Organic extra virgin olive oil
Archaeology has proved that olive trees have been cultivated in Crete for more than 4000 years. In Prehistory (in the Neolithic era), the habitants of Crete were already familiar with olive oil, which they extracted from wild olive trees that grew on the Cretan mountains. Many scientists believe that olive trees were first cultivated in Crete. Archaeologists, historians and other scientists believe that the olive was of outmost importance for the development of ancient Mediterranean civilisations.
The health benefits of olive oil have been proved by numerous scientific researches. Olive oil is extracted by mechanical pressing, whereas other oils are extracted chemically. This means that olive oil preserves its antioxidants, which help prevent cardio-vascular diseases, cancer and degenerative diseases (e.g. dementia). Its action against cardio-vascular diseases is also boosted because of its composition: it has high monounsaturated fats, low polyunsaturated fats and an ideal proportion of fatty acids.
All members of our Cooperative produce organic extra virgin olive oil, which is a top quality olive oil. It is among our first priorities to increase and standardise the production of this quality product. The variety mainly cultivated in Rethymno is called koroneiki. This globally distinguished variety gives olive oil of superb taste and rich fragrance.
To ensure the highest quality of our product, we control thoroughly a number of criteria through all stages of production, storage and standardisation, such as:
- Cultivation practices, tools, machinery and material for clean fruit without contamination by any neighbouring fields or other random factors;
- Selection of optimal harvesting time (for a rich fruity flavour and rich antioxidant content);
- Direct transportion (on the same day) in hemp sacks (not plastic ones) to the olive mill and immediate pressing;
- Cleanliness inside the olive mill at all stages. Olives are washed with clean water, plants are stainless steel;
- Temperature control (cold pressing, maximum 27°C);
- No exposure to air oxygen at processing (during olive paste mash);
- Storage in stainless steel oxygen-free tanks, in rooms with controlled temperature;
- We would like to note an issue that is internationally discussed lately: olive oil contamination by plasticisers. Plasticisers (phthalates) are chemical substances which are harmful for human health. They are used in various plastic products in order to improve their qualities, such as their flexibility. Organic extra virgin olive oil produced by the members of our Cooperative meets the highest legal standards on this matter (eg German and Russian standards). This is something we achieve through rigorous control of all the tools, machinery and material we use.