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A study on olive oils enriched with antioxidants from microalgae awarded the 3rd Luis Vañó Castillo de Canena Research Award

A study on olive oils enriched with antioxidants from microalgae awarded the 3rd Luis Vañó Castillo de Canena Research Award

These new antioxidants—basically carotenoids such as lutein—when incorporated into virgin extra olive oils, prevent degenerative diseases affecting vision.

The award, presented yearly by the family-owned firm hailing from Jaen, includes a first prize of €6,000 euros and a second prize of €1,500, in addition to the publication of the papers presented.

Microalga Scenedesmus almeriensis

Research conducted on virgin olive oils enhanced with new antioxidants coming from the microalgae “Scenedesmus Almeriensis” will be awarded the Luis Vañó Castillo de Canena Olive Cultivation Research Award sponsored by the family-owned olive cultivating business, Castillo de Canena.


The research studies raise hopes that enhancing olive oils with lutein will make them more effective in preventing degenerative diseases related to vision. Researchers obtain lutein from growing a certain microalgae, “Scenedesmus Almeriensis,” a natural generator of this carotene which is also found, although in tiny quantities, in extra virgin olive oils.

The research conducted by professors Ruperto Bermejo, Francisco Gabriel Acién Fernandez and José María Fernández, has been awarded a €6000 euro prize, a commemorative plaque and the publication of their study.

The Luis Vañó Castillo de Canena Olive Cultivation Research Award has also handed a second prize to the research study on “Highly efficient air-assisted spray methods for applying phytosanitary products”. It describes a new machine that serves as a pantograph arm and applies the atomized phytosanitary products to the leaves of the plant in a much more precise and rational manner, preventing the product from missing the target, reducing application costs and carefully respecting the environment. This paper was produced by research professors Elias López, Juan Antonio Almazán and Francisco Alberto Diaz, and their second prize consists of €1500 euros, a commemorative plaque and the publication of their paper, which will also be carried out by the firm Castillo de Canena.

“By holding this 3rdEdition of the Research Awards, and being from Jaen, we want to make a public affirmation of our solid support, on a corporate level, of society and the olive-growing sector, and of extra virgin olive oils. It is in these times of acute economic hardship that businesses must go further to put our weight behind research, innovation and the proper management of knowledge as valid and effective tools to overcoming difficulties, and the crisis that we have been facing for years,” explains Luis Vañó, Castillo de Canena president and father of the family.

Castillo de Canena’s olive cultivating tradition goes back to 1780. The family personally controls every step of the oil producing process—from growing to milling, bottling and national and international marketing. The firm currently exports to 42 countries.

The jury, headed by University of Jaen President Manuel Parras Rosa, included renowned figures from the olive-cultivating industry and extra virgin olive oil sector, such as Anunciación Carpio Dueñas, Mariela Chova Martínez, José Juan Gaforio Martínez, Carlos Parra López and Joan Tous Martí. It made its decision public last 10 December and the awards ceremony will take place the second week of January 2014 at the Canena Castle, owned by the family and namesake of this world-renowned brand of olive oil.

The firm has been recently rated with the highest ranking score in the oil guide Guía Flos Olei 2014 (with 98/98 points), published annually by the Italian expert Marco Oreggia, who rates the best olive oils in the world. He has selected the Royal Temprano by Castillo de Canena as the Best Light Fruity Monovarietal in the World. Two months ago, the firm also won the Premio Alimentos de España for best agri-food business in the country in terms of internationalisation.



Jaen, 12 December 2013

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