How The Olive Compound Hydroxytyrosol Helps Stop Infections

A compound found naturally in olives helps fight bacterial infections, according to an international patent application by Spanish scientists.

They say hydroxytyrosol and derivatives of it can disrupt quorum sensing (QS) – a way in which bacteria ‘talk’ to each other – thereby making infections less virulent. With antibiotic resistance increasing, this is seen as a promising way of treatment.

Madrid-based patent applicant Seprox Biotech, which sells hydroxytyrosol (HT), claims that HT and its derivatives hydroxytyrosol acetate (HTA) and 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC) have good anti-QS activity, making them useful for preventing and treating many kinds of infections.


Potential usage

It said in its application that in vivo uses could include pharmaceutical preparations for the treatment of bacterial infection. Ex vivo uses include in the manufacture of food, food packaging, medical devices and pharmaceutical compositions, including application to or use in the making of surfaces – such as in medical devices and foods or food packaging – to inhibit formation of bacterial biofilm.

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The Olive Method, a money-saving strategy

What’s your olive?

This Simple Question Could Save You Money On Every Shopping Trip.

Over on personal finance blog Vosa, founder Brent recently presented a money-saving strategy he’s named “The Olive Method,” after the example of American Airlines eliminating the mostly uneaten olives from their customers’ salads and saving hundreds of thousands of dollars annually.

What do in-flight meals have to do with saving you money while you shop?

Well, Brent explains, choosing your “olive” just means eliminating the item in your basket or cart you want least, just like you might not choose to eat the olive. If you aren’t going to eat and enjoy it, why buy it? Pass it up and save the cash instead.

olive almond and garlicHere are a few examples of more widely applicable olives, based on the guidelines provided on Vosa:

– When clothes shopping, the duplicate “It’s such a good deal” white tee

– When food shopping, the “I had a hard week” cookies

– When at the drugstore, the “Let me just grab this” candy bar

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Table Olive Processing (Method 1)

fermentationThis method is similar to the natural fermentation process we use. It allows the sugars in the olives to ferment and form lactic acid. The end result will be well worth the effort and the wait. All the wonderful flavours are preserved and this gives the olives its delicious taste.

 Green Olives:

  • Green olives are soaked in a caustic soda solution of between 1,3 and 2,6% for ±15 hours. The time may vary according to the size and ripeness of the fruit. After a few hours, take out an olive and make a cut through the flesh. When the lye has penetrated two thirds of the distance between the surface of the fruit and the pit, it is ready to be washed.
  • Also try to prevent the olives from coming into contact with air, as this can cause the colour to go dark or an unattractive khaki green. Keep in an airtight container (stainless steel, glass or high grade plastic will not affect the taste) through the entire process.
  • In the mean time prepare the brine by dissolving 1 kilogram of salt in 10 litres of clean water.
  • Now rinse the olives many times with clean, cold water to remove soapiness and caustic residue. This step is very important, because you don’t want your olives to taste of caustic soda or “soapy”.
  • Place the olives into a suitable container and cover completely with the brine. Make sure the container has a tight fitting lid.
  • Leave to ferment ±12 months. Taste them from time to time and decide for yourself when they are to your taste.

Bottling: Remove from the brine, rinse with clean water and place into glass jars and cover with hot brine. To make the brine solution: 20g Salt mixed into 1 liter boiling water. Cover immediately and leave to cool. Store in a cool place and refrigerate after opening.  Wine vinegar may be added to taste. You may even add sprigs of fresh herbs like rosemary or thyme or a few cloves of garlic or lemon slices.

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Sandwich Solution – “Goldilox” Tea Sandwiches … with olives

Sandwich Solution

Sandwiches are classic hit-the-road fare, and trimming them and stacking them in a wide-mouth jar helps avoid the dreaded knapsack smush. Our picks: cucumber and prosciutto, smoked salmon and olive-caper butter, or classic PB and J.

“Goldilox” Tea Sandwiches

52e55eab1f1e84002aa856fa6070696eaff70349Goldilocks would have devoured her portion (and the three bears’ share) of these sandwiches. Each moon-shaped cutout has layers of briny olive-caper butter and a just-right amount of smoked salmon for an endearing take on bagels and lox.

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup large pitted green olives, finely chopped
1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons brine-packed capers, drained, rinsed, and finely chopped
20 very thin slices white bread
10 slices smoked salmon (about 4 ounces)

Cook’s Note
Sandwiches can be refrigerated for up to 4 hours. Olive-caper butter can be refrigerated for up to 3 weeks.

