La Trobe Uni research shows cardioprotective qualities of olive oil

New research shows consuming extra virgin olive oil every day can significantly reduce blood pressure, which is a key risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

Researchers say the project is significant because it’s the first Australian study to show a drop in central systolic blood pressure (in central arteries such as the aorta) and peripheral systolic blood pressure (in smaller arteries in the arm) linked to olive oil consumption.

The study, led by La Trobe University and published in  Nutrients, is also important because it involved participants from many cultural backgrounds – showing that Mediterranean heritage is not a factor in benefiting from olive oil consumption.

The researchers led a clinical trial into the cardioprotective qualities of extra virgin olive oil, produced in Australia, in 50 healthy adults with diverse backgrounds and dietary habits.

They found consuming four tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil per day can reduce central and peripheral systolic blood pressure by 2.5 and 2 per cent, respectively.

Lead author and La Trobe PhD candidate Katerina Sarapis said understanding how olive oil consumption impacts multi-ethnic communities is important.

“Extra virgin olive oil is rich in a variety of active compounds such as polyphenols, which have proven health benefits thanks to their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties,” Sarapis said.

“This popular oil is widely recognised as a nutritious source of dietary fat when paired with traditional, Mediterranean style diets from Greece and Spain. Our study confirms the benefits associated with olive oil consumption extends to people without Mediterranean heritage but who have different cultural upbringings, traditions and food preferences.”

The trial compared the effects of extra virgin olive oil with refined low polyphenol olive oil.

“We asked participants to add 60 millilitres – or 4 tablespoons – of either extra virgin or refined olive oil to their daily diets for three weeks. Following a two-week break where participants could not eat olive oil or olives, they were then asked to consume the alternative oil,” Sarapis said.

The researchers measured blood pressure after each three-week period.

“The refined, low polyphenol olive oil had no significant impacts on blood pressure, but the extra virgin olive oil caused a reduction in central and peripheral systolic blood pressure. This is of clinical importance, as this result was achieved without the use of any blood pressure medications,” Ms Sarapis said.

Primary supervisor of the collaborative PhD project, La Trobe Associate Professor George Moschonis, said the study is an important step forward in heart disease prevention.

“Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death globally. Our findings provide evidence for a potentially widely accessible dietary intervention that can reduce cardiovascular risk in populations not accustomed to a high consumption of extra virgin olive oil,” Associate Professor Moschonis said.

The study was led by La Trobe with collaborating academics at Swinburne University of Technology, Bond University, Deakin University and Murdoch University.

Consumers willing to pay a premium for extra-healthy edible oils

The edible oils market is witnessing significant growth from the past few years which will continue through the foreseeable future, majorly driven by increasing popularity of edible oils with extra-added health benefits. The global edible oils market is set to cross ~US$ 160 Bn by the end of 2019 and will showcase stable market growth of ~4% over the next decade-old period of projection.

Consumers are ready to pay premium prices for healthy food products because of the increasing food-based health issues such as increase in blood cholesterol as well as obesity. The increasing attractiveness about edible oils with added health benefits in many economies is influencing to buy edible oils, which are high in omega 3, vitamins, oryzanol, natural anti-oxidants, and others.

Additionally, the increasing awareness of health is driving consumers to experiment with various edible oils to find the best and healthiest choice for cooking in their kitchens. This inclination is prompting edible oil manufacturers to offer various types of oils targeting to consumers specifically looking for edible oils, which are good for healthier heart, makes immune system strong, and many other health benefits. Offering of these types of edible oils is anticipated to support the growth of the edible oils market during the forecast period.

Key features of the study include:

  • The increasing rate of urbanisation in developing as well as developed economies and changing lifestyles of the customers has increased the demand for edible oils.
  • The increasing popularity of edible oils with added health benefits among customers are providing profitable opportunities to edible oil manufacturers and for market growth.
  • Leading edible oil manufacturers are implementing various strategies such as cold-pressed and refining among other technologies to showcase their products on various platforms.
  • The strategy of having products and brands endorsed by celebrities and chefs is facilitating manufacturers in the edible oils to ensure that their product is positioned firmly in the minds of their target audience. Production test, on-board device programming, and design verification require the usage of boundary scan controllers

An increasing inclination of consumers towards specialty restaurants will remain one of the strongest factors driving the growth of edible oils market. The analysis reveals that such factors will  boost profits of domestic market players, driving expansion of local edible oils market in the long run.

