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HABERİMİZVAR.NET "Consume this for antioxidants"

Olive oil obtained from rabbit heart olives unique to Antalya was analysed at Cordoba University in Spain. As a result of the analysis, it was determined that the rate of oleocantal (the antioxidant component that gives olive oil a bitter taste) in rabbit heart olive oil has the highest rate among olive oil types in the world. Assoc. Prof. Dr. Mücahit Taha Özkaya from Ankara University said, "Perfect extra virgin olive oil produced from rabbit heart olive variety can be used like medicine."

It was determined that the olive oil obtained from rabbit heart olives, which attracts attention with its size and meat ratio specific to Antalya and is mainly used as table olives due to its low fat content, has the highest rate among all other types of olive oil in the world with its oleocantal ratio, which is expressed as health components. In Antalya, approximately 100 tonnes of rabbit heart olives and approximately 2 tonnes of oil of this olive species are produced annually.


Rabbit heart olives, for which the Antalya Commodity Exchange (ATB) obtained a geographical indication registration in 2018, and two other olive species of Antalya, beylik and black olives, were sent to the laboratory of Spain Cordoba University, which is considered the best in the world in terms of olive oil analyses, in cooperation with Ankara University Faculty of Agriculture. ATB President Ali Çandır and Ankara University Faculty of Agriculture, Department of Horticulture faculty member Assoc. Prof. Dr. Mücahit Taha Özkaya announced the results of the analyses.


Explaining the works that will form the basis for the geographical indication of Antalya-specific rabbit heart, beylik and black olives, Ali Çandır said, "Within the scope of this study, we have been pressing these olive species during the harvest period for two years with our teacher Mücahit from Ankara University and sent the oil of these olive species to Cordoba University in Spain for the test of health components. It is really important that the oleocantal ratio of our rabbit heart olive oil is very high in the test results from here. It is the highest rate found in the studies conducted so far, according to experts. 191 mg per kilogram. They said that there is no other oil with this rate of oleocantal."

Pointing out that according to this result, health experts say that rabbit heart olive oil can be used as a medicine in a sense, Çandır said, "In some literatures, we have also observed that it constitutes a preventive element against cancer and that there are studies that it can be used in cancer treatment. As ATB, we will obtain a geographical indication registration for our rabbit heart olive oil, but in line with these developments, we will try to evaluate our rabbit heart olive oil in a better way in terms of health."


Stating that rabbit heart is actually a table type, Çandır said, "Therefore, its oil is 50 per cent more expensive than other oils. However, after these test results, our professors say that the litre cannot be sold below 100 Euros. In this context, I think that we can further develop our production people by planting more rabbit heart olives, which belong to these lands. In addition, due to the recent pandemic, people have started to turn to more natural products and in this sense, the demand for olive oil, especially rabbit heart olive oil, has increased significantly."


Assoc. Prof. Dr. Mücahit Taha Özkaya from Ankara University prepared a report within the scope of the project 'Determining the local differences of rabbit heart olive variety, beylik and black olive types grown in Antalya province in a way that can form the basis for geographical indication'. Assoc. Prof. Dr. Özkaya included the following statements in his report prepared upon the letter from Spain:

"Perfectly produced extra virgin olive oil of rabbit heart and beylik olive varieties and black olive type were tested for some important minor components by taking samples from different locations in 2 seasons. In the 2019-20 season, even though it was possible to take samples from all three olive varieties and produce olive oil, the olive oil of the black olive type was not analysed due to defects. In the 2020-21 season, it was not possible to produce olive oil from black olives again. With this study, the information given for the rabbit heart olive variety as an olive variety with high oleocanthal level in the project we had previously conducted was confirmed. The perfect extra virgin olive oil produced from rabbit heart olive variety with a very high oleocantal level of 191 mg/kg can be used as medicine. Antalya should utilise this opportunity."

Stating that the amount of vegetable oil produced in the world is about 200 million tonnes, about 3 million tonnes of which is olive oil, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Özkaya said, "About 70-75 percent of this olive oil is consumed by producer countries. Considering that our country's vegetable oil need is approximately 2 million tonnes and 150-170 thousand tonnes of this is met from olive oil, it can be seen that olive oil is not sufficient enough to meet the vegetable oil need for both the world and our country alone."

Noting that there are elements that distinguish olive oil from other vegetable oils and that it is the only oil that does not need refining because it is the fruit oil of a fruit tree that can live for 3 thousand years, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Mücahit Özkaya pointed out that the production cost is much higher than other vegetable oils due to its unique structure.


Noting that the olive oil of the geographically marked rabbit heart olive should also receive geographical indication registration, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Özkaya said, "Rabbit heart is a variety with high potential. For this reason, it should be popularised in the region and it should be brought to the economy with its fruit and oil."

Stating that olive oil production should be entered into for health, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Özkaya said that olive oil varieties with high oleocantal level find buyers at 100 Euros per litre and that rabbit heart olive oil can also be sold at 100 Euros per litre.


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