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DNA-Authenticity & Traceability for Extra Virgin Olive Oil: Τrust the DNA, the label.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - AUTHEVOO (DNA-Authenticity & Traceability for Extra Virgin Olive Oil: Τrust the DNA, the label.)

Reporting period: 2019-12-01 to 2020-05-31

Valuation of the global olive oil market is expected to reach USD ~11 billion by 2025, with Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) segment expected to reach a market value of USD ~2.5 billion by the end of 2024. EVOO due to its increasing popularity as a health-food, and its application in cosmetics/pharmaceuticals has become an ideal fraud-target, with the most common adulteration practices (admixtures/substitution) targeting its quality, purity and origin. This issue is yet to be fully addressed, since it jeopardizes sustainability, deceiving consumers, reducing valuation and in parallel undermining safety, promoting unfair commercial practices. Nowadays, producers, manufacturers, B2B and retailers of EVOO demand accurate solutions to protect quality and health claims. AUTHEVOO addresses an end-to-end DNA-based system of EVOO authenticity and traceability, delivering complete EVOO supply chain transparency from field to store. Its technology displays a significant positive outcome for the environment and the society, embracing agrobiodiversity by adding-value to local varieties, supporting local producers by valorizing their produce, and overall enhancing sustainability. The above aligns with the Green Deal of the EU (Farm-to-Fork) supporting strategies aiming for balance between nature, food and biodiversity, and consumers’ health and well-being. Therefore, the necessity for verifiable and immutable transparency, traceability and authenticity in the olive oil industry becomes an imperative action.
During the project an investigation has been performed on technological aspects as well as business scalability of EVOO DNA authenticity and traceability between the different olive oil industry segments: edible/food, cosmetic and pharma. Technology wise, we obtained reliable performance of portable state-of-the-art DNA-based devices for a field to store DNA authenticity/traceability of EVOO. Cutting-edge technologies have been also identified, able to complement DNA-based systems to enhance traceability. At business level, we performed a thorough research that permitted us to identify the niche segments of the olive oil industry, where AUTHEVOO can disrupt. Moreover, we assessed its impact from the perspective of sustainability and society, when adopted by the olive oil industry.
Throughout AUTHEVOO’s duration we identified specific areas beyond the state-of-the-art existing solutions that can lead to a significant impact of this technology. At society level, our technology enhances sustainability by valorizing and safeguarding local varieties, and supports local producers increasing the valuation of their produce. AUTHEVOO delivers an affordable DNA based system creating a democratized business model. The latter reduces the financial gap between small and large players to use costly anti-fraud and traceability systems, affecting EVOO valuation of small companies.
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