Information about work, life and play in Regional Australia

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Regional Australia - Olives Update

Photo: Hand Harvesting Olives

Someone asked me why I featured olives on this blog.

It's partly because I like olives, partly because olives and olive growing is a sign of the diversification sweeping Regional Australia as the old monoculture is replaced by a greater variety of local food products. This is progressively transforming regional life, deepening variety and texture. I find this exciting.

I have to thank olives101, still my favourite olives site, for two stories.

In the first, they drew my attention to a new book Producing Table Olives in Australia designed to help those interested in entering the industry. Here I also noticed that the NSW Department of Primary Industry has a useful paper on the Australian olive industry.

Did you know, I didn't, that since the mid 1990s around 30,000 hectares have been planted to olives in Australia? That's actually a lot of olives! At some point I must talk about the problem of feral olives, something that raises the vision of wild olive trees prowling the by-ways of Regional Australia!

In the second story, olives101 drew my attention to a new development by scientists at Charles Sturt University, a university I spoke of in a recent post.

Scientists at Charles Sturt University and the Heart Research Institute have discovered that the dregs of olive oil have anti-inflammatory benefits.

The pulp contains over 100 antioxidants, several of which they believe could be beneficial in halting hardening in the arteries, or atherosclerosis, associated with poor heart health.

At present, only two per cent of the antioxidants in the fruit actually end up in the oil, with 98 per cent remaining in the pulp. The discovery holds out the possibility of using the pulp.

"It's very exciting to discover something that is just raw waste disposal at the moment has properties that could be used to heal," said chemistry scientist Dr Paul Prenzler.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for your comment I appreciate it!


Jim Belshaw said...

Tis a pleasure, Claude.