„Extra virgin olive oil from Croatia is the healthiest in Europe“ 

On the occasion of the its 3rd anniversary, an exhibition and a lecture on the international Aristoil project that addresses the health aspect of extra virgin olive oils was opened in the House of Istrian Olive Oil. The lecture was attended by many renowned Istrian olive growers and interested public. 

ARISTOIL is an international project funded by the INTERREG MED program, co-financed by the County of Istria and implemented from 2016 to 2019 in five Mediterranean countries producing extra virgin olive oil: Italy, Spain, Greece, Cyprus and Croatia. The purpose of the project was to determine the extent to which the analysed oils contain an increased content of phenol (> 250 mg/kg) so that such oils can be declared as a product with a positive health effect on the human circulatory system according to European legislation. 

Within the project, over 4,000 extra virgin olive oils were analyzed over the three years, and Croatian oils showed the best health characteristics, i.e. 97% of the collected oils from Croatia had an increased content of phenolic compounds, an average of 655 mg/kg, which is high above the default 250 mg/kg according to EU regulations. 

More about the project and its results, with special reference to Istria, told us prof. dr. sc. Tea Bilušić from the Faculty of Chemistry and Technology, University of Split, who is also the coordinator of the ARISTOIL project in Croatia. 

Dr. Sc. Tea Bilušić received her PhD from the Faculty of Food Technology and Biotechnology, University of Zagreb, in the field of nutrition. She has studied in France (INRA, Paris), Switzerland (University of Fribourg), Germany (Technical University of Munich – TUM, University of Regensburg) and is the author of a number of scientific papers related to olive oil, as well as the book Olive oil and health.