Everyone knows what extra virgin olive oil is. You can find olive oil in every supermarket and grocery store all around the world. But how many of you know how a top quality olive oil is made? Here are the answers to all the questions you may have.
The first thing everyone needs to know is that extra virgin olive oil is a juice that comes from crushed olives. Only mechanical means are used to produce olive oil which may vary depending on the technology of the machinery used but the procedure is the same.
But which is the time that olives should be collected from the olive trees?
The time of the harvest has to be chosen carefully.
Harvest doesn’t always start in the same period. It depends mostly on the weather conditions during summer and autumn. Among other factors, it’s the temperature and the rain that have a significant role to deciding when the harvest begins. The best time to start the harvest is when the olives on the trees start to change colour from light green to dark green or black.
The method we use to harvest the olives is called assisted hand picked. The olives must be treated with love and care, the machinery we use doesn’t hurt the olives. The members of our harvest team are also very careful not to step on the olives that have fallen on the ground. The olives are kept in the shadow till the time they are transferred to the mill.
In order to have a top quality olive oil the olives need to be crushed the same day they are harvested. So every day, we take the olives we have collected to the mill. What is important as far as the mill is concerned, is to keep the temperature low in all stages of the milling and not using water. Using water during milling diminishes the amount of polyphenols in the olive oil, a substance that gives plenty of health benefits to our body.
Once the olives arrive at the mill, they are washed to be perfectly clean. The first step is called malaxation. During malaxation the olives are crashed and mixed and turn into an olive pulp which allows the olive oil to be released. Next comes the separation, the extraction of the juice. The oil is separated from the pulp through a centrifuge and…. ta ta tam!!! The extra virgin olive oil comes out!
The moment we see the olive oil flowing out is the moment we wait for all year long. We can’t wait to taste it, to make sure that our efforts throughout the year and during harvest gave us the result we wished for. Which is no other than an excellent extra virgin olive oil.