Production of our olive oils explained in steps
How the best, hand-picked olives are being processed into our extra virgin olive oil.
End of September we start an exciting, but busy journey. The olive harvest is about to begin.
At that time olives are almost ripe and they can be picked directly from trees and shaken. The degree of ripeness of the olives determines the intensity of the oil: the more unripe and green, the spicier and sharper the oil. From this reason part of the olives is gathered later in time. Once olives are riper and darker, they can create a basis for our DesOlive mild. In order to preserve all the valuable ingredients, we deliver the olives to the oil mill within 24 hours after picking for further pressing.
Olives are transferred in the oil mill in special olive crates, where they are weighted and marked with the name of the olive farmer. With this the risk of mixing the harvest is excluded. Afterwards the olives are poured into a large hopper and separated from the leaves with a screw conveyor and a blower. Once it is done, they are washed in order to remove soil and dust.
3. Cutting and cold-pressing
After washing, the olives pass through a cutting and grinding machine, which processes them into a pulpy mass (mash). This careful, purely mechanical process is known as cold pressing – one of the most important steps within the whole production process. Our olive oil is pressed without any heat input from an external source and without heat generation during the whole process. This is the only way to fully preserve aromas and ingredients of the fruit and we have a guarantee that our olive oil is of the highest quality.
4. Stirring and kneading
The mash is then evenly stirred and kneaded for half an hour at low temperature (about 25-27° C). Oil microparticles combine with each other and the mass becomes more homogeneous.
The heart of an oil mill is a decanter where the mash is being transferred shortly after stirring and kneading and separated by a horizontal centrifugation into its solid and liquid phases (olive pits, pulp and fruit juice respectively). The liquid is then again vertically centrifuged to obtain the actual olive oil. The entire process takes place in a closed system to prevent the evaporation and leakage of valuable substances such as polyphenols and aromas.
In the last phase of the production process, our olive oil is being stored in a steel tank for about ten days for decanting. During this process suspended solids settle at the bottom of the tank and it is easy to filter them out.
The olive oil is then filled into special containers which keep the oil away from light and without the presence of oxygen. Once it is stored at room temperature, it can be kept for at least 24 months.
This is the moment we await all year round: to taste the new harvest, to degust the complex aromas and the unique character of the olive oil the nature has gifted this season.