Q & A

Fat Quality Smoke Point
Olive oil Refined 390-470°F
Olive oil Virgin 410°F
Olive oil Extra virgin, low acidity, high quality 405°F
Olive oil Extra virgin 374°F

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I have confirmation that all of our facilities, manufacturing and warehousing are Tree NUT Free and our facilities have the following certifications and designations:

  1. OLIVE OIL: Our Olive Oil milling/producing/ bottling facility has the following certifications, which can also be accessed with the following URL: http://kolympari-sa.gr/en/certifications/
  2. Organic Olive Oil: Our organic olive oil products are certified by BIOHellas, a national inspection and certification body for organic products and member of IFOAM, in recognition of their compliance to the requirements of the European Community regulations 834/2007 and 889/2008.
  3. PDO &PGI: Our products of Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) and Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) have been certified by AGROCERT, the premier national organization for certification and inspection of agricultural products.
  4. Production & Standardization: Every step of production is standardized according to the standards issued by the international Food Safety management system requirements by TÜV AUSTRIA HELLAS EN ISO 22000:2005.
  5. Bottling & Packaging: Every step of bottling and packaging is standardized according to the standards issued by the international Food Safety management system requirements by TÜV AUSTRIA HELLAS EN ISO 22000:2005.
  6. Kosher – כָּשֵׁר Finally our products are kosher certified. This means that our products fully comply to the strict standards required by the Jewish dietary laws (Kashrut, כַּשְׁרוּת).

OLIVES:

The plant has the HACCP Food Management System Standard (EN ISO 22000:2005) and is also Certified Organic by BIO HELLAS.

VINEGAR/DRESSINGS:

The plant is also HACCP certified and is certified organic by BIO HELLAS
We can confirm that None of these above facilities deal with or come into contact with TREE NUTS.

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Olives : The first three letters indicate variety (green pitted)  then day / year / month, followed by the production code.

Extra virgin olive oil : Year / Day of year, followed by the production code. For example: L1712764 refers to the 127th day of 2017, with production code 64.

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Yes, at 10F or -12C, olive oil will freeze and solidify. Chilling or freezing olive oil will not harm the oil, and the oil will return to its normal consistency after warming to room temperature.

 

 

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The ideal temperature for storing olive oil is 50F or 10C.

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The oil will get cloudy as it starts to cool and if temperatures dip further the complex minerals in the oil will start to solidify.

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Our olives are hand picked at the height of ripeness and are allowed to cure naturally in a brine of olive oil, salt and vinegar. We do not add caustic soday (Lye) to speed up the natural curing process, and we do not add any preservatives or colour agents to enhance the colour. Our olives are 100% organic and natural.

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Olives are a healthy snack and a great addition to your everyday meals. If sodium is a concern, we recommend soaking the olives in water for an hour, or 24 hours prior to consuming. If you do end up soaking your olives, drain the water, add them back to the jar, and top the jar with olive oil to maintain freshness.

 

 

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Our olives are organic and natural without the use of preservatives/Chemicals, we use a touch of vinegar and a pinch of salt to preserve the olives, which is the traditional recipe. The olives continue to ferment and the substance referred to as Mother, is a harmless residue that forms on the olives when the vinegar in the brine mixes with oxygen (oxidation) It is NOT mould. Simply remove the milky substance with a spoon or spill it out and the olives are good for consumption.

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Yes, olives are a great source of Vit E and heart healthy fats, if the sodium is a concern, simply soak the olives in water as stated above, drain them reintroduce to the jar or container and add olive oil to maintain freshness.

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No, the average serving size is 15g approximately 4-5 olives, and they are typically 7 to 8 calories each and contain no cholesterol. Our olive oil is also cholesterol free and, when used regularly, is actually very healthy for the cardiovascular system. The olives and our olive oils are rich in heart healthy Vitamin E, contain no sugar, no preservatives, no additives are an ideal healthy snack.

 

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Vinegar has an indefinite shelf life, it is a natural acid and therefore self preserving and can be used well past any expiration date.

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These are of my favourite products, the fresh organic oils milled with fresh organic lemons and mandarins. We use them in the following ways:

  • On Fish
  • Salad marinades
  • Chicken marinades
  • Desserts
  • Over steamed vegetables

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Olive Oil 101

Everything you need to know about our Olive Oils

The different names for olive oil indicate the degree of processing the oil has undergone as well as the quality of the oil. Extra-virgin olive oil is the highest grade available, followed by virgin olive oil. The word “virgin” indicates that the olives have been pressed to extract the oil; no heat or chemicals have been used during the extraction process, and the oil is pure and unrefined. Virgin olive oils contain the highest levels of polyphenols, antioxidants that have been linked with better health. As they are the least processed forms of olive oil, extra virgin or virgin olive oil have more monounsaturated fatty acids than other olive oil.

