Visitors from 14 countries – and 50 local farmers – have signed up for the 2012 Terra Creta International Conference on olive oil and quality to be held in Chania, Crete, next week.

Terra Creta Marketing Manager Karpadakis Emmanouil told Olive Oil Times the goal of the October 11-14 conference is to give participants “a total olive oil experience – from the tree to the bottle.”

Other key objectives are to expand knowledge of quality issues, health benefits and biological attributes, and provide tips on how best to store and use olive oil.

Terra Creta also hopes to promote the excellence and and unique characteristics of olive oil in its region – Kolymvari in western Crete – and to educate producers and provide insight into international demand and trends, especially in emerging markets, he said.

Olive oil quality and health benefits

Among the expert line-up at the conference is Prof. Apostolos ( Paul) Kiritsakis from the Greek Observatory of Oxidative Stress in Health and AgriFood, whose presentation will be on high quality olive oil as a functional food.

Meanwhile, “Olive oil, a potential new drug” is the topic of a presentation by Prokopios Magiatis from the department of Pharmacognosy and Natural Products Chemistry at the University of Athens.

International food and wine broker Liz Tagami will give a presentation titled “Questioning olive oil quality,” Dr. Edwin N. Frankel from the Olive Center at the University of California will address the effect of adulteration of virgin olive oil on its nutritional and biological value, and Dr. Manolis Paschalis of AGENT Laboratories will speak on the threat for olive oil posed by food contamination.

“Οlive oil, traditional foods, and health” is the title of a presentation to be given by Prof. Antonia Trichopoulou of the WHO Collaborating Centre Medical School, University of Athens, and writer Nikolaos Psilakis’s topic is “The miracle of Cretan nutrition.”

International olive oil market

Apostolos Kalfas from Tropical Brazil will talk on olive oil in the emerging market of Brazil; Patrick Billoy of Etn. Franz Colruyt will address trends and potential in Belgium; Praful Mehta of the Unity Brands Group will provide insights on ethics and quality in the US Market; and Minoan Imports’ John Gibson will speak about that market’s dynamism and particularities.

Yadong Qian from the Jiangsu Tian Yun Food Technology Co. will explain China’s booming market, and Il Woo Joo of Seil International will cover olive oil in the cosmetics area in South Korea.

The olive oil markets in Finland, Germany and Russia, and the international market for organic products, will also be addressed.


Among topics to be discussed during innovation workshops at the conference are branding of a new product – specifically the tsounati variety olive – and how the declaration of acidity on the front label of olive oil products has affected consumer behaviour.

Other activities

Additional activities include cooking shows by celebrity chef Dimitris Skarmoutsos, one of the foremost exponents of contemporary Greek cuisine; an olive oil tasting and competition; meals based on the traditional Cretan diet; a half day tour of the ancient city of Knossos; and following the olive oil production process from harvest to extraction for olives from the ancient olive tree of Vouves, said to be about 3500 years old.

English will be the official language but simultaneous translation will be available in Greek and Russian.

Journalists from seven countries will be covering the conference, among them a contributor for Olive Oil Times.

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