On November 21, Dr. Gary Beauchamp, director and president of the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia, will be in Spain to discuss his well-known discovery of the oleocanthal molecule, a key component responsible for some of the heralded health benefits of extra virgin olive oil.

Similar to the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) known as ibuprofen, oleocanthal shares the same anti-inflammatory properties but without the side effects of the medicine so widely employed by the pharmacy industry. Oleocanthal will be explained by the man who discovered it accidentally more than a decade ago.

Dr. Gary Beauchamp

Several studies after Beauchamp’s discovery found that oleocanthal could help remove the proteins that are the main component (known as beta-amyloid) of the amyloid plaques in Alzheimer patients.

Long-term consumption of small quantities of oleocanthal from olive oil may be responsible in part for the low incidence of heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease associated with a Mediterranean diet.

In fact, Beauchamp discovered oleocanthal during an experiment to improve the taste of ibuprofen.

While researching molecular gastronomy with a team of scientists, food specialists and chefs, Beauchamp was conducting an olive oil tasting when he noticed some similarities between the taste of a particular olive oil and the ibuprofen.

Invited by the Oleocanthal Society of Andalucia, QVExtra International and the Spanish Olive Oil Municipalities Association, Dr. Beauchamp will give a talk titled ‘Oleocanthal: a thrilling discovery’ at the Council of Córdoba to explain the process which took him to discover the molecule in olive oil that could help improve the lives of many.

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