Working group

A collaboration between several CREA research centres

A collaboration between several CREA research centres

The project is implemented within the framework of the 2014–20 National Rural Network Programme. Oleario is the result of the joint efforts of several CREA centres, in particular, the Research Centre for Agricultural Policies and Bioeconomy (Centro di ricerca Politiche e Bioeconomia), the Research Centre for Olive, Fruit and Citrus Crops (Centro di ricerca Olivicoltura, Frutticoltura e Agrumicoltura) in Rende, and the Research Centre for Food and Nutrition (Centro di ricerca Alimenti e Nutrizione) as further described below. The collaboration between the researchers of the various Centres brings a variety of knowledge and expertise to the project, which supplement and complement each other in the delivery of useful knowledge to the users and beneficiaries of the various project outcomes, specifically designed for use by a variety of targets. Economists, nutritionists, chemists, biologists, geneticists and computer scientists, each with their own backgrounds in the world of olive oil and olive growing, contributed to the synthesis and presentation of all the project’s contents.

The following participated in the project: Milena Verrascina (Scientific and Coordination Manager), Emilia Reda (Project Coordinator), Maria Rosaria Pupo d’Andrea, Tatiana Castellotti, Barbara Zanetti, Mario Cariello, Laura Guidarelli, Isabella Brandi of the CREA Research Centre for Agricultural Policies and Bioeconomy. Gabriella Lo Feudo, Elena Santilli, Elvira Romano, Massimiliano Pellegrino, Samanta Zelasco of the Centre for Olive, Fruit and Citrus Crops (Centro Olivicoltura, Frutticoltura e Agrumicoltura). Elena Azzini, Angela Polito of the Centre for Food and Nutrition (Centro Alimenti e Nutrizione). Cristina Giannetti of the CREA Press Office.

In this endeavour, we have all invested enthusiasm and dedication, qualities that fuel our research work and that bring us together along with our common passion for olive oil.

Research Centre for Agricultural Policies and Bioeconomy

The Research Centre for Agricultural Policies and Bioeconomy (Centro di ricerca Politiche e Bioeconomia, PB in the Italian acronym) undertakes factual and interpretative analyses of economic and social dynamics related to the agri-food, forestry and fisheries sectors. The Centre’s core activity comprises analyses of trends in the agri-food system, in-depth sectoral research and analyses of supply chain functionality. The Research Centre provides technical and scientific support to public and private institutions and is engaged in several thematic study areas. The latter are structured in numerous research projects, many of which are conducted through collaborations with other institutions, universities, national and international research institutes, and also with private entities.

Research Centre for Olive, Fruit and Citrus Crops

The Research Centre for Olive, Fruit and Citrus Crops (OFA in the Italian acronym) deals with tree crops: fruit, citrus and olive trees. It undertakes research activities for the improvement of supply chains, developing technologies for genetic improvement, genomics, propagation, production sustainability and the quality of fruit production and derivatives, up to the value enhancement of by-products. It manages the conservation, characterisation and valorisation of fruit, citrus and olive specimen collections.

The Centre operates from offices in Rende, Rome, Acireale, Caserta, Forlì and Spoleto. The Rende facility focuses on biology, genetics, genetic improvement and varietal selection of olive plants. It performs research on the collection, conservation and relative chemistry of the fruit both for processing into oil and for fresh consumption.

It deals with the characterisation of local cultivars and their production with a view to enhancing and fostering terroir-product consumer awareness. This Centre undertakes scientific work related to vegetable oil technology, oil preservation techniques and production traceability. It studies the problems associated with the disposal and reuse of waste from the oil industry.

Research Centre for Food and Nutrition (Centro di ricerca Alimenti e Nutrizione)

The research pursued by the Research Centre for Food and Nutrition (AN in the Italian acronym) – inheritor of the INRAN tradition – is aimed at the value enhancement of primary and derivative products in Italy’s vegetable, animal and fish production chains. It is also engaged in the characterisation of foodstuffs in terms of technological, hygienic, sensory and nutritional quality. Using multidisciplinary approaches, the Centre studies the relationship between food and health, supporting research that has enabled Italy to increasingly affirm the validity of its nutritional model in the world.

For over 70 years, it has been developing the Food Composition Tables, the database that underpins the entire field of nutritional analyses. It deals with nutrition policies and institutional communication through the drafting of healthy diet guidelines. Participation in this project underscores the fact that food serves to nourish us as well as being a fundamental primary prevention tool for our health and a valuable support for the management and treatment of many diseases.

The proportion of the types of food and the quality of the food we eat are the basis for achieving a state of physical and mental well-being. Food that is of poor quality, contaminated, poorly preserved, prepared and/or consumed incorrectly, can pose a significant risk to our health. Knowing the compositional, nutritional and sensory aspects, also in relation to the production and processing technologies adopted for our excellent food products, helps us to choose and consume them in a conscious and healthy manner, preserving their extraordinary properties.