Researchers at the University of Jaén have become the first to win Castillo de Canena’s Luis Vaño Olive Oil Research Prize awarded to the best olive or olive oil-related research study in Spain.

The study, titled “‘The Influence of Minor Components Present in Virgin Olive Oils In The Prevention of Breast Cancer: In Vitro Study of Hydroxytyrosol and Tyrosol,” was conducted by José Juan Gaforio, Fernando Warleta and Cristina Sánchez of the University’s Department of Immunology.

“We have studied the effects of four compounds present in the olive skin; erythrodiol, ovaol, maslinic acid and oleanolic acidon with human breast cancer cells and the results show that the compounds have the potential to provide a natural defense against breast cancer,” researchers noted.

In a unanimous decision, the awards committee chose the project from among eight other research projects.  The winners will receive €6,000 ($7,984) in prize money.  The University of Jaén will publish their work in a monograph.
award-for-research-on-role-of-olive-oil-in-breast-cancer-preventionJosé J. Gaforio, Immunology Division, Department of Health Sciences, University of Jaén
“The results of this research has an important social and economic impact on Spanish society. Highlighting the healthy properties of olive oil is an element of the first order to encourage their use in other countries,” Gaforio told Science Watch.

Family-run olive oil company Castillo de Canena sponsored the award to encourage and stimulate scientific research and technological knowledge of olives and olive oils. The award was named in honor of Luis Vañó, president of Castillo de Canena and of the Spanish Arab Bank.

The award ceremony will be held on December 2 at the Castillo de Canena estate in Jaén.

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