Edible Oils with a Dash of Health
Manufacturers of edible oils are evolving their marketing approaches according to the ongoing market trends. Most prominent suppliers of edible oils are now targeting the nutritional enhancement of the edible oils offered by them. Manufacturers have started offering various edible oils with various health benefits. Apart from that, the quality of the edible oils is kept at a high priority. In March 2018, Bunge Limited acquired Loders Croklaan. After this acquisition, Bunge Limited has become a global leader for Business to Business in the oil ingredients segment with a full product portfolio of tropical oils and softseed along with world-class innovation as well as application capabilities.

More consumers willing to pay a premium for extra-healthy edible oils

The edible oils market is witnessing significant growth from the past few years which will continue through the foreseeable future, majorly driven by increasing popularity of edible oils with extra-added health benefits. The global edible oils market is set to cross ~US$ 160 Bn by the end of 2019 and will showcase stable market growth of ~4% over the next decade-old period of projection.

Consumers are ready to pay premium prices for healthy food products because of the increasing food-based health issues such as increase in blood cholesterol as well as obesity. The increasing attractiveness about edible oils with added health benefits in many economies is influencing to buy edible oils, which are high in omega 3, vitamins, oryzanol, natural anti-oxidants, and others.

Additionally, the increasing awareness of health is driving consumers to experiment with various edible oils to find the best and healthiest choice for cooking in their kitchens. This inclination is prompting edible oil manufacturers to offer various types of oils targeting to consumers specifically looking for edible oils, which are good for healthier heart, makes immune system strong, and many other health benefits. Offering of these types of edible oils is anticipated to support the growth of the edible oils market during the forecast period.

Key Takeaways – edible oils market study

  • The increasing rate of urbanization in developing as well as developed economies and changing lifestyles of the customers has increased the demand for edible oils.
  • The increasing popularity of edible oils with added health benefits among customers are providing profitable opportunities to edible oil manufacturers and for market growth.
  • Leading edible oil manufacturers are implementing various strategies such as cold-pressed and refining among other technologies to showcase their products on various platforms.
  • The strategy of having products and brands endorsed by celebrities and chefs is facilitating manufacturers in the edible oils to ensure that their product is positioned firmly in the minds of their target audience. Production test, on-board device programming, and design verification require the usage of boundary scan controllers

Increasing inclination of consumers towards specialty restaurants will remain one of the strongest factors driving the growth of edible oils market. Our analysis reveals that such factors will particularly boost profits of domestic market players, driving expansion of local edible oils market in the long run.

Edible oils with a dash of health
Manufacturers of edible oils are evolving their marketing approaches according to the ongoing market trends. Most prominent suppliers of edible oils are now targeting the nutritional enhancement of the edible oils offered by them. Manufacturers have started offering various edible oils with various health benefits. Apart from that, the quality of the edible oils is kept at a high priority. In March 2018, Bunge Limited acquired Loders Croklaan. After this acquisition, Bunge Limited has become a global leader for Business to Business in the oil ingredients segment with a full product portfolio of tropical oils and softseed along with world-class innovation as well as application capabilities.

Cobram Estate wins RAS award

Cobram Estate has won the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW President’s Medal for its Reserve Hojiblanca extra virgin olive oil.

The award is not only an acknowledgement of Cobram Estate’s high-quality products, but also its innovation as a business and successes in leading the Australian olive oil industry into a new era of sustainability, technology and manufacturing.

The in-depth judging process includes an on-site review of each finalists’ business model, community engagement strategy and production techniques used to enhance the sustainability of its product. In this way, the award recognises not only extraordinary products, but the extraordinary businesses and people behind them.

