Kristal Oil, the first branded olive oil in Turkey, was established in Izmir by Anthony Micaleff in 1945. The Company has been one of the first brands that produced olive oil and released packed olive oil to the market in Turkey. It has also been the first company that exported packed and branded olive oil. Today, as a pioneer in Turkish olive oil market, Kristal Oil exports olive oil to 25 countries.
In 1950s, while olive oil was mainly consumed in Aegean and Marmara Regions which are the production areas, Kristal Oil has been the leading company introducing and adopting the habit of consuming olive oil among Turkish people in Anatolia.
In 2007 along with the partnership of Arkas Holding, Kristal Oil has increased its investments and production capacity even more. Kristal Oil has been running operations to increase local and foreign market share.
Kristal Oil has been demanded for generations with its quality and trust developed on consumers.
Quality, Innovation, Trust
Since its foundation, Kristal Oil has adopted the “quality product” and “impeccable service” principles. Keeping up with the emerging technologies, Kristal Oil works in accordance with the ecological balances and with the awareness of human health at its plants built on 20.000 m2.
Sanitary production is a constant rule for Kristal Oil. Kristal Oil, which makes production and packaging, untouched by human hand, offers olive oil in glass bottles and tin cans which are the healthiest storage conditions for olive oil. Kristal Oil maintains the same quality of the products for generations. Kristal Oil is a participant of National Olive and Olive Oil Council quality control program and plays an active role on encouraging the participation of other companies offering quality products. Kristal Oil, which produces in accordance with national and international standards, is TS EN ISO 9001 Quality and TS EN ISO 22000 Food Safety Management Systems certificate holder. All Kristal Oil products have Halal Food and Kosher certificates.
Kristal Oil provides a fully integrated service with its continuous plant which produces high quality extra virgin olive oil from olive of the Ayvalık region, and its main factory which is comprised of refining and packaging units, in Izmir Bornova.
- The company has numerous quality and management certificates from Turkey and from many international organizations. It has also the pride of having many respectful awards. Kristal Oil won the first award, the gold medal, at World Food Day Sunflower Seed Oil Quality Competition on 16 October 1982. It won the Oil Proficients “Golden Lion” prize at Verona SOL Competition in Italy on 3 April 2000.
- On 9 June 2006, Kristal Extra Virgin Olive Oil was selected the best olive oil among the “Turkey’s Top 10 Olive Oil” published by the Hürriyet newspaper. Winners were selected by a grand jury consisting of olive oil experts, food writers, gourmets and restaurant owners.
- Kristal Oil won 2014’s packaged olive oil export prize at the ceremony which was held by Aegean Exporters’ Association on 28 April 2015.
The World of Olive Oil as described by Kristal
Olive tree (Olea Europea) is a strong tree. Despite of its slow and difficult growth, it has a long life. Therefore, it is called “Immortal Tree” in mythology and botany. Calcareous, pebbly, rocky and dry soil is suitable for an olive tree to grow on due to its roots extending to depth. The most favorable environment for an olive tree is the climate which is hot in summer and temperate in winter. Olive tree likes light, sun and temperatures over 15°C. Annual average of 220 mm rainfall is sufficient for the efficient growth of an olive tree. Olive tree generally grows in geographies with low altitude. The upper surface of the olive tree’s leaves, in the form of bush, is dark and the bottom surface has a silvery color. Leaves come out from both sides of the branch in a perfect order. The body having an average width of 40-50 cm is resistant against decay. New leads growing from the burls revitalize the body when the tree gets old. Olive tree which has an average height of 2-10 m, bears large amount of fruits in one year, and less in the following year. Blooming period in Northern Hemisphere is between April and June. Green olive ripen between the end of August and beginning of November.
Picking methods in olive harvest have not changed for thousands of years. Hand- picking or shaking method has been used for centuries. The harvest period is between October and February. Harvest with machines is slowly replacing the traditional method of shaking. Today, methods such as body or branch shaking, and picking the fruits on the ground using absorbant equipments are being utilized in the machines used for olive harvest. In hand-picking method running off or combing is used and in picking from ground method, roller or brush is used. Among these methods hand-picking requires the most effort. This method where maximum 9-10 kg olive is picked per hour enables olive oil production with the highest quality if the fruit is good.
Another tradition that has not changed in olive oil culture for thousands of years is the method of extracting oil from olive as olive oil can be consumed without any chemical process. An olive fruit has approximately 20% oil, 40% vegetable water and 40% solid matter. There is no difference in olive oil extraction methods of today and the past. Olive are pressed and the paste form is obtained. Then the paste is pressed. Eventually, the oil is separated from the vegetable water. Hydraulic press machines were started to be used in the beginning of the 19th century due to the technological improvements. Today, instead of hydraulic press machines, machines that enable olive oil extraction from olive paste by centrifugal force are being used. These are called “Continuous Systems”.
Continuous systems are fully automatic machines. High quality olive oil can not be obtained from the olive falling on the ground, therefore, they are processed separately. During the separation process of the leaves called cone, olive on washing machines are cleaned from the leaves, soil or branches, pressed and crushed in the crusher. Olive crushed at 1000-2500 rpm speed are collected in mixers. Mixer is the section where olive are kneaded. In this section, olive are kneaded for approximately 45-55 minutes in paste form to extract olive oil. The paste is then transferred to decanter section and the oil is separated from olive pomace and vegetable water. Olive oil cleaned by centrifuge is put in stainless steel tanks, and left in resting tank to be separated from its sediments. It is filled in cans or bottles.
In order to obtain high quality olive oil, undamaged olive should be harvested at the right time by using appropriate methods, and should be immediately and appropriately processed at olive press plants. It is very important that the olive should be processed as soon as possible after the harvest. Because if olive are kept waiting, they will be fermented. This reduces the quality of olive oil and it loses its extra virgin characteristics. Therefore, the olive should be kept in punched plastic cases that have a 20-25 kg capacity. The variety of the olive tree, geographical characteristics of the region, climate conditions, implementation of agricultural pest control, fertilization or irrigation, harvest time and method, the technology used for olive oil extraction, storage conditions and packing material affects the quality of olive oil. Modern, complex and developed analysis methods are used in order to identify the quality of the olive oil. Even 1% vegetable oil contamination can be identified using gas chromatography and liquid chromatography devices. It is also crucial to identify and evaluate the flavor and excellence which are identified as sensory characteristics of an olive oil. Thus, expert tasters play an active role in this process. Based on the physical, chemical and sensory characteristics, oil is classified as;
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Virgin Olive Oil
Lampant Olive Oil
Lampant olive oil which is not suitable for food consumption is refined using water steam distillation and bleaching soil without being exposed to any chemical reaction. Refined olive oil is blended with extra virgin olive oil in certain ratio and olive oil quality is obtained.