About us

Crete and Olive Oil

The cultivation of olives and olive oil production has been a traditional occupation in Crete since ancient times. The findings dating back to the era of King Minos of Knossos provide a good example. The temperate Mediterranean climate with its mild weather conditions, neither too cold nor too hot, and the absence of moisture made it an ideal place for growing olives.

In particular, the southernmost region in the Heraklion plain of Messara and the foothills of the Asterousia Mountains combine these elements in the best possible way. It is precisely for these reasons that the region is classified as a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO). Today, the cultivation of the top-quality Koroneiki variety is almost the exclusive occupation of the residents with an average annual production of 50,000 TN.

Unfortunately, the region’s climatic comparative advantages and the superiority of the Koroneiki variety are not reflected in the quality of the olive oil produced, since both the harvest  of the fruits and olive oil production are executed in a way that refers more to an industrial product than a food, without rules and procedures that ensure quality.

The result is that the quality of olive oil both in terms of chemical characteristics (acidity, peroxides) and sensor characteristics (fruity, bitter, and spicy) suffer. The low percentage of the first and particularly the balanced high proportion of the latter are the elements that should characterize the Premium extra virgin olive oil and which establish it not only as a very good but as a time resistant top food and allied against several diseases such as coronary heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s, etc.

Besides, a very important component of the olive oil which is usually destroyed or lost due to the olive oil extraction conditions is the contained polyphenols which, pursuant to Regulation 432/2012 of the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA), contribute to the protection of blood lipids from oxidative stress if their content in the olive oil is at least 5 mg per 20 gr of oil.

And according to a study by Davis University of California, olive oils in which the levels of oleocanthal and oleancein exceed the 135 and 105 mg/Kg respectively have significant biological activity, since both have been related with anti -inflammatory, antioxidant, cardioprotective and neuroprotective activity.

Emphasis on Quality

Paying particular emphasis on quality we have proceeded to categorize the extra virgin olive oil   into three quality categories, Premium, Superior and Quality (without Sensory Defect) and defined the quality requirements for the classification in each category, as depicted in the Products link.

We considered it imperative to get an order in the current regime, which provides the classification in extra virgin all olive oils that have an acidity of less than or equal to 0.8%, even those that have a defect such as rancid, mold, sludge, etc., resulting in a confusion to consumers who cannot so distinguish the excellent, the very good, the good and the defective extra virgin olive oil.

Guided by the established quality requirements we put aim to produce from our estates and  market certified quality products and particularly a Premium Extra Virgin Olive Oil that stands out from the others with evidence the low acidity (≤ 0,3%), the non-detection of pesticide residues, the high polyphenols content (≥ 280 with classical method and ≥ 840 with the modern method) and excellent organoleptic characteristics (fruity, bitter, spicy).

We managed to achieve this objective by our very first attempt during the 2015 – 2016 oil year winning the second place of the silver awards in the international competition “GOLD  ARISTION EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL AWARD”  9-10 April 2016, London UK.

aristion awards

london-awards

And in 2016 – 2017 we managed to win the Golden Health and Nutrition Award for the very high content of our olive oil in polyphenols (1334 mg / kg).

award 2017

The family business premises of bottling and selling olive oil with the alphanumeric EL40538, are located in the village Vassiliki, Gortyna Municipality, in the southern part of Crete Heraklion, with a capacity exceeding 50,000 Kg annually in different packages.

Our olive oil’s name Pasiphaë and the photos with the bull, the labyrinth and the olive tree in the labels symbolize the Cretan origin of olive oil and the respect for the art of its production which is traced back to antiquity.  As it is known, Pasiphae was the wife of King Minos and the photos are murals from the palace of Knossos.

By providing our partners and our customers with all the useful information about our olive oil, including its chemical and organoleptic analyzes, we want to consistently provide them with fully guaranteed, top-quality, safe and beneficial health products.

Additionally we are in the process of certifying our products in organic. The controls we currently perform on our products are the same as those of organic.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you require any further information