Cobram Estate, owned by Boundary Bend Ltd, has been at the forefront of the Australian olive oil industry since agricultural college friends Rob McGavin and Paul Riordan pioneered many key aspects of efficient olive oil production including mechanical harvesting in Australia, and as a result have made the Australian olive industry viable.

Acknowledged as the ‘best of the best’, six finalists are chosen having risen above more than 4,600 entries from 320 classes in the fine food and beverages category.

“What marks them [Cobram Estate] out as a unique company, deserving of the final accolade, is their ability to blend both innovation, which spreads beyond their own business into the industry more widely, with excellence in terms of their environmental practice – which is second to none,” said Ed Halmagyi, one of the three judges.

 

Most imported ‘extra virgin’ olive oil not up to standard: research

Most imported olive oil being sold as ‘extra virgin’ does not meet international or local quality standards, according to research commissioned by the Australian Olive Association (AOA).

The SMH reports that tests conducted at IOC and National Association of Testing Authorities accredited labs looked at 27 imported products available from Coles, Woolworths, Aldi and Foodland stores.

However, 78 per cent of the olive oils tested failed to meet the International Olive Council (IOC) Standard as ‘extra virgin’ olive oils.

“It’s like buying a Rolls Royce and finding a V-dub engine in it; people would be horrified,” Lisa Rowntree, chief executive officer of the AOA told the SMH.

“If we had the Australian Standard mandated, many of the oils sitting in supermarkets as ‘extra virgin’ would suddenly have labels saying ‘refined’, ‘pomous’, or ‘virgin’, which all have a place but need to be appropriately priced.”

However, the findings were rejected by the similarly named Australian Olive Oil Association (AOOA) which represents importers.

“There are no recent test results from AOOA’s annual quality testing program that suggests that Australians are routinely sold inferior, adulterated or deliberately misrepresentative oils masquerading as extra virgin,” Renee Reilly, AOOA general manager said.

The AOOA sees no need Australian Standard to be made law and claims the IOC are enough to ensure standards are maintained.

It’s a Love match between Hans Oliving and the Hewitt’s

Hans Oliving has partnered with tennis legend Lleyton and his actress wife Bec Hewitt, to encourage families to make the switch to a healthier alternative than traditional deli meats.

Inspired by the so-called Mediterranean diet, the range of Hans Oliving deli meats are produced using Greek olive oil, which offers less saturated fat than comparable products, while also enhancing the product’s taste.
 
According to company spokesperson Mirabel Rosar, Hans Oliving’s products reflect Australia’s changing priorities and a shift towards healthier choices without sacrificing taste, a brand philosophy, which led the company to Lleyton and Bec.   
 
Rosar said: “The launch of Hans Oliving is a real milestone for our company and an exciting addition to our product range. We’re focusing on providing Aussies with a wide choice of premium products and healthier options, and we’re thrilled to have the Hewitts on board with us.”

According to Lleyton Hewitt, “Bec and I want to get the most out of the next phase of our lives, and adopting a Mediterranean lifestyle is going to be a key part of keeping us all healthy and happy. It’s not just a way of cooking, it’s about spending time with friends and family and keeping active.”
 
“I’m looking forward to having fun in the kitchen with Bec and the kids now I’m hanging up my racquet and making some delicious Mediterranean inspired meals with the Hans Oliving range.”
 
The Hans Oliving range includes Pizza Salami, Peperilli Salami, Hungarian Salami, Traditional Ham, Gypsy Ham, Naturally Smoked Ham, Rindless Pan Sized Bacon, Strassburg, Polish, Chorizo, Kransky, Cheese Kransky, Kabana and Twiggy Sticks.
 
Aussie consumers will be able to purchase these products thanks to a co-branding agreement between Hans Continental Smallgoods and Creta Farms, based on the Greek island of Crete. 

The family-owned company is the largest meat product producer in Greece and revolutionised the deli meats market with its olive oil produced range since 2001. Hans Oliving is produced in Australia with Creta Farms’ signature olive oil and premium quality lean meat.
 
The range is now available to purchase across Australia in selected Coles, Woolworths and IGA stores.