What Is High-Phenolic Olive Oil?

Olive Oils that contain a high percentage of phenolic compounds.

If you've heard the term Polyphenols, but never quite understood what they were, or why it mattered, here is some info on how this measurement effects an oils health properties, and the best way to store High Phenolic Olive Oils. 

High Phenolic Olive Oils are those Olive Oils that contain a high percentage of phenolic compounds, called polyphenols which are directly related to the health benefits of olive oil. According to the EU Health Claim Labeling Regulation (432/2012), the claim may be used only for olive oil which contains at least 5mg of hydroxytyrosol and its derivatives (e.g., oleuropein complex and tyrosol) per 20g of olive oil. The beneficial effect for the consumers is obtained with a daily intake of 20g of olive oil (2tbs). This daily intake of high phenolic olive oil contributes to the protection of blood lipids from oxidative stress. 

These are the organic compounds that are the by-products of plant synthesis and are known as phytochemicals. Polyphenols are regarded for their health promoting properties and are found in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds and legumes, beverages (coffee, tea and wine), fats (olive oil) as well as in spices. However, there are phenolic compounds unique to olive oil that only occur during the malaxation process. There are 36 known phenolic compounds in olive oil. The two most widely researched for their health protective benefits are Oleocanthal and Oleacein which are known for their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

The presence of Oleocanthal is indicated by the peppery effect on the back of the throat sometimes causing a cough reflex. Oleacein is known by the bitterness on the tongue. For people accustomed to purchasing olive oils from the supermarket, these characteristics of pepperiness and bitterness are often mistaken as a defect in the olive oil.

Phenolic content varies according to soil condition and weather patterns, olive variety, time of harvest (fruit maturation stage - the greener the olives the higher the phenolic content), milling procedures, etc. For example, biodiversity within the grove adds to the richness of the soil and the nutrition available to the olive fruit. Rains, drought or winds have greater or lesser impact on phenolic content and amount of olive oil produced depending on when they occur during olive fruit maturation.

Light, heat, air and time are the enemies of any olive oil. Our bottles are airtight, and allow no light to penetrate, making our oil the ideal high phenolic oil for your health benefits. 

Our Mission

  • To pass from generation to generation, the pure ingredients of olive oil, helping our life’s sustainability. To offer superior quality premium products of high nutritional value
  • To control all production stages from our own olive groves to end customer
  • To focus on the details that makes the difference
  • To foster innovation by continuously designing and developing new concepts and products

Adopt an olive oil tree

For centuries, Sitia farmers have been growing olives to produce some of the world’s finest olive oil. Especially Zariphico’s Adopt an Olive Tree program allows you to become part of this proud tradition and support local farmers and producers who keep time-honored methods of olive oil production alive.

What you receive when you adopt an olive tree from Zariphico:

  • Three liters of single-harvest extra virgin olive oil from your grove
  • A ceramic bottle in which to decant your oil, made by cretans home artisans
  • An adoption certificate with the number of your tree
  • Information about the groves and farm
  • All packed in a beautiful package

“Sikia" is located between the hills of the Papagiannades area in the eastern central area of Crete. This area is known to produce some of the best extra virgin olive oils in Greece, due to the microclimate that prevails in the countryside. The olive grove includes trees that have been producing olives for over a hundred years. The olives are squeezed within eight hours of harvest to maintain maximum freshness.

Options: Single or Yearly subscription
Cost: 160.00 – 350.00 euro

Name on Adoption Certificate


Our Adopt an Olive Tree program brings fresh, single-harvest extra virgin olive oil of superior purity and freshness directly to your table. The oil is produced from our family groves, where olives are grown sustainably, handpicked, pressed, and bottled during the autumn harvest season.

The olive harvest happens in the fall and the earliest deliveries will arrive to you in mid-December—perfect timing for holiday gifting!

Zariphico's Three Distinct Olive Oil Profiles

Style Low Intensity / Delicate

Tasting Notes:

  • Smooth & Mild
  • Mellow yet rich
  • Light & Elegant Flavor
  • Slight Fruitiness
  • Buttery

Dishes that require subtle enhancements:

Fish, Pesto, Eggs, Baking/Preparing Desserts, Popcorn, Mayonnaise, Tender Salad Greens

Style Medium

Tasting Notes:

  • Intensely olive fruity
  • Pleasent bitterness and pungency
  • Hint of peppery finish
  • Artichoke
  • Avocado
  • Nut

Dishes that call for a fruity flavor:

Bread Dipping and Vegetables, Fresh Pasta, Salads, Lamb, Grilled Chicken, Spicy Fish, Red Wine, Vinaigrette, Bitter Greens Sautéed / Slow-roasted Meats

StyleRobust / Intense

Tasting Notes:

  • Intensely Bold and Assertive
  • Pungent
  • Spicy
  • Grassy
  • Artichoke
  • Tomato
  • Herbs

Dishes that call for a fruity flavor:

Pasta, Sauces, Grilled Chicken, Bruschetta, Soups, Stews, Grilled Meατs & Roasts, Aged Cheese, Spicy Dishes, Garlic, Mashed Potatoes.