PROCESSING EQUIPMENT

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Oliomio 350
May 5, 2009 013

Olive Oil Processing

Charta Olive Farms has recently purchased an Oliomio 350 from a source in California and has made some critical alterations to the unit so that it will function for our purposes.  A recent trip to Tavarnelle, in Tuscany, has yielded a wealth of information about our machine and is enabling us to modify the unit and purchase additional pieces to make our processing plant modern and efficient.

Step by step procedures for processing olives into olive oil

Step 1:  -  Harvest

Each olive variety has its own optimum ripeness. Harvest your olives at the point of ripeness most suited to your variety for the following reasons:

     A.  Reduce the acidity level of your oil (necessary for EVOO)

     B.  Increase shelf life of bottled oil

     C.  Increase organoleptic (good taste) properties of the oil

 

Step 2:  -  Cleaning

Olives will be removed from the trees with dirt, leaves and small twigs still attached.  These must be removed prior to processing.  Even though research has shown that a few leaves and small twigs will not dramatically change the quality of the oil processed, they will have some detrimental effects on your processing machinery.  Cleaning and leaf removal is definitely recommended for best results.

 

Step 3:  -  Washing

The olives have now had some preliminary leaf and twig removal and it is time to wash them thoroughly to prevent any problems with taste or soil borne organisms.  Any additional loose matter can now be removed and the clean olives can be augered into the Malaxer.

 

Step 4:  -  Malaxing

The olives are then fed into the Malaxer where they are ground and mixed into a paste.  The mixing process is allowed to continue sufficiently long enough to allow separation of the oil from the paste.  Some manufacturers also recommend that you allow some rest time and then repeat the malaxing process to create the greatest separation of oil and paste.  This mixture is then pumped from the Malaxer to the Decanter.

 

Step 5:  -  Decanting

The Decanter is actually a high-speed centrifuge that uses relative specific gravity to separate the oil, paste and vegetable water from one another.  In most models the water and oil are separated and the paste is pumped off as well to be used in other processes.  The decanting process is an entire subject unto itself and for the sake of brevity, we will only touch on the basic points.

 

Step 6:  -  Filtering and Bottling

In some processes the oil is further filtered and then pumped to a holding tank where it is immediately bottled into retail units.  Some growers believe that much of the flavor of the oil is lost by further filtration.  Others contend that removing sediment that accumulates in the oil will greatly increase the shelf life of the bottled oil.

     

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Italian Varieties

 

Ascolana tenera

Bella di Cernignola

Biancolilla

Bosana

Canino

Carboncella

Casaliva

Coratina

Frangivento

Frantoio

Grignan

Itrana

Leccino

Maurino

Moriaolo

Nocellara del Belice

Ogliarola

Pendolino

Rosciola

Santa Caterina

Taggiasca

 

Spanish Varieties

 

Arbequina

Arbosana

Cornicabra

Empeltre

Hojiblanca

Lechin de Sevilla

Manzanilla

Picual

Picudo

Sevillano

 

French Varieties

 

Aglandau

Bouteillan

Cailletier

Cayon

Grossane

Luques

Picholine

Salonenque

Tanche

 

Greek Varieties

 

Amfissa

Kalamata

Koroneiki

Megaron

 

American Varieties

 

Jefferson

Lucca

Mission

 

Super High Density Varieties

 

Arbequina i-18

Koroneiki i-38

Arbosana i-43

 

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