The extraction process

Once the olives reach the press and before being processed, they go through an operation to clean and purify them

 

DEFOLIATE AND CLEANING

The olives are placed into a large container where a special suction machine passes over the olives separating them from any leaves or parts of branches. The olives are then cleansed completely of residues such as soil and small stones. During this process it is very important that the water is frequently changed to ensure  the olives are completely clean. At the end of the process another tube passes over the olives spraying them with clean water.

 

PRESSING

After a thorough cleaning the olives are ready to be pressed. Inside this machine there are special hammers which turn at a speed of 1200 rpm, ensuring that the olive along with the pulp, skin and stone is completely crushed. The low speed of the hammers helps to make sure that the process is not too violent so that  as the olive are transformed into paste it  doesn’t heat up and consequently helping to maintain the properties of the olives.

 

KNEADING

The olive paste from the press is sent to  the kneader. These are large steel tanks with a heating system ( using hot water at about 27degrees centigrade) in the surrounding outer layer. Inside the tanks are special blades which turn at a speed of 25 turns per minute. The paste is slowly turned for about 25 to 45 minutes; this phase aims to break down the emulsion between the water and oil and unite the small drops of oil in order to obtain larger drops and make the next process easier.

 

SPIN EXTRACTION

Once the necessary amount of time has transpired to the process of kneading the paste passes into the spin extractor, more commonly known as the “Decanter”. In this part of the process the paste is rotated and spun at 3500 rpm. Using the weight of the different components of the paste, the decanter is capable of separating liquid from solid : olive husks, vegetation water and oily must.

 

SEPERATION OF THE OIL FROM OILY MUST

The final part of the process at the press is the separation of the oil from oily must. This operation is done using a vertical rotator or spinner. The oily must is placed inside the machine which spins at a speed of 6500 rpm and due to the different density between oil and water the two parts are easily separated. Consequently, we are left with the vegetation water and sludge to one side and the clean oil ready for consumption to the other.