The word ‘Pamako’ derives from Linear B (Mycenaean Greek), the oldest written language in Europe and means ‘medicine’. With it’s notably high phenolic content, Pamako is one of the healthiest extra virgin olives oils (EVOO) in the world. These natural compounds, highly concentrated in Pamako are known for their antioxidant activity and numerous other health benefits including; shielding blood lipids from oxidative stress, contributing to the reduction of cholesterol levels, helping to combat cardiovascular diseases, lowering high blood pressure, protecting against certain types of cancer, reducing the risk of stroke and increasing the longevity of the body and mind as well as having anti-ageing and anti-inflammatory qualities.
Pamako is one of the few olive oils worldwide to have a certified health claim on its label in accordance with EU regulation 432/2012.
- 60% tsounati and 40% koroneiki olive blend
- Polyphenols 1516 mg/kg
Taste and Aroma
Famously fresh and intensely fruity on the nose with mildly spicy elements and a softly bitter taste.
Pamako EVOO is painstakingly produced, carefully stored and lovingly packaged. The hundreds of years old olive trees grow in the area of Selino in the southwestern part of the Greek island of Crete. There, a perfect microclimate for olive growing has enabled the less-known tsounati olives to thrive since the Minoan era.
Pamako’s owner, Eftihis Androulakis, combines:
- the same day
- without the olive pit
- at a low temperature
- with the inert gas argon to keep out oxygen that could harm the oil
Pamako olive groves are located next to the ancient city of Elyros in the rocky, mountainous area of Selino in the prefecture of Chania on the island of Crete, at an altitude of 500 to 700 meters above sea level. Most of them are very difficult to reach since there are no roads leading to them. Cultivation and harvesting are extremely challenging due to the morphology of the ground and the size of the trees. Following the traditional ways of more than four generations teaching to respect what nature generously gives on the mountain, Pamako attends to each one of the trees differently, according to its individual needs. With an average height of about 11 meters and with some trees reaching 20 meters of an average age of about 200 years, each tree has a different “personality.”
Pamako’s ally in this effort is the ideal microclimate of the area – sunny and windy while the trees start to blossom and with cold, rainy days naturally protecting them from disease and watering them before the harvest.
The main olive variety in the groves is tsounati – a rare olive tree that has its “roots” in Minoan times. Some of the olive trees in the area are indeed monumental. Mostly, these trees grow wild around the rocks, preserved through the years because the altitude and climate are ideal. The secondary variety is koroneiki which, has mainly been cultivated during the last century and surprisingly, it grows among tsounati trees on the mountain.
These olive trees survived the wars, as the villagers protected them more than their homes. The trees became part of their lives, helping generations of villagers grow, contributing to the healthy lifestyle of Cretans that forms the basis of the Mediterranean diet. Both varieties now give Cretans an olive juice that is both high in polyphenols and full of mountain aromas.
Challenging, Painstaking, Traditional, Innovative are the four words that Pamako use to describe the complete procedure for creating their premium blend olive oil.
Pamako’s olive trees grow in a rocky, mountainous area and so, the use of heavy machinery is impossible. Harvesting is done by hand, climbing up into the trees and using electronic sticks to carefully shake the branches, catching the fruit when it is light green and before it starts to turn purple. Harvesting starts at the beginning of October and lasts about four weeks.
Milling is done on the day of the harvest, at low temperatures (under 26 C). The Pamako team take out the pit before malaxing which means that they take only the best from each fruit. The process takes a maximum of 30 minutes for each batch of olives. Whilst malaxing inert Argon gas is applied so that oxygen doesn’t affect the quality and to ensure that the olive oil will maintain all its aromas and valuable phenols. The quantity of olives is reduced this way, but an extraordinary quality is gained.
After milling, Pamako store their olive oils at controlled temperatures in stainless steel tanks away from sunlight. The tanks are filled with argon gas, an inert gas approved for use with food, to ensure that the olive oil keeps the characteristics it had on its first day for as long as possible.
To maintain all the health benefits, Pamako use dark bottles with a mirrored outer layer so that light cannot affect the olive oil’s quality, protecting from oxidation. To maintain the olive oil’s aromas, the bottle is capped with the highest quality natural cork with an oak wooden finish.
The levels of the phenols oleocanthal and oleacein in Pamako organic extra virgin olive oil are higher than the average values found in international university studies. Research has led many scientists to believe oleocanthal and oleacein to be:
A chemical analysis by Dr. Prokopios Magiatis of the University of Athens and the World Olive Center for Health shows that Pamako Monovarietal EVOO from the 2021 olive harvest contains more than seven times the amount of the specific phenolic compounds required – making Pamako eligible for a health claim according to European Regulation 432/2012. Those compounds are hydroxytyrosol, tyrosol and their derivatives also include oleocanthal and oleacein.
The daily consumption of 20 g of Pamako can help to protect blood lipids from oxidative stress, which implies that it helps reduce the risk of diseases such as:
- rheumatoid arthritis
- cardiovascular disease
In a chemical analysis performed at the Pharmacognosy and Natural Products Chemistry Department at the University of Athens in October of each season, the evaluation of Pamako’s olive oils showed impressive results.
Oleocanthal and Oleacein
The levels of oleocanthal and oleacein present in Pamako Monovarietal and Pamako Blend are far higher than the average values revealed to date by international university studies. Recent scientific studies have associated oleocanthal and oleacein with anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, cardioprotective and neuroprotective activity. Considering the standards set by European regulation 432/2012, the hydroxytyrosol derivatives in Pamako are over 5 mg per 20 grams of olive oil. As Pamako’s EVOO concentration of phenolic compounds is so much higher than the regulation it is eligible for a health claim. According to the 2016 analysis of Pamako olive oil, daily consumption of just 7 grams of Pamako protects blood lipids from oxidative stress.
More information about polyphenols can be found here.
More to the Gourmet Story…
Pamako is a recently founded company (2014), guided by their passion for pure organic extra virgin olive oil and a desire to marry centuries of tradition in olive oil production with 21st century technology to create a premium product.
Established in 2014 by the young entrepreneur, Eftihis Androulakis, Pamako is the brainchild of a passionate Cretan who decided to build on a family tradition of several generations with the help of his family and his partner, Dorothea Ritter. They combine tradition with cutting edge technology to manufacture an olive oil that is exceptional in both taste and quality. Preserving traditional methods of sustainable organic cultivation and processing, Pamako integrate modern technology in order to make the most of each olive and create a premium extra virgin olive oil.
Pamako’s journey began in a rocky, mountainous area covered with olive trees hundreds of years old. Throughout they have kept in mind the advice of their grandfathers “Respect the trees, look after them, and they will richly reward you with their fruits.” The best quality olive oil with all of olive oil’s health benefits is their ultimate reward.
Awards and Features
The winner of dozens of awards at a number of prestigious international competitions, Pamako has gained worldwide fame for its:
- high quality
- health benefits
- elegant, protective glass bottle
- fresh, fruity aroma with mildly spicy elements and a slightly bitter taste