7 bottles of Pellas Nature infused olive oils lying on their sides near herbs, vegetables, and bowls of fruit, olives, and cucumber slices

Pellas Nature is a family business that started with scientists and engineers in northern Greece, in a region and family where olive oil was not the most obvious focus. Thanks to a smart, dedicated team, the company grew into an internationally successful enterprise that uses innovative methods to produce a wide range of healthy, tasty infused olive oils.

Founder Ioanna Diamanti explains that her team switched its focus after beginning scientific careers “because we wanted to do something different that we love.” With their education and inquiring minds, they did not aim to simply produce olive oil: “not something typical, but something innovative that would need a lot of work, a lot of study, a lot of discussion.” The result: unusual flavored oils noteworthy for both their taste and their nutritional value.

Pellas Nature does not use essential oils in their flavored olive oils, although essential oils enable other companies to produce large quantities of flavored oils at low prices. Instead, Pellas Nature works with an innovative technique that uses a controlled low temperature and works under vacuum.

As Diamanti, who holds a PhD in physics, explained, “when you use a vacuum, you don’t need to raise the temperature, because things happen at low temperatures. We use fresh plants, and we respect them. We don’t boil them, so we don’t destroy their desirable natural ingredients.”

In addition, Diamanti reveals, “we use extra virgin olive oil as our only solvent”—nothing unnatural or unhealthy. They leave the fresh plant in the olive oil for a short time, like making tea, except that instead of boiling water, they use EVOO at a much lower temperature under vacuum in their specially designed high-tech equipment. Then “we filter the olive oil, and that’s it.”

“We want our products to be a full experience, a very healthy experience,” Diamanti emphasizes. Their technique enables them to maintain far more health benefits than typical flavored olive oil production processes yield, and they are working with the University of Athens to prove this. Pellas Nature has been involved in three research programs, and in those programs they have analyzed the bioactive compounds in eight of the plants they use.

For example, they found that their oregano is a strong antioxidant. Moreover, Organic Drops Oregano olive oil is AFQ certified. This means it has been subjected to a thorough evaluation of its composition to explore its effect on human health, earning a grade of 19/20.

“Our production is not the typical industrial production where you combine exact amounts for standard outcome,” explains Diamanti, “but rather protocols developed with the help of scientists for the best outcome. We could use this to produce extracts for pharmaceutical uses, but our work now is for food products.”

Diamanti knows Greece is rich in natural gifts: “Mother Nature has given us a lot: extra virgin olive oil and aromatic plants that are very powerful.” The climate and soil have a wonderful effect on the aromatic plants they use. The Pellas Nature team produces their own basil, thyme, oregano, rosemary, sage, marjoram, and chili. “For garlic and citrus,” Diamanti mentions, they collaborate with specific producers who cultivate and harvest the plants using the care, timing, and methods required to achieve the best results.

2 bottles of Organic Drops infused olive oil with garlic and with red chili lying on their sides next to a plate of pasta

Given the simplicity of their process, they can use any fresh plant with extra virgin olive oil to create an infused oil. “We have some new plants that we will cultivate this year,” she explains: “French estragon in the nursery. It was hard to find, but we found it. We experimented with Yuzu (Japanese lemon) at the request of a German chef,” for food service clients. Responding to another chef, they have started working with a very fragrant type of bergamot from Corfu. “We try to find something new every year. If there is demand from a client, we try to do it.”

“During the last nine years, we have worked a lot with plants,” says Diamanti, in order to find the best flavors and the greatest health benefits, such as the Greek oregano with the largest quantity of natural phenolic compounds. Committed to a sustainable approach, they also use “green” production methods.

Pellas Nature offers two lines of all-natural infused olive oils, both enriched with fresh organic aromatic plants or organic fruits or vegetables in their own original recipes: Pellas Nature products, using conventionally produced extra virgin olive oil, and Organic Drops oils, based on organic extra virgin olive oil. No additives or preservatives are used in either product line. Handcrafted gift boxes are also available.

“Most of us in Greece are small producers, but we have high quality,” Diamanti believes. One way to prove this is to participate in demanding international competitions. Pellas Nature has earned more than 60 awards in the last five years, including 33 for their organic products. Diamanti is proud of her company’s success in these international contests “with other people who are doing excellent work.” She believes competitions make it possible “to compare yourself with other companies, to learn from them, and to go a step further. It’s the only way to evolve.”  

They do evolve, always embracing innovation. They also participate in many trade fairs, since their business exports most of their products, and they are interested in expanding to new markets. Moreover, they have attained a number of certifications: ISO 22000:2018, IFS, organic, kosher, and AFQ.

Pellas Nature has enjoyed constant growth for the past four years, thanks to their hard work and collaborations. “We are open to working with others, cooperating with others, because we believe the best things come from cooperation, when we exchange ideas and work together. We respect our partners and our clients – we respect everyone in the chain, so we can have a good outcome for a long time.”

Thanks to Pellas Nature for the photos that appear with this article.

All businesses, organizations, and competitions involved with Greek olive oil, the Mediterranean diet, and/or agrotourism or food tourism in Greece, as well as others interested in supporting Greeks working in these sectors, are invited to consider the advertising and sponsorship opportunities on the Greek Liquid Gold: Authentic Extra Virgin Olive Oil website. The only wide-ranging English-language site focused on news and information from the Greek olive oil world, it has helped companies reach consumers in more than 220 countries around the globe.