Journey to Ithaka,

As you set out for Ithaka
hope your road is a long one,
full of adventure, full of discovery…

It all started in Santorini, 2011…

In 2012, after our first trip together to Santorini, Athan Gadanidis and I, Marilyn Harding, came to Greece in search of the best olive oil for health. It was the beginning of an adventure that continues to fire our passion and lure us ever onward.

It was a search that led to Dr. Prokopios Magiatis and Dr. Eleni Melliou and their research team at the University of Athens, Department of Pharmacognosy and Natural Plant Chemistry.

The team had developed the way to accurately measure the individual phenolic compounds in olive oil using sophisticated qNMR (quantitative Nuclear Magnetic Resonance) analysis. This was a breakthrough that supported the EU Health Claim 432-2012 for olive oil with polyphenols. This opened the way for progressive research into the effect of olive oil rich in phenolic compounds, in particular oleocanthal and oleacein, known for their respective anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties in the potential prevention or treatment of illnesses based on chronic inflammation. Research includes cardiovascular, neurodegenerative and autoimmune disease as well as many cancers.

This was during the economic crisis in Greece and university funding was non existent.

Our Canadian company, ARTEMIS ALLIANCE INC. invested in the development of the Magiatis/Melliou method to measure oleocanthal and oleacein in the field at time of processes in order to separate olive oils. The “lab-in-a-vial” was named ARISTOLEO Test Kit won 1st Prize at GREECE INNOVATES, 2015. It became the basis of ARISTOLEO Ltd. incorporation in Cyprus.

ARISTOLEO (tradename of Artemis Alliance Inc) was a key partner in the 3-year, 5-country EU funded ARISTOIL Interreg MED program for the study of High Phenolic Olive Oil best practices. At the conclusion of the programme, Aristoleo was given the mandate to form the global marketing portal for the growing number of high phenolic olive oil brands. The ARISTOMETRO was developed by ARISTOLEO through the program to work in conjunction with the ARISTOLEO Test Kit.

In 2016, the Annual International Aristoleo Awards was launched to showcase these producers and excellent olive oils that meet the EU Health Claim criteria of olive oils with polyphenols over 250 mg/kg.

In 2017, High Phenolic Table Olives were included in the ARISTOLEO AWARDS.

In 2020 Athan presented the ARISTOLEO Retail Cooler and ARISTOLEO-DATA LOK Certification to the EU Circle the MED program, which was the next level of the Interreg MED Programs.

Since that time, our devotion to research and testing continues to support the growers who achieve excellence in their olive oil and table olives to offer a trustworthy source of natural foods with proven health benefits.

Our commitment is to the health conscious individuals just like us when we began our search more than ten years ago. We have witnessed the many improvements to health in ourselves and others and want to share both knowledge and accessibility to quality brands we trust and endorse.

The ARISTOLEO AWARDS is the only International Olive Oil Competition exclusive to High Phenolic Olive Oils and Table Olives. Many International Competitions are following our lead to include High Phenolic Olive Oils and many are finally being accepted for taste – despite their exclusion for many years. Competitions are also following the lead of ARISTOLEO AWARDS in testing and awarding oils as they are submitted. This truly supports the olive grower in marketing advantage rather than the competition in a big one day splash. That’s how we feel anyway and we are glad to see it being adopted by others.

Athan and I are proud of our work and the mark we have made. We are pleased you have found us on this journey of ours.

Me agapi (with love)
Marilyn

Keep Ithaka always in your mind.
Arriving there is what you’re destined for.
But don’t hurry the journey at all.
Better if it lasts for years,