Pantelis Fanourgakis with his olive oil in front of a backdrop about the London Olive Oil Competitions

For the first time, an established mainstream international olive oil competition (IOOC) included not only quality and design contests, but also a health claim competition focused on olive oils’ health benefits as well as their taste. The competition was the 2017 London IOOC, where many Greek extra virgin olive oils were recognized for their merits.

Greek olive oils captured a Platinum Health Claim Award, 15 Health Claim and Quality Gold Awards, 32 Silvers, and many more Bronze and Design Awards. Some of the top Greek winners shared their thoughts with Greek Liquid Gold.

Health Claim Awards

Aiming “to showcase and promote the health protective properties of high phenolic EVOOs (extra virgin olive oils), combined with a good taste profile,” the London Health Claim competition included a health benefit score (70%, based on the phenolic concentration) and a taste score (30%).

Pantelis Fanourgakis told Greek Liquid Gold that his family was “very proud of our Platinum Award in the Health Claim competition” for their Fanourgakis Family P.D.O. Messara EVOO, because “it was the first time that a Greek extra virgin olive oil got such a high distinction in an international competition” this year.

Crediting “a strictly scientific approach” to the entire olive oil cultivation and production process for their success, Fanourgakis was delighted that “we managed to win the first award and to prove to the whole world that we are able to have excellent taste along with a top level of health-protective characteristics.” He hopes his family’s achievement will help pave the way for “the global recognition of the top quality Greek EVOOs” that are both tasty and deserving of the health claim described in European regulation 432/2012

Nikos Charamis of Kasell SA mentioned to Greek Liquid Gold that their Phileos EVOO’s Gold Health Claim Award and Bronze Award for Quality “confirm and reward the work that was carried out successfully and consistently by Kasell and its members,” who are always focused on “pursuing quality, systematically and not once or by chance.” Charamis is especially proud that his company produced approximately 4,000 metric tons of “the same top quality,” healthy Phileos EVOO—a much larger quantity than many Greek companies manage.

Michalis Pachnos of Arbor Beata, another winner of a Gold Health Claim Award and a Bronze for Quality for their organic early harvest EVOO, emphasized that olive oil “is a tasty food, the ‘heart’ of the Mediterranean diet and the health benefits associated with it.” Pachnos wants consumers to understand EVOO’s “indisputable health advantages, compared to the rest of the edible vegetable oils.” He adds, “the Mediterranean diet and olive oil are more than a dietary habit”; they are “a cornerstone of our culture, and we need to preserve and disseminate them.”

Many olive oil producers agree, and act on that belief. Gold Health Claim Award winner E-la-won early harvest EVOO and its company’s managing director, Ioannis Kampouris, have received awards elsewhere for collaborating in gastronomy developments and for the support of scientific research on olive oil and health, as well as for E-la-won’s flavor, health benefits, and packaging. E-la-won is popular with many chefs in Greece, Europe, and the United Arab Emirates.

For Eftychios Androulakis of Pamako Mountain EVOO, winner of another Health Claim Gold Award, “olive oil is a hyperfood, not a superfood or just a food.” Like Androulakis, many olive oil producers work very hard to achieve high quality, paying attention to small details because of their “true passion for quality olive juice.” However, Androulakis is unusual in performing many different experiments every year to determine the best way to produce the best possible EVOO, considering variations in weather conditions and different cultivation and production methods.

Quality Awards

The top Greek winner in the Quality Awards at the London IOOC this year was Charalampos Papadelis, who won Gold Awards for both Sapfo Limited Edition -- which also captured a Bronze Design Award for Total Imageand Sapfo EVOO, blends of Adramitiani and Kolovi EVOOs from Mytilene, Lesvos. Papadelis informed Greek Liquid Gold that “the secret is to control every stage of production,” as his family business does. His olive oil’s name, Sapfo, was inspired by the renowned ancient Greek poet Sappho, and the shape of the bottle’s tag “was inspired by ancient pottery pieces.” 

3 black Sapfo olive oil bottles, one in front of the other two

Ellie Tragakes of Hellenic Agricultural Enterprises told Greek Liquid Gold that “winning not only Gold with our Acaia flagship oil but also Silver for Acaia Organic is very gratifying” in their first competition in London. They “feel this is a great accomplishment in view of the well known difficulties of this year's harvest” and “are confident that winning top awards on both sides of the Atlantic, in the Pacific, as well as in the Mediterranean will surely support Acaia's growing worldwide recognition.”

Similarly, Dimitris Andriotis and his team hope their Gold Quality Award for Kopos, an Adramitiani-Kolovi EVOO blend, can act as “something like a passport for the markets.” Founded by his grandfather over half a century ago, the Andriotis company’s many years of hard work, respect for the producer, and respect for the consumer have led to exports to the USA, the Middle East, Asia, and Europe. Andriotis believes it “is very important to protect and promote Greek EVOO” and give people the chance to taste it so it can become better known.

