Launched as a finished product in Spain and also available as an ingredient, Actiolio Mediterráneo is based on the wealth of evidence showing the health benefits of the traditional Mediterranean diet.
"We think olive oil is the most important fat in the world but it is not complete," Carlos Pena, Genosa president told NutraIngredients.com. "We have added omega-3 from fish oil and also natural antioxidants to protect it as it is very unstable."
The ingredient is currently being used in a new appetiser, marketed by olive brand leader La Española Alimentaria Alcoyana. The product, containing anchovies and olives, enriched with vegetable oil provided by Genosa to complete the fatty acid profile, is marketed with the strapline La Española 'Te Cuida' (takes care of you) in a TV campaign launched this month.
The patent protected formulation could also be used in milk, biscuits and vegetable preservatives, or any product that can be formulated with oil.
The Mediterranean diet is characterized by abundant plant foods, virgin olive oil as the principal source of fat (oleic acid) and fish consumed in low to moderate amounts. It has been credited with giving Mediterranean people one of the world's longest life expectancy and lowest mortality rates from heart disease.
Studies at the University of Málaga in Spain have found the new ingredient to offer significant protection of heart health, by several actions, including an anti-platelet aggregation effect seen from the first week of treatment, reaching its maximum affect after one month.
Actiolio Mediterráneo is also said to reduce LDL cholesterol without increasing triglyceride plasma levels, thanks to its high content of oleic acid (between 70-90 per cent) and 10 per cent of the recommended amount of omega-3.
The added antioxidants slow down the effect of free radicals on processes such as cerebral ischaemia, according to pharmacological research and the oxidsation of LDL cholesterol.
Genosa also markets the Hytolive brand hydroxytyrosol, thought to be the main antioxidant compound in olives, and believed to play a signficant role in the many health benefits attributed to olive oil.