Apulian Startup Promotes Secular Olive Trees in Single Doses

An Apulian startup, Olivhealth, developed a single-dose package containing extra virgin olive oil from organic secular olive trees for sportspeople, pregnant women, and children.

Cosimo Damiano Guarini
May. 22, 2017
By Ylenia Granitto
Cosimo Damiano Guarini

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The idea of this startup was born in Apulia, among its mil­len­nial olive trees which are authen­tic wit­nesses to Mediterranean his­tory,” said Cosimo Damiano Guarini.

An agron­o­mist, writer and founder of a new com­pany, Olivhealth, Guarini explained that this project started from a study on the healthy aspects of extra vir­gin olive oil from ancient olive trees.

With the goal to meet the stan­dards estab­lished by the EU Regulation 432/2012, we wanted to enhance the con­tri­bu­tion in terms of qual­ity of mon­u­men­tal plants,” he explained.

We devel­oped a new way to take extra vir­gin olive oil with high health ben­e­fits through an inno­v­a­tive sin­gle-dose pack­age ded­i­cated par­tic­u­larly to sports­peo­ple, preg­nant women, and chil­dren, in order to pro­vide the high­est qual­ity in the right amount.”

In 2014, Guarini pub­lished a book LovOlio, which cov­ered nutraceu­ti­cal aspects of extra vir­gin olive oil. Presentations through­out Italy allowed me to under­stand that con­sumers were very inter­ested in the healthy aspects of oil and needed more infor­ma­tion,” he explained. I fig­ured I would cre­ate a high-qual­ity prod­uct to bet­ter com­mu­ni­cate with con­sumers.”

With help from a fund for star­tups in Apulia, Guarini was able to com­bine tra­di­tion with the lat­est tech­nolo­gies and affirm the healthy prop­er­ties of a native vari­ety of his ter­ri­tory –
the Ogliarola salentina in the Plain of mon­u­men­tal olive trees’ in the area of Brindisi.

Cultivated at a farm under organic man­age­ment for over 20 years, 455 sec­u­lar olive trees are cur­rently ded­i­cated to this project. The olives are early har­vested and processed within only 2 hours in a mill that is exclu­sively used for this pro­duc­tion until it is com­pleted.

By enter­ing the batch num­ber printed on the pack­age you can track the olive trees that have been used to pro­duce that spe­cific lot. Through GPS, you can see the map of the land where they are grown and obtain images and detailed infor­ma­tion.

Cosimo Damiano Guarini

These mon­u­men­tal plants, appro­pri­ately man­aged under organic farm­ing, gave 280 per­cent more vit­a­min E and 88 per­cent more of polyphe­nols com­pared to the min­i­mum stan­dards declared by the EU as regard to health claims for extra vir­gin olive oil,” Guarini observed.

The sin­gle-dose pack­age was designed to pro­vide the right amount of extra vir­gin olive oil at any time, while the patented clos­ing sys­tem avoids acci­den­tal spillage, safe­guard­ing it from light and oxy­gen.

The startup brought together a group of researchers and nutri­tion­ists under the project Olivhealth Research Academy (ORA), includ­ing sci­en­tific direc­tor Giuseppe Palma and experts in human nutri­tion, Claudio Pecorella and Domenico De Mattia. They are engaged in the study of the ben­e­fi­cial prop­er­ties of extra vir­gin olive oil and in the val­oriza­tion and iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of food val­ues, with the aim of coun­ter­ing the advance­ment of junk food.

Olivhealth is also par­tic­i­pat­ing in the NI — Nutrition Intelligence’ project, with La Sapienza University of Rome as a sci­en­tific part­ner, which pro­vides the use of Olivhealth in mater­nity wards for preg­nant women at Cristo Re hos­pi­tal in Rome.

I wanted to give value to our unique pat­ri­mony of olive trees and to our ter­ri­tory through the trace­abil­ity from the plant to the box, while pro­mot­ing the healthy prop­er­ties of extra vir­gin olive oil through the path of Mediterranean diet,” Guarini con­cluded.


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