How many recognized benefits for health does our product have?
There are a lot of epidemiological and clinical studies that have proved the narrow bond between the consumption of this food and the improvement of cardiovascular health markers (LDL-colesterol, HDL-colesterol and inflammatory markers).
Nevertheless, this bond must be evident enough for the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) to admit them. This would allow us to include in our labels declarations about the nutritional value and the healthy properties of our product.
The European legislation about labeling require a long verification process. The EFSA requires this declarations to have been previously proved according to the regulation 1924/2006. At the moment, The EFSA is considering admitting products with numerous nutritional virtues to be labeled as healthy. Probably, in the near future, the labels of extra ecologic virgin olive oils will be allowed to include messages alluding their content of monounsaturated fatty acids and the convenience of their polyphenols on oxidative stress prevention.
José López Miranda, from the Excellence Center on Investigation of Olive Oil and Healthy (CEAS), finds paradoxical that in a country such as the USA, the labeling of olive oil as healthy for the heart have been allowed for ten years now whereas the main oil producing continent, Europe, can not show this evidences in the promotion and labeling of this product. From the CEAS, research lines about beneficial, protectives and curative properties of olive oil go beyond the cardiovascular area. The scientists of this association are now analyzing the positive effects of olive oil on chronic and degenerative diseases such as diabetes, cancer or the basic aging process.
However, by now, the “healthy food” label offers resistance.