KARMIRI farm has been using sustainable, organic farming methods for over 30 years. We are currently registered organic with DIO, an official Greek inspection and certification organization of organic products that is approved by the Greek Ministry of Rural Development and Food, the Hellenic Accreditation Council, the European Union, the Council Accreditation of Quebec (Canada) and the US Ministry of Agriculture (USDA-NOP), and will receive our formal certification in July 2015.
All of our olive trees are cultivated by hand and the land is managed naturally to ensure the health of the trees for future production. We never spray our olive trees with pesticides or use harmful fertilizers, and cultivate our oil using traditional cold-pressing techniques – simply by crushing the olives and extracting the juice – without the use of chemicals, solvents or industrial refining.
The health benefits and the quality rating of olive oil comes from the unique chemical composition of the oil. The main component of olive oil is triacylglycerol (pronounced try-as-ill-glis-er-ol), which is the primary energy reserve for plants and animals, consisting of triglycerides and fats. When triacylglycerol is broken down during extraction (hydrolysis or lipolysis), free fatty acids (FFA) are formed. Fatty acids become “free” when they are not bound to any other molecule. The FFA level of olive oil indicates the condition of the fruit at the time of pressing: high FFA indicates poor quality fruit due to damage, being overripe, insect infestation, overheating during production, or too much delay during harvest and press; low FFA is thus the desirable property.
Polyphenols are natural antioxidants that make olive oil taste bitter. This is the characteristic that is likely the major reason olive oil is so healthy. Koroneiki olives are known to have the highest level of polyphenols, while other olive varieties (Arbequina, Leccino, Frantoio, etc.) have lower content. If you are storing oil, you want to protect your oil from sunlight and heat as these will cause polyphenols to oxidize.
For more information, contact us at +1 443-739-9596 or email us at [email protected]