`Agriculture Minister Sees Labeling Rules as Good for Greek Olive Oil


Agriculture Minister Sees Labeling Regulation as Good for Greek Olive Oil

Oct. 17, 2012
By Costas Vasilopoulos

Recent News

At a recent par­lia­ment ses­sion the Greek Min­is­ter of Agri­cul­ture, Prof. Athana­sios Tsaf­taris referred to the Euro­pean Union’s reg­u­la­tion 432/2012 that will become effec­tive on Decem­ber 14th and the prospects it opens for Greek olive oil and olives. The reg­u­la­tion con­tains a list of per­mit­ted health claims which can be attrib­uted to food prod­ucts of the EU state mem­bers if they com­ply with cer­tain con­di­tions.

Sim­ply put, if a food prod­uct con­tains an ingre­di­ent termed by the reg­u­la­tion as respon­si­ble for the ben­e­fi­cial effect of the food prod­uct on humans, then this sub­stance can be reported on the label of the prod­uct to dif­fer­en­ti­ate it from oth­ers.

Among oth­ers, the reg­u­la­tion defines olive oil polyphe­nols as the dras­tic sub­stance to sus­tain the claim that polyphe­nols con­tribute to the pro­tec­tion of blood lipids from oxida­tive stress” and sets that this asser­tion may be used only when the olive oil con­tains at least 5mg of hydrox­y­ty­rosol and its deriv­a­tives per 20g of oil. Oleic acid is also enlisted and is applic­a­ble for food high in unsat­u­rated fatty acids.

Accord­ing to Prof. Tsaf­taris, the Greek state played a cru­cial role in the acknowl­edge­ment nutri­tional value of olive oil polyphe­nols by the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion and their inclu­sion in the list. The reg­u­la­tion seeks to give accu­rate fac­tual infor­ma­tion to show when there is a true ben­e­fi­cial effect and not mis­lead the con­sumer.

Tsa­faris said Greek olive oils pro­cure an advan­tage over com­pet­i­tive prod­ucts since the bio­di­ver­sity and the spe­cial micro­cli­matic con­di­tions of olive oil-oil pro­duc­ing areas of Greece give the prod­ucts extra qual­i­ties. Because our envi­ron­ment, our bio­di­ver­sity, and the abun­dance of vari­eties we have, this enables us to really iden­tify suit­able vari­eties.”

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