A new report of a research team of Athens University describes what quality controls of extra virgin olive oil have revealed: among the 150 tested olive oil specimens from various areas of Greece and also from California, samples containing the largest quantities of the well-known oleocanthal and other anti-inflammatory substances were the Koroneiki variety — and especially the oils made from olives of the municipality of Messini, near Kalamata.
The report restated the fact that extra virgin olive oil contains antioxidant, neuro-protective and heart-benefiting ingredients.
The researchers attributed the extra qualities of the Messini oil to the particular climate conditions of the area, the ground morphology, and the care of farmers and oil mill owners. More specifically, it seemed that when the trees did not get any water during the florescence period (‘xerophytic’ cultivation), and if the olive fruits were processed in an early stage before full maturity and the cold two-phase oil extraction process was used, then the results were outstanding. Still, researchers said a more thorough investigation was needed to highlight the exact reasons for the superior quality and to allow for further improvement.