Within the European Union, mastic production in Chios is granted protected designation of origin. The harvest takes place from the beginning of July to the beginning of October. Every 4–5 days, 5-10 incisions are made in the bark of each tree. The resin flows from the incisions and solidifies on the ground. The pieces of dry mastic can then be collected for cleaning and eventual sale.
Mastic has been used as a medicine since antiquity. In ancient Greece, it was given as a remedy for snakebite. Mastic contains antioxidants and also has antibacterial and antifungal properties. It has been shown that Mastic can reduce inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract and it appears to also have cholesterol-lowering effects.
One of the earliest uses of mastic was as chewing gum. In Greece, mastic is used in mastic liqueurs, in a spoon sweet known as “submarine”, in beverages, chewing gum, sweets, desserts, and breads as well as in cheese and gives them a gummy consistency. In desserts, as an ingredient of jam or cakes, mastic replaces cornstarch and gelatin.