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Quality of olive-oil in Crete

The following content has been republished from the website of "Association of Cretan Olive Municipalities" www.sedik.gr.
The special geo-climatic conditions of Crete and, in particular, the sun-drenched days of summer and autumn, along with the proper application of local research, not to mention the love of the Cretans for the olive tree and its oil, have all culminated in a spectacular improvement in the level of quality!
Today, over 95% of the olive oil produced in Crete belongs to the highest category of quality labeled as "Extra Virgin".

Factors favouring quality

Olive oil as it is produced on Crete today has excellent quality characteristics. Its acidity is extremely low and its organoleptic characteristics (flavour, aroma) are excellent. Thus a quite large percentage of Cretan olive oil in the order of 85-95%, depending on annual conditions, is placed in the highest quality category of EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL (Fig. 1). The corresponding figures for olive oils from other olive oil producing countries is today considerably lower.
Its excellent organoleptic characteristics, in other words the unparalleled flavour and exceptional aroma of Cretan olive oil, is certainly due to the high levels of sunshine and the dry climate which prevails in most areas of the island, particularly during the autumn and winter period when the oil is formed in the fruit.
Nonetheless, achievement of the top quality of Cretan olive oil is also contributed to and assisted by the diligent cultivation of producers and effective combating of the olive fly in conjunction with proper and rapid harvesting.
Shortening the period of time between harvesting and pressing and the high conditions of cleanliness of the olive fruit from the olive plantation to the olive press are also considered to be important technical factors which contribute decisively to improving quality.
Shortening the time from harvesting to pressing, which over recent years has reached just 1-2 days, is a Greek success which is due, in addition to mechanizing of harvesting using small olive collection devices, too to the large number of modern high capacity olive presses which exist on Crete which manage to process almost all olives received each day.
You can read more about Crete Diet at the website of "Association of Cretan Olive Municipalities" www.sedik.gr