«Chios Mastiha: A tear that pleases, perfumes, relieves, heals!»
Chios Mastiha is the name of a resinous sap produced from the mastic tree (Pistacia Lentiscus var. Chia). It is a natural, aromatic resin in teardrop shape, falling on the ground in drops from superficial scratches induced by cultivators on the tree’s trunk and main branches with sharp tools.
As it drips, this sap appears as a sticky and translucent liquid which, 15-20 days later, is solidified into irregular shapes influenced by the area’s weather conditions in summertime, that is intense drought and sunlight.
After being solidified, it has a crystal form, while its rather bitter taste quickly subsides to leave a distinctive aroma that really makes it unique. That solid product is then harvested and washed by mastic growers, giving us finally the natural Chios mastiha.
Its colour is initially ivory-like but as time goes by, that shade is lost and 12 to 18 months later it changes into yellowish due to oxidation. It is made of hundreds of components, among which only 80 are contained in identifiable quantities. Such multitude probably justifies the multiple uses of Chios mastiha, in the fields of food industry, health and cosmetic care, worldwide.
Chios mastiha has been recognized since ancient times both for its distinctive aroma and its healing properties. It has been recorded as the first natural chewing gum in the ancient world. Since 1997, Chios mastiha has been characterized as a Product of Protected Designation of Origin (PDO), on the basis of Regulation No. 123/1997 (L0224/24-1-97) of the European Union and it has been registered on the relevant Community List of PDO Products. According to the above regulation, Chios mastiha is protected from the sale of any competitive imitation product whatsoever that would undermine the reputation of the Designation of Origin.