The Íbero Museum of Jaén has recently hosted The III International Congress on Virgin Olive Oil, Olive Oil and Health, O_Live !, a unique event in which some thirty researchers and professionals offered presentations and oral scientific communications to the attendees of the congress, among those who were health workers, researchers, nutritionists, chefs or producers of olive oil from all over the Spanish geography and other countries such as Japan or Germany about the health benefits of EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil).
The different presentations have been highlighted by the relevance of the scientific data offered and the great interest aroused among the attendees, one of the strong points of this event being the approval of the III Declaration of Jaén on Olive Oil and Health that was integrated by Miguel Ángel Martínez-González, professor at Harvard University; Jesús de la Osada, Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Zaragoza; and José Juan Gaforio, professor of Immunology at the University of Jaén and director of the Congress. This consensus document among scientists addresses obesity as ‘one of the great global challenges of public health’ and recalls that science has shown that diets that use EVOO as culinary fat decrease the body mass index.
The Declaration, points out that olive oil is the main element of the Mediterranean Diet (referring to healthy eating model), also shows that virgin olive oils reduce blood pressure, have anti-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory effects, and help prevent cardiovascular diseases. Their habitual consumption can also reduce the risk of developing some types of cancers and, in the environmental plane, they help to take care of the planet in its process of obtaining, which differentiates them from other edible vegetable fats.
“This document will become the main legacy of this congress, since it will be the reference in this field during the next years, allowing to divulge worldwide the latest scientific evidences that link virgin olive oils with health”, explained José Juan Gaforio.
The papers of the Congress, which highlighted the role of olive oil in the prevention of diseases, its culinary use (with the participation of Chef Joan Roca) or its benefits for the environment, could be combined with olive oil tastings in charge of DOPs of Jaen or an informative exhibition installed in the lobby of the Íbero Museum.
One of the most striking activities of the congress was the so-called “Cooking with Science”, in which the cook Marcos Reguera and the professor of Immunology José Juan Gaforio participated. Thus, while Reguera was cooking dishes with EVOO, Gaforio was explaining curiosities and scientific data related to this food and its cooking processes.