An alternative option towards Alzheimer's prevention: discover the story of Yannis Prodromou, Extra Virgin Olive Oil producer from Greece supported by ARTOLIO project


ARTOLIO is a project that strives to promote innovation, and so do the farmers that participate in it. Yannis Prodromou, Greek olive oil producer from the Thessaloniki region, is a fine example of what the will to adapt and change can do for one’s own business. 

Yannis’ unique cultivating and harvesting process is the secret to the quality of his extra virgin olive oil. He only uses early harvest green olives for his products, collected in early September, when the olives are still lacking some of their oily contents, and hand-picked personally to ensure the product's high quality. There is also a minimal amount of fertilizers used in the cultivation process. This  also ensures the olives keep some of their most beneficial properties, such as high contents of Omega 3, 9 and Vitamin E.

However, in summer 2021, Yannis’ innovative ideas transcended from the cultivation process of his groves into the market thanks to the help of scientific research. 

According to the Panhellenic Federation of Alzheimer Disease and Related Disorders, there are over 1 million cases of people affected by Alzheimer disease in Greece. Thus, Yannis wondered if the quality of our food or the diet we partake in could prevent or reduce the possibility of coming down with the disease.

After his participation in research with the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, it was brought upon the attention of the public that some of the properties of high-quality extra virgin olive oil are a therapeutic strategy against the possibility of contracting Alzheimer, if combined with a healthy Mediterranean diet.

This is how the Micoil project was born.

Micoil is a natural product made of early harvest green olives of the Halkidiki variety specifically designed to be sold in pharmacies. At first, it was nothing but an idea, because if the product were to be sold the demand would exceed the capacity of what Yanni’s Olive Grove (Yannis Prodromou’s brand) could produce on its own. 

However, what first seemed to be an impossible feat started to become a possibility thanks partly to Yannis participation in the ARTOLIO project. Yannis needed to find more partners that could produce and supply high quality extra virgin olive oil to double the production and meet the expectations of target customers, and the ARTOLIO global platform has given him and his brand an opportunity to contact other producers outside of his region. 

In Yannis’s own words; “We want to think of ourselves as modern farmers, because we collaborate and partake of scientific research, creating a breach between what is old and new in our sector. We want to participate in the lives of our clients and to reach out to as many people as possible.” 

Moreover, while the cultivation process is what ensures the quality of the product, Yannis faced some problems regarding the cost of production, since Halkidiki, the region Yannis originates from, lacks great water supplies for irrigation. Therefore, irrigation and fertilizing techniques were usually more expensive, and thus the final product would turn out more expensive than necessary. With this in mind, and knowing this was a hindrance to the success of his personal project, some of the funding from ARTOLIO went to the modernization of the cultivation process. “In a sense, Micoil exists thanks to the help provided by this project, because of its network and the possibility it offered for us to best our means.”