The Olive Oil Industry in Cyprus Discovers Green Gold

When I first met Dr. Prokopios Magiatis to interview him for an article I was writing for I became fascinated with the phenolic compound called oleocanthal. He described how the concentrations of oleocanthal in the samples he was analyzing using the NMR were increasing year after year. The reason for this were the Greek olive growers who read his research and began sending in early harvest olive oil samples for him to analyze.

I asked him at one point how high can the concentration of oleocanthal go? Over a gram per kilogram? He said probably. How about over 2 grams per kilogram? He shook his head. “I don’t know that is a very high concentration” he said and I immediately said I think it will go over 3 grams per kilogram I replied. He smiled at my enthusiasm. Little did I know then how close it was going to get to 3 grams 3 short years later.

The olive oil sample arrived from an unlikely source; Cyprus. The concentration of oleocanthal was over 2.5 times higher than anything that was analyzed preciously and it came from an olive not known for producing olive oil. The Kalamon olive tree less than 6 years old grown with agroecology dry farming principles produced a record shattering 2.68 grams of oleocanthal per kilogram of EVOO.

ATSAS ORGANIC FARM - Regenerative agirculture blossoms in Cyprus

This was simply astounding! I went to meet Nicolas Netien of Atsas organic farm in Cyprus and had a chance to see for myself the root of the remarkable achievement. This was not your ordinary organic olive grove. First, the variety of olives is Kalamon a variety not known for producing olive oil due to the fact the famous table olives are more valuable than the olive oil they produce; up until now. Second, the olive trees were only 6 years old. Nicolas will make a presentation of the techniques he used and he will also lead a field trip to his olive grove on the second day of the “Beyond Organic Beyond Extra Virgin” conference being held at Univ. of Cyprus May 6–7 2017. Register here or below do not miss it!

In Greece where the hunt for high phenolic EVOO has been in development over the last 4 years due to Dr. Prokopios Magiatis discovery of the NMR method of measuring each phenolic compound with accuracy the olive growers have struggled to achieve over 1 gram of total phenolic concentrations. Here in Cyprus they are achieving it without even trying. Here are the Cypriot results from a very small sampling of EVOOs that were entered in the Aristoleo Awards 2017 high phenolic EVOO competition.

Aristoleo Awards mission is to redefine the criteria for the “best olive oils” from aroma and taste to specific type and concentration of phenolic compounds. We discovered the following award winners are only a small sample of the many high phenolic EVOOs in Cyprus waiting to be discovered by the health-conscious consumers everywhere.

Double gold award for highest overall phenolic concentration for organic EVOO

Atsas Organic Farm — Kalamon with 3135 mg per kg of total phenolic concentration

Koroneiki variety — Award for highest overall phenolic concentration for organic EVOO


GOLD — Κ & Κ Garden of olives Cyprus, Cyprus — TOTAL PHENOLS 1412mg per kg

GOLD — Κ & Κ Garden of olives Cyprus — oleocanthal & oleacein 489mg per kg

SILVER –Olive grove Κ & Κ Garden of olives Cyprus oleocanthal — 309mg per kg

BRONZE — STRAKKA LTD Cyprus oleocanthal & oleacein — 412mg per kg

BRONZE — STRAKKA LTD Cyprus oleocanthal — 272mg per kg



ARTEMIOU KOSTAKIS, ATHIENOU CYPRUS total phenols — 702 mg/kg




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