Extra-virgin olive oil  

Contains no more than 0.8% free acidity, and is judged to have a superior taste, having some fruitiness and no defined sensory defects. Extra-virgin olive oil accounts for less than 10% of oil in many producing countries; the percentage is far higher in the Mediterranean countries (Greece: 80%, Italy: 65%, Spain 30%).

Virgin olive oil 

Comes from virgin oil production only, but is of slightly lower quality, with free acidity of up to 1.5%, and is judged to have a good taste. 

Refined olive oil

Obtained from virgin olive oils by refining methods that do not lead to alterations in the initial glyceridic structure. It has a free acidity, expressed as oleic acid, of not more than 0.3 grams per 100 grams (0.3%). No solvents have been used to extract the oil, but it has been refined with the use of charcoal and other chemical and physical filters. Oils labeled as Pure olive oil or Olive oil are primarily refined olive oil, with a small addition of virgin-production to give taste.

Olive pomace oil

Refined pomace olive oil often blended with some virgin oil. It is fit for consumption, but may not be described simply as olive oil

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There are many elements to growing olives that greatly affect their taste and quality. High-density olive groves are commonly subjected to fertilizers, chemicals, and pesticides to encourage mass production. While this method can yield greater volumes, these substances have a direct and negative impact on the health and quality of the fruit, or ‘drupe.’The ideal growing conditions for olives include well-fed composted soil, properly irrigated fields, organic or holistic pest and weed control, regular pruning and mulching, and the right climatological conditions. Olive trees thrive in a climate where the summer is long, hot and dry, and the winter is cool.

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The method of transportation can greatly affect the quality of the olive oil, because of the potential damage that can be caused while en route. It is essential that the olives be handled with great care, so as not to break the skins of the fruits, which would lead to the beginning of fermentation. Upon arrival at the mill, olives should not be piled high because they can heat up and begin to ferment. 

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Once the olives are harvested, time is of the essence. Ideally, olives should be pressed immediately after the harvest so as to preserve their flavor, aroma, and nutrients. Olives that are left out for days or weeks lose their character and produce poor tasting olive oil. 

The first step in the oil extraction process is to separate the leaves, twigs and and stems from the fruit. The fruits are then washed to remove any remaining sediment or dirt. 

The second step is crushing the olives into a paste. The purpose of crushing is to tear the flesh cells to facilitate the release of the oil from the vacuoles. 

Malaxing (mixing) the paste for 20 to 45 minutes allows small oil droplets to combine into bigger ones.  It is an indispensable step. 

The next step consists in separating the oil from the rest of the olive components. This used to be done with presses but is now done by centrifugation.  

(Cold pressed or Cold extraction) means that the oil was not heated over a certain temperature (usually 80 °F (27 °C)) during processing, thus retaining more nutrients and undergoing less degradation. First cold pressed means “that the fruit of the olive was crushed exactly one time. The cold refers to the temperature range of the fruit at the time it is crushed. Industrial olive growers will use heat and chemicals to extract the oil, which yields greater volume, but destroys the nutrients and flavor. )

Some centrifuges are called three-phase because they separate the oil, the water, and the solids separately. The two-phase centrifuges separate the oil from a wet paste. In most cases, the oil coming out of the first centrifuge is further processed to eliminate any remaining water and solids by a second centrifuge that rotates faster. No heat or chemicals are used during the centrifugation process, thus allowing the oil to retain its nutrients and flavor. 

In order for the olive oil to retain the highest level of quality, it should be separated from any sediment and water remaining after extraction. This process is called racking, which pumps the oil from the top of the yield into a clean container, leaving the sediment and water at the bottom. 

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Proper bottling and storage of olive oil is essential to maintaining its quality and taste. Olive oil should always be stored in a dark-colored, sealed, glass bottle, and placed in a cool dark place away from any heat or light. You do not have to refrigerate it, although refrigeration will not hurt the oil. 

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The important thing about cooking with olive oil is not to heat the oil over its smoke point (also referred to as smoking point). The smoke point refers to the temperature at which a cooking fat or oil begins to break down. The substance smokes or burns, and gives food an unpleasant taste. The smoke point of oil varies with its quality. High quality extra virgin olive oils have a high smoke point, roughly between 400 and 365ºF (204 and 185ºC) depending on its free fatty acid content.  When heated, olive oil is the most stable fat, which means it stands up well to high frying temperatures. The digestibility of olive oil is not affected when it is heated, even when it is re-used several times for frying. 

