Austria’s Greenest Heart

15 Oct 2020
4 min read
With a long-standing history and a steadfast reputation of excellence, Hamlitsch is the paragon of premier pumpkin seed, flaxseed and hempseed oil. Packed with health benefits, the Austrian brand’s wide range of delicious, award-winning products are organic, fair-trade and additive-free. Guntram Hamlitsch tells us more…

Can you give us a brief overview of Hamlitsch and its history?

Hamlitsch has been cherishing tradition for more than 90 years. The oilmill was founded in 1928 and Josef Hamlitsch joined the company in 1948. By the time the Hamlitsch family purchased the company in 1972, it had already built up an excellent reputation. The quality of the sourced raw materials, the care taken when processing and the excellent flavour of the end products are the factors that have guaranteed the company’s success. Together with our employees, we combine time-honoured knowledge with modern technology and the highest standards of quality so that precious oil can be won from Styrian pumpkins seeds, flaxseeds and hempseeds.

What is the brand’s ethos and what are the core philosophies?

REGIONAL sustainable

Our oil mill was founded in 1928 in West Styria, the region that Archduke Johann described as the “Paradise of Styria”. Now in our third generation, in addition to linseed and hemp oil, we produce our main product Styrian Pumpkin Seed Oil P.G.I. with gentle roasting and pressing techniques. We believe in sourcing our raw materials regionally and working sustainably for future generations.

HIGHEST QUALITY with tradition

You can create wonderful things when time-honoured expertise in the manufacture of “precious oil” is underpinned by the highest quality standards. That’s why our company believes strongly in keeping a close eye on things, all the way from the raw materials to the finished product.  Our demand for high level quality forms the basis for our customers” satisfaction and this is of foremost importance to us as a company.

How did you get into this business and what is your favorite part?

As the oldest of 3 children, I have always been interested in working in the oil mill. I grew up with the unique smell of roasted pumpkin seed oil and I did not have to think twice about continuing to run the business of my father. Every day it is a pleasure to process high-quality raw materials into delicious delicacies of the highest quality. Since my wife shares this passion and we complement each other perfectly at work, it is twice as much fun.

Tell us about some of the awards your products have won and their significance?

Our Styrian Pumpkin Seed Oil P.G.I. has won awards for the 21st time in a row. The 2020 award ceremony could not take place due to COVID-19, but we are pleased that we were awarded for our Styrian Pumpkin Seed Oil P.G.I  and our Styrian Organic Pumpkin Seed oil P.G.I again this year.

Seven producers, including three oil mills, are among the pumpkin seed oil “Superstars” who have consistently won awards since 2000. Our oil mill is one of three which has won this coveted award for the 21st time in a row. We are very proud of this success and our thanks go to our ambitious employees, our dear farmers and loyal customers.

Where do you source your raw products from and what makes them superior?

ORGANIC quality guaranteed

Our raw products have been certified with the “Steirisches Kürbiskernöl g.g.A.” seal of quality which is regonized throughout Europe. This gives proof of the pumpkin seeds’ origin and guarantees 100% pure pumpkin seed oil from the first pressing. Continuous internal and external checking, testing and controls, along with regular examination of the raw materials and finished products ensures the consistently high quality of our products.

100% FAIR

Not only do we care about the working conditions of our employees, we also have a heart for the conditions of our suppliers. Most of our suppliers we have known for many years s and the personal contact has a high priority for us. This commitment to fair play begins at cultivation of the raw materials, continues to the good cooperation with our contract growers and culminates in the filling of the bottles.

Tell us about the aspects of tradition and time-honored expertise in the business?

More than 90 years of oilmill Hamlitsch mean not only a success story for a local company in the region. More than that, it means knowledge and experience about the production and refinement of local products gathered over generations and above all more than 90 years of experience in handling our “Precious Oil”.

The oils have many health and nutritional benefits – can you expand on these?

Pumkin Seed Oil

Like all vegetable oils, pumpkin seed oil has no cholesterol, but is rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids and Vitamin E. It also contains minerals and secondary plant components. The numerous awards and prizes won reflect the high standard of quality of our products and provide assurance for our customers.

Styrian Pumpkin Seed Oil P.G.I. has one of the highest concentrations of mono- and polyunsaturated fats of any oil. It naturally contains high concentrations of the unsaturated fatty acids, oleic acid and linoleic acid. In addition, linoleic acid is an essential fatty acid, meaning it cannot be synthesized by our bodies. The substitution of unsaturated fatty acids for saturated fatty acids contributes to a healthy diet and can help maintain a normal blood cholesterol level.

Styrian Pumpkin Seed Oil P.G.I. also has a high vitamin E content, with one 10ml portion able to cover up to 20% of our daily dietary needs. This fat-soluble vitamin is an antioxidant and plays a role in protecting body cells from oxidative stress. Furthermore, it prevents the oil from spoiling or going rancid too quickly

Linseed- and Hempseed Oil

Nutrition today contains too many Omega 6 fatty acids. That is why for a long time nutritionists have recommended consuming more Omega 3 fatty acids regularly. It would be ideal to have a ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 of 5:1 or less. Linseed oil with its ratio of 0.25:1 and Hempseed oil with its ratio of 3:1 are an especially good possibility of changing the ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 fatty acids to the advantage of Omega 3. As these fatty acids are essential and not produced by the body, it is necessary that they are added to the body by way of food.

Which oil is your favorite and why?

As a Styrian, I – of course – love Styrian pumpkin seed oil. I love the nutty and fine roasted aromas, bringing to mind fresh bread crust.

To find out more about Hamlitch and their products and for recipe inspiration, visit their website.