The annual olive harvest starts in December using labours and ground nets.
Olives are processed at the local press using ‘cold pressed’ conditions since the oil is obtained at temperatures lower than 25C with centrifugal machinery from ALFA LAVAL.
The final stage of our production is the filtration resulting in high quality extra virgin olive oil, with extremely low acidity. The nutritional values of freshly pressed olive oil are retained at their highest possible levels.
The oil is stored immediately after in stainless steel metal tanks. Like that it maintains all its ingredients and nutrition until is ready for packaging, transport and distribution.
The final product has a light golden-green colour and medium fruity flavour.
Our Production Process
Olive oil is produced by grinding olives and extracting the oil by mechanical or chemical means.
The process is generally as follows:
The olives are ground into paste using large millstones (traditional method) or steel drums (modern method).
If ground with mill stones, the olive paste generally stays under the stones for 30 to 40 minutes. After grinding, the olive paste is spread on fiber disks, which are stacked on top of each other in a column, then placed into the press. Pressure is then applied onto the column to separate the vegetal liquid from the paste. This liquid still contains a significant amount of water. Traditionally the oil is separated from the water by gravity (oil is less dense than water). This very slow separation process has been replaced by centrifugation, which is much faster and more accurate. The centrifuges have one exit for the heavier watery part and one for the oil. Olive oil should not contain significant traces of vegetal water as this accelerates the process of organic degeneration by microorganisms.
In modern steel drum mills the grinding process takes about 20 minutes. After grinding, the paste is stirred slowly for another 20 to 30 minutes in a particular container, where the microscopic oil drops unite into bigger drops, which facilitates the mechanical extraction. The paste is then pressed by centrifugation; the water is thereafter separated from the oil in a second centrifugation. The oil that is produced by only mechanical means is called virgin oil. Extra virgin olive oil is virgin olive oil that satisfies specific high chemical and organoleptic criteria (low free acidity, no or very little organoleptic defects).
Sometimes the produced oil will be filtered to eliminate remaining solid particles that may reduce the shelf life of the product. Labels may indicate the fact that the oil has not been filtered, suggesting a different taste.
The remaining paste (pomace) still contains a small quantity (about 5-10%) of oil that cannot be extracted by further pressing, but only with chemical solvents. This is done in specialized chemical plants. The resulting oil is not “virgin” but “pomace oil”.