Apostolos Tzannos of Νοοs Trade earned both a Bronze Award for Label Design and a Gold Award for Quality for Biotopos, an early harvest, dry farmed, unfiltered organic Koroneiki EVOO produced using “an ultra-modern milling process.” Tzannos explained to Greek Liquid Gold that he and his team insist “on excellent quality and absolute respect for the environment that feeds us,” including the birds and birds’ nests they discover and protect in their organic olive groves. “Honoring nature’s offering, we choose to contribute by producing a product which offers the gift of well-being.”

Noos Biotopos olive oil bottle with olive branches and white box

Elisavet Titaki and her team won a Gold Award for Quality for Eliama Daily Value, a Koroneiki EVOO. Titaki told Greek Liquid Gold that olive oil is important in all aspects of Greek life, “in Birth, Baptism, Marriage, and Death, as a sacred means of nutrition, and also in our relationship with the Superior Power. I remember my grandfather and grandmother carrying the fresh olive oil from the factory to the house with such loyalty and reverence. It was the most important part of their diet. Without this they would not survive. For us olive oil was and is not just a high-value food, but something more. This is God’s and nature’s gift to us on earth!

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Thanks to all the winners who responded to my questions, and thanks to Pantelis Fanourgakis, Charalampos Papadelis, and Apostolos Tzannos for photos of their companies' products.

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Complete List of Greek Winners in the
London IOOC Health Claim and Quality Competitions

Health Claim Awards

Platinum

Padeleimon Fanourgakis -- Fanourgakis Family P.D.O. Messara -- Koroneiki

Gold

Arbor Beata -- Arbor Beata -- Koroneiki
E-La-Won -- E-La-Won -- Koroneiki   
Kasell SA – Phileos -- Koroneiki   
Eftychios Androulakis -- Pamako Mountain EVOO --Tsounati
Agricultural Cooperative of Imera-Kozani -- Imera Olive Oil -- Megaritiki-Koroneiki

Silver

The Greek Olive Estate Ltd. -- Stagona Zois-Drop Of Life -- Olympia
Elaeon Bio Green Olive Oil – Elaion -- Lianoelia
Krimnianiotis Nikolaos -- Liva Olive Oil -- Koroneiki   
Minoan Gaia P.C. -- Miterra-My Earth -- Koroneiki
Zotou Aikaterini-Golden Tree -- Wildathos Agoureleo P.D.O. Chalkidikis Golden Tree -- Agrielia-Chondroelia-Chalkidikis   
Blauel -- Mani Blauel -- Koroneiki
Milestone Olive Oil-Konstantinos Mammasis -- Milestone Olive Oil -- Koroneiki Organic

Bronze

Mpoumis Pan.-Nikolaos -- Zhn Extra Virgin Oil -- Manaki   
Dafnis Spiros -- The Governor Premium Limited Edition -- Lianoelia   
North Corfu Farm -- Peritheia-Niorantes -- Lianoelia


Quality Awards

Gold

Papadelis Charalampos -- Sapfo Limited Edition -- Adramitiani-Kolovi   
Hellenic Agricultural Enterprises – Acaia -- Kolovi   
Metamorphosis – Metamorphosis -- Athinoelia-Koroneiki   
Titaki Elisavet -- Eliama Daily Value – Koroneiki
Papadelis Charalampos – Sapfo -- Adramitiani-Kolovi   
Protogeraki Bros – Liokarpi – Koroneiki
Roumeliotis Christodoulos -- Elaikos -- Chalkidikis-Thasou-Koroneiki
Νοοs Trade -- Biotopos -- Koroneiki   
D.Andriotis & G.Andriotis – Kopos -- Adramitiani-Kolovi
Olive Cooperative of Maronia -- The Land of Kikones – Maronitiki

Silver

Madenidis Panagiotis -- Madenidis Olive Oil -- Maronitiki   
Hellenic Fine Oils -- Sparta Gold -- Koroneiki
Energaea Dimas Marakis & Co – Plinthos -- Koroneiki
Protouli Rafteli & Co -- Aegean Gold-- Kolovi
Pasalis S.A. -- Alexandros Olive Grove -- Koroneiki
Tzortzis Michael -- Eleon Tzortzis Family -- Adramitini-Kolovi
Greka Icons S.A. -- Navarino Icons -- Koroneiki
Diamantopoulos Alexandros – Oileus -- Koroneiki   
Mpoumis P. Nikolaos -- Zhn Extra Virgin Oil -- Manaki   
Hellenic Agricultural Enterprises -- Acaia Organic -- Kolovi   
Gay Christian – St.Spanos – Kykladi -- Koroneiki   
Mamarelis Dimitrios – Deladi -- Amfisis   
Great Stories -- 39/22 Koroneiki -- Koroneiki   
Milionis Ilias -- Milionis Olive Mill -- Koroneiki   
Nature Blessed PC -- Nature Blessed -- Chalkidikis-Amfisis-Petroelia-Koroneiki   
Blauel Ltd -- Mani Blauel -- Koroneiki   
Malva-Maroulakos Nikolaos -- Manoli Canoli -- Athinoelia-Koroneiki   
Kidonakis Bros -- Oleum Crete -- Koroneiki   
Falcon SA -- Ol-Eve -- Kolovi-Adramitiani   
Prifri Bros -- Mesi Gaia -- Klonara-Koroneiki   
Amacs Administration Management -- Goutis Estate Sea Breeze -- Koroneiki   
Ladologic E.E. -- Alexandra’s Greek Extra -- Athinoelia-Koroneiki   
Nikolakopoulos Antonios -- Greek Pony Farm -- Koroneiki
Cooperative Olive Oils of Lesvos -- Lesvos Gold -- Kolovi   