One common myth is that heating olive oil will make it saturated or trans-fatty. This is not true. As far as making a saturated fat, all oils will oxidize and hydrogenate to a tiny degree if repeatedly heated to very high temperatures such as is done in commercial frying operations. Virgin olvie oils are highly monounsaturated oils and therefore resistant to oxidation and hydrogenation. Studies have shown oxidation and hydrogenation occurs to a lesser degree in olive oil than in other oils. But in any case, the amount of hydrogenation is miniscule and no home cook would ever experience this problem.

Another myth is that cooking in olive oil diminishes the nutritional value of the food. This is a misconception. The fact is that heating ANY food will break down its nutritional value. High heat such as frying is worse than moderate heat such as steaming, which is worse than eating vegetables raw. It is not the cooking oil per se, but the high heat of frying. We are not aware of any edible cooking oil, which by itself diminishes the nutritional value of the food cooked in it. Most nutritionists recommend lightly steaming vegetables or eating them. A touch of a flavorsome extra virgin olive oil added at the table will add taste and healthful anti-oxidants. Such is the Mediterranean diet, which has been shown to help prevent coronary disease and have other health benefits.

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Flavours in olive oil are determined by a wide range of factors including the type of olive (varietal), ripeness at harvest, growing conditions (climate, soil type), crop maintenance (irrigation, pest control), handling of fruit from tree to mill, and the milling process itself. For example, oil made from predominantly unripe (green) olives contain flavors described as grassy, artichoke, or tomato leaf, whereas riper olives tend to yield softer flavors often described as buttery, floral, or tropical.

When tasting olive oil, much of the oil’s characteristics are perceived through the sense of smell. Though most people enjoy olive oil with other foods, the following steps allow us to focus on the olive oil’s flavor without distraction:

Pour a small amount of oil (about 1 tablespoon) into a small tapered (wine) glass.

Hold the glass in one hand and use your other hand to cover the glass while swirling the oil to release its aroma.

Uncover the glass and inhale deeply from the top of the glass. Think about whether the aroma is mild or strong. You may want to write down descriptions of the aromas that you detect at this point.

Next you slurp the oil; this is done by sipping a small amount of oil into your mouth while “sipping” some air as well. (When done correctly, you will make that impolite noise that would cause you to be scolded when you were a child!) Slurping emulsifies the oil with air that helps to spread it throughout your mouth – giving you the chance to savor every nuance of flavor with just a small sip of oil.

Finish by swallowing the oil and noticing if it leaves a stinging sensation in your throat.

When tasting more than one olive oil at a time, cleanse your palette by eating a small piece of tart, green apple and then rinsing your mouth with water.

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Cancer: The phytonutrients in olive oil mimic the effect of ibuprofen in reducing inflammation, which can decrease the risk of breast cancer and its recurrence. Squalene and lignans are among the other olive oil components being studied for their possible effects on cancer. 

Heart Disease: Olive oil helps lower levels of blood cholesterol leading to heart disease.

Oxidative Stress: Olive oil is rich in antioxidants, especially vitamin E, long thought to minimize cancer risk. Among plant oils, olive oil is the highest in monounsaturated fat, which doesn’t oxidize in the body, and it’s low in polyunsaturated fat, the kind that does oxidize.

Blood Pressure: Recent studies indicate that regular consumption of olive oil can help decrease both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.

Diabetes: It has been demonstrated that a diet that is rich in olive oil, low in saturated fats, moderately rich in carbohydrates and soluble fiber from fruit, vegetables, pulses and grains is the most effective approach for diabetics. It helps lower “bad” low-density lipoproteins while improving blood sugar control and enhances insulin sensitivity.

Obesity: Although high in calories, olive oil has shown to help reduce levels of obesity.

Rheumatoid Arthritis: Although the reasons are still not fully clear, recent studies have proved that people with diets containing high levels of olive oil are less likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis.

Osteoporosis: A high consumption of olive oil appears to improve bone mineralization and calcification. It helps calcium absorption and so plays an important role in aiding sufferers and in preventing the onset of Osteoporosis.

The latest health research suggests that olive oil may help prevent strokes, could reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, may protect from depression, and could help improve cognitive brain function and memory. 

Also, be aware that heat, light and air can affect the taste of olive oil and possibly its health-promoting nutrients. Store olive oil in a well-sealed, dark glass bottle at room temperature. 

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