polyphenols will enter that water and get absorbed by the pasta.

Those watching their caloric intake enjoy the added flavour of sautéing in high phenolic EVOO. Olive oil in moderate use can contribute to weight loss — especially when replacing all animal fats and other vegeatble or seed oils.

The phenolic content may be decreased in the heat of cooking by 40%. We recommend choosing an olive oil with total phenolic content of 500+ mg/kg. This will ensure that you will still have the recommended equivalent of 250 mg/kg as defined in the EU Health Claim.

Drizzled over a raw salad offers the opportunity to explore all the fragrant aspects of the High phenolic EVOO as well.

How do I care for High Phenolic EVOO?

Our advice is to buy it in small containers and consume it quickly. Why do we say this? Once a bottle of High Phenolic EVOO is opened, it should be consumed within 4–6 weeks to ensure optimum potency of the phenolic health benefits. You can judge your rate of consumption if you are a single user or a family.

The 4 enemies of olive oil phenolic compounds are light, temperature, moisture, and time. Olive oil is closer to a juice than an oil. It needs to be treated like one.

Controlled storage temperatures and rapid transportation from the harvest to the olive mill and olive mill to bottler and bottler to distributor and distributor to retail outlet. Temperature is critical.

This is especially true to protect the phenolic content of extra virgin olive oil which can lose as much as 46% in 12 months if not stored properly. at The recommended temperatures to preserve the integrity of the phenolic content… and quality EVOO generally is between 12.5–15°C or 55–60°F.

The uncomfortable truth is that all EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil) requires temperature control all along the supply chain. I say “uncomfortable truth” because few along the retail supply chain are willing to acknowledge this for the simple reason it adds costs to their overheads. Learn more.

The public is not aware of this and the tacit motto is “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” (We run into this resistance when introducing our Aristoleo Retail Cooler… but it’s coming.) Learn more.

Ideally High Phenolic EVOO should be displayed and stored in a steady temperature of 12.5° — 15° C. This is the ideal temperature for maintaining the quality of red wine as well. If you can afford a €50 bottle of olive oil you certainly can invest in a €100 counter top wine cooler that fits 6–12 bottles or more even.

The value of high phenolic EVOO has been established as being very related to the concentration of phenolic compounds. It is imperative that you keep your eye on the temperature where you store it so there is a minimum loss of phenolic compounds.

Can I give High Phenolic EVOO to my pets?

Yes you can but depending on their size governs the amount you give them. Animals that suffer from arthritis or other inflammatory conditions seem to get some relief and it does make their coat shine. Use sparingly, no more than a teaspoon per 20 lb dogs mixed in their meal. Learn more here.

The Vision

Our vision is to establish a global community that passionately embraces the art and science of olive oil production for vibrant health.

The Science

We envision a world where excellence in olive oil production is celebrated and rewarded based on scientifically proven quality and sustainability.

The Promise

By recognizing and honouring the finest olive oils, we inspire consumer confidence and elevate the standards of quality for health.

Contact Us​

Have some questions? Get in touch.

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