1. Stir together butter, olives, and capers. Spread 1 teaspoon butter mixture onto each slice of bread. Lay salmon slices in a single layer on 10 bread slices. Sandwich with remaining bread, buttered sides in.

2. Cut out 2 moons per sandwich using a 3-inch moon-shaped cookie cutter (


The Blue Cheese Martini

Meet the Willy Wonka of extraordinary cocktails

p11-joe-mixology-a-20140611-200x200Contrary to expectation, the Blue Cheese Martini at the Akasaka branch of Code Name Mixology is a subtle concoction. The cocktail is clear, served in a delicate crystal glass, with three olives on the side. The cheese aroma hovers faintly on the nose, but the first sip is mildly sweet and fruity. The character of the drink changes completely after eating one of the olives: The blue-cheese flavor billows across the palate, mingling with the briny spiciness of the olive. As the savory sensation recedes, hints of pear and lemon rise to the surface, followed by an earthy smokiness in the finish.

It’s a moment that reminds me of the scene in “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” where eccentric candy maker Willy Wonka unveils his Three Course Dinner Chewing Gum. Code Name Mixology owner and head bartender Shuzo Nagumo has created a salad of contrasting flavors in liquid form — without the unpleasant side effects of Wonka’s invention.

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The Apple, Then the Olive

Most people know the story of Adam and Eve and the apple in the mythical Garden of Eden. But not as many know that the olive has a history almost as old as civilization. Carbon-dating has shown that a Spanish olive seed is 8,000 years old.

It is said that Noah’s Ark brought back an olive branch from Mount Arafat; that Athens got its name from Athena, who won a contest among the gods for the honour of naming the city by striking the ground and bringing forth the olive tree; and that a sacred olive tree was planted at the Acropolis to honour the occasion.

olivetreeinerechthionAncient Greeks used olive oil in salads and also anointed their bodies with the oil. It was also the basis for almost all Greek cuisine.

According to former ambassador Eleftherios Anghelopoulos, who retired from his posting in Ottawa in May 2014, there is evidence the olive tree was first cultivated in Neolithic Crete. The huge storage jars used back then may still be seen at Knossos. An olive grower himself, Anghelopoulos said during a talk at this year’s Ottawa Travel and Vacation Show that Greeks attribute longevity not only to olive oil but to moderation in everything they do.

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Olive Oil, Honey Could Help Lift Greece Out of Recession

iFM0QgSNILGoGreek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras is calling on manufacturers of traditional foods and beverages, from fish-roe producers to honey makers, to play a bigger role in transforming the country into an export economy.

Greece, which saw exports fall 0.2 percent to 27.3 billion euros ($37.5 billion) in 2013, needs food and beverage companies to catch up with export-oriented industries like fuels and do more to help pull the country out of a six-year recession, Samaras told industry representatives on the island of Lesvos May 13.

More Greek food companies, some of whom were forced to look for sales outside their traditional home market as the crisis shrank the economy, should focus “on processing agricultural produce in order to bring Greek products to international markets,” Samaras said. “Today, 200 large companies account for 85 percent of production while 17,000 small and medium-sized companies have huge potential.”

elies-agrotesGreek exports of agricultural products including food, beverages and vegetable oils rose 3.5 percent by value in 2013 to 4.75 billion euros, according to the Panhellenic Exporters Association. At around 17 percent of the total value of Greek exports, the food and beverage industry trails fuels and industrial goods like machinery and chemical products as the country’s top export category.

Greece’s economy contracted at its slowest pace in four years in the first quarter, the Hellenic Statistical Authority said May 15. The European Commission forecasts that Greek GDP will grow 0.6 percent this year, its first annual expansion since 2007.


University of California : Innovative center dedicated to olive oil, table olives

ideas2Narrator: This is Science Today. The Olive Center at the University of California, Davis, is hoping to do for olives what UC Davis did for wine – that is, become an international industry leader in education and research. Dan Flynn, director of the UC Davis Olive Center, says its mission is three-fold.

Flynn: We are looking to promote innovation through our research; provide services to the industry and to consumers; and to push the tipping point for quality, so that the consumer can be assured that they’re buying a quality product at the supermarket.

Narrator: The center boasts one of the few sensory panels that exist in the world for olive oil.

Flynn: And what the panel does is examine the flavor, the texture, the complexity of olive oil. One of the things they’re looking for are defects, but beyond that are the positive qualities of the olive oil that make it such an important part of the table.

Source: Science Today, Larissa Branin.