Bronze

Tsangaris N. Georgios -- Olive Oil Stories -- Koroneiki   
Botzakis S.A. – Ousia -- Koroneiki   
Asopos Groves -- Asopos Groves-- Koroneiki   
Ziro Sitias -- Ziro Eleolado Sitias -- Koroneiki   
Papadogeorgopoulos Giorgos -- Peftasteri -- Koroneiki   
Malva-Maroulakos Nikolaos -- Malva -- Athinoelia-Koroneiki   
Panagiotopoulos James -- PJ Kabos -- Koroneiki   
Kirakis Vasileios -- Olvion – Manaki
Fanourgakis Padeleimon -- Fanourgakis Family PDO -- Koroneiki   
Theotoki S.A. -- Ktima Theotoki -- Kerkiraiki Lianoelia   
Spiliakopoulou Maria -- Oliorama Exclusive -- Koroneiki-Kollyroki   
Cooperative Krokees Lakonias -- Krokees Lakonias -- Koroneiki   
Fragopoulos Giorgos -- Oilon Organic Virgin Extra -- Kolovi   
Kasimis Angelos -- Moires Extra Virgin Olive Oil -- Koroneiki   
Malliotaki Maria -- Elasion -- Koroneiki   
Great Stories -- 39/22 Manaki -- Manaki   
Sabali Anna-Zizel -- Sampali Fine Products -- Koroneiki   
Sparta Groves -- Sparta Groves -- Koroneiki   
MFSA Oleagroves -- Oleajuice -- Manaki       
Energaea-Dimas Marakis & Co -- Thalea -- Koroneiki   
Skiathiti Kerasia -- Greenolia Premium -- Koroneiki-Manaki   
Kouveli Areti -- Etolea -- Koroneiki   
Papadopoulos Konstantinos -- Mythocia Olympia PGI -- Koroneiki   
Asmarianaki Maria -- Physis of Crete -- Koroneiki   
Faklaris Bros SA -- Argolis -- Koroneiki   
Arbor Beata -- Arbor Beata -- Koroneiki   
Philippos Hellenic Foods -- Philippos Bio Organic -- Koroneiki   
Vasdeki Sofia -- Rhizoma Olive Oil -- Koroneiki   
Agricultural Fields of Kritsa -- Kritsa 0.3 -- Koroneiki     
Tsarouxis Stratos -- Etolia -- Koutsoroelia   
Tzavaras Spiros -- Spiros O2 PDO -- Koroneiki   
Oleum Priorat Sccl -- Oleum Priorat -- Arbequina   
Drakia Alexandra -- Luxury Oil -- Koroneiki   
Leykon S.L. -- Leykon -- Mastoelia   
Skoura Maria -- Ladi Marias -- Manaki   
Markou J.P. & Co -- Elia -- Koroneiki   
Foufas Bros SA -- “Ω” -- Koroneiki   
Hellenic Fields -- Ena Ena -- Koroneiki   
Heri Me Heri E.E. -- Heri Me Heri -- Koroneiki   
Tzianoudakis Giorgos -- Cretanthos -- Koroneiki   
Skarpalezou X.A. G.P -- Immortalitas -- Koroneiki   
Seferlis Christos -- Seferlis Estates/Sparta Gourmet -- Athinoelia-Koroneiki   
Co-Operative Olive Oil of Lesvos -- Lesvos Gold Organic -- Koroneiki   
Vivelia M Ike -- Vivelia -- Koroneiki   
Konstas Olive Oil -- Konstas -- Koroneiki   
Amphora Olympia -- Amphora Olive Press -- Koroneiki   
Evripidis S.L. -- Plora Prince of Crete -- Koroneiki   
Krimnianiotis Nikolaos -- Liva Olive Oil -- Koroneiki   
Sellas Olive Oil Trade Ltd -- Sellas Extra Virgin Olive Oil -- Koroneiki   
Theodoros Zoris -- Eleagros -- Koutsoroelia   
Sofia Kordouli -- Kukuzi -- Patrinia   
Raykeia Gi -- Rafkialand PC -- Koroneiki   
Voliotis Apostolos -- Elaiolado Piliou Oikogeneia Volioti -- Amfisis   
Konstas Olive Oil -- Protogenes -- Athinoelia-Manaki   
Nikolopoulos Stavros -- Nikolopoulos Estate Oliv -- Koroneiki   
Xalantas Petros Mixahl -- Stagona -- Tsounati   
The Cretan Olive Mill SA -- Premium by Almpantakis Family -- Koroneiki   
Kasell -- Phileos -- Koroneiki  

See here for the many Greek Design Award winners.

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