Researchers with the Spanish extra virgin olive oil brand Olei, in collaboration with the Centro Superior de Investigaciones Científicos (CSIC), have recovered three olive varieties native to Galicia that are at least 100 years old.

In a press release the company said the team “discovered and registered the ‘Brava Gallera’ variety in Galicia.” As part of the Galiat 6+7 project, the research group Galicia Biological Mission-CSIC (Misión Biológica de Galicia-CSIC) says it has been working “to establish plantations that allow the company to incorporate native olive varieties that are near extinction.”

Olei and CSIC continue their work to characterize the leaves and fruit of local olive specimens throughout Galicia, including those that have yet to be discovered, complementing their research with molecular analysis. They have also studied the effects of edaphoclimatic conditions in Galicia, for example different soil types and cultivation zones, on the size and characteristics of fruit and leaves as well as the chemical composition of olives and olive oil.

Meanwhile the group is researching the possible anti-tumoral and anti-metastatic effects of olives and olive oils in collaboration with the Pharmacological Department at the Universidad de Santiago de Compostela. This study, which is also part of the Galiat 6+7 project, evaluates the incorporation of Olei extra virgin olive oil in the diets of 250 participating families.

The group is also conducting studies on the extraction of oil from native grape varieties like Albariño, Loureiro, Caíño Blanco and Mencía in collaboration with the wineries Terras Gauda and Pazo de Rivas.

Olei produces limited quantities of extra virgin olive oils with a focus on native varieties found only in the regions of Quiroga and Valdeorras in Galicia.

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