Olive trees are grown in an organic farm in Cyprus, where advanced sustainable farming methods are practiced, based on the latest discoveries in biochemistry. No chemical fertilizers are used here – the soil is fertilized with natural compost and enriched with beneficial microorganisms. Benign fungi, in symbiosis with olive trees, supply the trees with nutrients, enhance their immunity and thus help to ensure a very good olive harvest. Olive trees grown in excellent climatic and terrain conditions give a very high yield of olives rich in vitamins, minerals and biologically active components. These olives are the source of the extra virgin cold pressed ATSAS oil.
Nicolas Netien, one of the founders of ATSAS oil farm, is an expert in environmental engineering. He came to Cyprus for research purpose and was fascinated by the extraordinary nature of the country and the climatic conditions that allow experimenting in organic farming. Nicolas believes that sustainable organic farming is a very promising global trend.
Olives are harvested early, when their concentration of polyphenols is the highest. From these olives only a small amount of oil can be extracted, but the oil is extremely rich and maximally saturated with polyphenols that are beneficial to our health.
The method of oil extraction is also very important. The olives are harvested by hand and usually, it takes not more than 30 minutes from the time they are plucked from the tree until the oil extraction begins. This is done to preserve as much of the beneficial compounds as possible and to protect the olives from the inevitable oxidation and fermentation processes that occur during storage in the warehouse. Many oil factories add water and heat up the pressure equipment in order to accelerate the process and extract more oil, but for ATSAS oil is only the cold-press method is applied, and no additives are used. Unlike industrially-produced oils, ATSAS oil is not filtered. It is left in the tank for about a month, for the sediment and impurities to settle on the bottom of the tank.
ATSAS oil is bottled in little black bottles made of opaque glass, to preserve as much of the oil’s valuable properties as possible. It is known that direct UV rays, as well as contact with oxygen, change the chemical composition of extra virgin olive oil and it may lose its nutritious properties, this is why it is important to store the oil in a cool and dry place and not to keep the oil bottle open for a long time.