Olive oil is a key element of the Mediterranean diet and is considered to be a healthy food product because of its content in monounsaturated fat. It is the oil from the fruits of the olive tree. It is extracted by pressing the olives, which must be collected before their final maturation, meaning when they have green-dark mauve color, as the quality of their oil is much better than that of the oil extracted from the fully ripe fruits.

Main olive varieties in Creta

The Koroneiki olive variety, also known by many other names such as Cretan, Koronia, Koroni, Ladolia, Lianolia, Psilolia and Vatsiki, Asprolia. It is a particularly important variety as it is very productive and resistant to the dry and warm regions of our country. Its demands on soil, moisture and farming care are relatively small.
This specific variety has a steady crop and a relatively high yield, which ranges from 30 to 100 kilograms of fruit per tree while can reach up to 150 kilograms of fruit per tree in favorable climatic conditions. The olive oil of the Koroneiki variety is fine with excellent flavor and exquisite taste. Its main disadvantage is the small size of the fruit which complicates the mechanical harvesting.

The Tsounati olive is also known as Matsolia, Mastolia, Mouratolia and Mastoid. It is considered a cold-resistant variety and can be cultivated at an altitude of up to 1000 meters. It prefers calcareous soils, but it performs well in both rich and moderate soils. The Tsounati variety belongs to the oil-producing varieties. The fruit content in oil can reach 25% and is of very good quality.

The Throumpolia olive is also known as Throumpa, Askouda, Thassitiki, Ladolia, Xantholia, Rethymnian, Chondrolia
It can be cultivated at an altitude of up to 700 meters. It is a demanding variety in humidity and thrives in deep and fertile soils. It needs farming care in order to yield. The fruit content in oil can reach 28% and is of good quality. It can be also used for the production of table olives, the throumpa olive.

Positive organoleptic characteristics of the olive oil

Α flavor, combination of taste and smell, which is characteristic of the oils derived from healthy, fresh olives harvested at the optimum stage of maturation. The fruity flavor is perceived either directly from the nose or from the back part of it and depends on the variety of the olive. This characteristic is the most important in the organoleptic evaluation of the new method, because if it is not detected the oil tested will not be classified as extra virgin or virgin.

Characteristic flavor of olive oil coming from green olives or olives of which the color begins to change. It may be pleasant or not, depending on the intensity. However, in no case it will be considered a defect. For this reason, if the bitterness is perceived at a greater intensity than half of the scale, it should be stated in the certificate of analysis so that the person concerned is aware of it and takes some actions (e.g. mixing) if the consumer asks for less bitter.

Intense tingling sensation, characteristic of oils produced at the beginning of the olive season, mainly from olives that are still unripe. It is caused by the action of phenolic substances at the ends of the trigeminal nerve, it spreads over the entire oral cavity and is eliminated a few seconds after the tasting. The intensity of the pungent flavor decreases during the maturation of the olive oil. We should not confuse this piquant sensation with that of the rancid oil where the feeling is very annoying and it is kept for much longer.


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