ZOI has its roots in ancient Greece in the time of Hippocrates. Early harvested green olives were harvested only for medicinal purposes. They were used to reduce inflammation. After 2,500 years we have identified the phenolic compound that has such an effect. “Oleocanthal” anti-inflammatory properties were discovered and named in 2005 by Dr. Gary Beauchamp.
ZOI is a specially selected oleocanthal-rich Kalamon olive variety harvested and produced under the same care for quality and excellence that our clients have come to trust in all our Laconiko Products.
Historically, early harvest olive oil (with a high concentration of phenolic compounds such as oleocanthal) was never sold. This precious oil was only shared among family members and friends who considered it traditional folk medicine.
“The health benefits of olive oil are 99 percent related to the presence of the phenolic compounds, not the oil itself,” says Nasir Malik, research plant physiologist at the U.S.D.A.
Since then, research continues to confirm the many health benefits of polyphenols in olive oil while science has provided the best methods to produce this rare quality commercially.
Laconiko OLIO NUOVO, Laconiko Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Laconiko Flavored olive oils are all rich in polyphenols, and fantastic for cooking, drizzling and an energy boost.
Each harvest is different and each year we share the analysis of our oils so you know exactly what you are buying.
This year we added a new olive oil “ZOI ULTRA” made from green unripened Kalamon olives known for their very high concentrations of oleocanthal.
Oleocanthal is the most researched phenolic compound in olive oil due to its strong anti-inflammatory nature, similar to ibuprofen.
There is room in every kitchen and healthy lifestyle for a selection of olive oils in a range of phenolic content to meet culinary tastes and health objectives within budget and diet objectives.
For ZOI, Dino was in the grove in early October to see that the olives were gently picked, and, within hours, quickly rushed to the mill, which opened early in the season – just for us. The olives were then milled at a specific temperature for a short time in order to offer our cherished customers the best High Phenolic EVOO that we can provide.
By nature of the careful process, high phenolic EVOOs offer a lower yield, which is the cause of its premium price – but the intensity of oleocanthal and its cousin, antioxidant, oleacein in ZOI – a little goes a long way – 1 to 2 tsp (5 – 10 ml) or 5 – 10 mg of oleocanthal + 1 – 5 mg of oleacein per serving.
Be aware – there is a limited number of bottles of ZOI and last year we sold out of OLIO NUOVO in August! Why not subscribe and make sure you have your family’s supply all year – kept safe and cool in our climate controlled facility and delivered to you once a month.
All Laconiko olive oils are maintained at 55°- 60°F and bottled on demand to preserve freshness and the integrity of the phenolic content that can drop dramatically if not kept at optimal temperatures.
Learn more about High Phenolic EVOO – what it is and how to integrate it into your wellness routine.
High phenolic olive oil has its roots in Ancient Greece used by Hippocrates as a medicine. It was made from green unripe olives from specific varieties. Back then, they had no idea about polyphenols. Ancient medicine was discovered by taste and observation. This is how they discovered the health benefits of early harvest olive oil.
More recently, Dr. Gary K. Beauchamp, Monell Chemical Senses Center, a professional taster of medicines discovered the anti-inflammatory action of the phenolic compound “oleocanthal” in olive oil.
When Beauchamp tasted the early harvest olive oils of Sicily and Greece they reminded him of the taste of Ibuprofen – the peppery sensation in his throat. He hypothesized that perhaps this peppery sensation in the throat of the olive oils might have the same anti-inflammatory properties as the NSAID. This would explain the many claims of olive oil having an anti-inflammatory effect.
After researching it, Beauchamp identified oleocanthal as being the phenolic compound that causes the peppery sensation. Diligently confirming its effect he actually gave oleocanthal its name to simplify it for us; oleo “oil”, canthi “sting” al “aldehyde”.
Since then, research into the health benefits of daily consumption of oleocanthal-rich olive oil has increased.. The IOC (International Olive Council) has referred to it as a “magic compound”.
In 2012, the EU Health Claim labeling regulation for polyphenols in olive oil was accepted. After 10 years of research a Spanish team reached the conclusion the health benefits of olive oil are derived from the polyphenols it contains.
High phenolic olive oil must contain at least 250 mg of phenolic compounds to be allowed to place this health claim on the label: “olive oil polyphenols and their derivatives may help reduce blood lipid oxidation”
This health claim is what created the distinct category we now know as high phenolic extra virgin olive oil or HP EVOO.
They also discovered the health beneficial effect was dose dependent.
The more the better is the basis of the health claim but how much is too much?
Studies have shown a daily consumption of 20-40 gm of high phenolic olive oil first thing in the morning actually helps to reduce weight.
The reason for this is that mono-unsaturated fat in olive oil helps reduce the feeling of hunger during the day, so you eat fewer snacks.
The solution is not to consume more olive oil to achieve higher health benefits. The solution is for us to produce olive oils with much higher phenolic concentrations. This is the reason we put such a emphasis on producing healthier olive oils for not only our estate olive oils but also our flavored oils.
In order to increase the concentrations of polyphenols in all our olive oils they must be picked when the fruit is green. The earlier the better. The earlier we pick them the less olive oil that is produced per kg of olives. Instead of 20-30% olive oil 5-10% is produced. They also need to be stored in lower temperatures to maintain the polyphenols over time.
This is why these high phenolic olive oils are more expensive than other olive oils.
In addition, since the adoption of the health claim for polyphenols in olive oil, there are thousands of research papers on the benefits of daily consumption of high phenolic olive oil.
Here you can find a number of the research papers: https://aristoleo.com/research-links/
Two phenolic compounds stand out: Oleocanthal and Oleacein.
Oleocanthal causes the peppery sensation in your throat and Oleacein causes the bitter taste on your tongue.
Other phenolic compounds have a similar taste and may have similar health benefits. The main ones are: Oleuropein Aglycone and Ligstroside Aglycone.
Enough about chemistry. Fact is, this type of early harvest olive oil is more beneficial to your health than olive oils that have little or no phenolic compounds.
Phenolic compounds in olive oil can be reduced rapidly if the olive oil is exposed to heat, oxygen, light and time.
We recommend you buy it in small containers and consume it within 4 weeks from opening.
Keep it in the coolest part of your house or a wine cooler at a temperature between 55°-60°F or 12°-15°C.
If you are under medical care or taking prescription medication you must let your doctor know you are starting to consume high phenolic olive oil that is high oleocanthal 967mg of oleocanthal per kg of olive oil. Especially if you are taking medication for conditions such as blood thinners, blood pressure, being reduced under doctors supervision. One woman reported her doctor told her to stop consuming high oleocanthal olive oil 10 days before and for 10 days after the operation. This was precautionary advice because phenolic compounds seem to act as natural blood thinners.
1. If you mix red wine and high phenolic olive oil the absorption of the phenolic compounds is increased by 40% from the olive oil and the wine!
2. To moderate the strong taste you can also mix the 5-20 gm of ZOI high phenolic olive oil with any juice and consume it immediately. A daily health shot first thing in the morning for the whole family.
3. Add ZOI to your morning smoothie – but make sure to add it AFTER blending to protect those phenolic compounds.