Italian EVOO Reaches the International Space Station

Astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti brought four Italian monovarietals to the ISS, which will be used for a series of experiments and food preparation.
May. 5, 2022
Ylenia Granitto

Recent News

Last week, four Italian olive oils were sent into orbit on the International Space Station (ISS), and they are now fly­ing at an alti­tude of approx­i­mately 400 kilo­me­ters above Earth.

They were brought into space by the European Space Agency (ESA) astro­naut Samantha Cristoforetti, who returned to the ISS for her sec­ond mis­sion, Minerva.

This year, Samantha Cristoforetti’s return to the International Space Station, obtained through our nego­ti­a­tions with the ESA in the last few years, under­lines, also sym­bol­i­cally, the impor­tance our coun­try has been giv­ing to space activ­i­ties for some time,” said Giorgio Saccoccia, the pres­i­dent of the Italian Space Agency (ASI).

See Also:Olive Oil Research Updates

I wish good luck and all the best in her work to Samantha for her new and extra­or­di­nary adven­ture,” he added.

As a mis­sion spe­cial­ist, Cristoforetti took on the role of USOS Lead, respon­si­ble for oper­a­tions within the United States Orbital Segment of the ISS for the dura­tion of the mis­sion.

Advertisement

Moreover, dur­ing her time in orbit, she will con­duct numer­ous exper­i­ments, cov­er­ing dif­fer­ent sec­tors of med­i­cine and nutri­tion, includ­ing six exper­i­ments set up by ASI.

Among these, the EVOO’ project is focused on bal­anced nutri­tion. It stud­ies the impact of space envi­ron­ment con­di­tions on the physio-chem­i­cal, nutri­tional and micro­bi­o­log­i­cal char­ac­ter­is­tics of extra vir­gin olive oil, with a spe­cific focus on its reac­tions to micro­grav­ity and radi­a­tions.

Furthermore, part of the oils is intended for the prepa­ra­tion of the so-called bonus food, which indi­cates the spe­cial­ties, pre­pared and pack­aged on the ground, that each astro­naut can choose to bring with them to sup­ple­ment the pro­vided stan­dard diet.

briefs-world-italian-evoo-reaches-the-international-space-station-olive-oil-times

Samantha Cristoforetti (NASA/Robert Markowitz)

All the mem­bers of the crew will ben­e­fit from the qual­ity choices of Cristoforetti and find on their spa­tial table four mono­va­ri­etals: a Carolea, Itrana, Moraiolo and a Coratina.

The sen­sory pro­files and pair­ing sug­ges­tions are indi­cated on their labels: Carolea is rec­om­mended for fish, Itrana with sal­ads, Moraiolo on the meat and Coratina to enhance the most intense fla­vors.

The project is the result of an agree­ment between the Italian Space Agency and the Council for Agricultural Research and Economics (CREA), with the col­lab­o­ra­tion of Coldiretti and Unaprol, the Italian asso­ci­a­tion of olive oil pro­duc­ers, which selected the high-qual­ity extra vir­gin olive oils from dif­fer­ent regions.

briefs-world-italian-evoo-reaches-the-international-space-station-olive-oil-times

Samantha Cristoforetti (second from left) aboard the International Space Station (NASA)

Proper nutri­tion of astro­nauts is a very impor­tant health issue aboard the ISS,” said Coldiretti in a press release. The extra vir­gin olive oils that we selected with Unaprol for the project share a high con­tent of nat­ural antiox­i­dants, which are essen­tial for those who, like astro­nauts, are sub­jected to con­di­tions of intense psy­chophys­i­cal stress.”



Advertisement

Related Articles

Feedback / Suggestions