How is pure olive oil made

Olive oil production

There are two different production methods for the extraction of olive oil, but they also have something in common. On the one hand, there is the extraction process, in which only modern centrifuge systems are used in a closed circuit that is largely protected from air. This extraction is therefore also referred to as the so-called "cold extraction". Pressing in the conventional sense no longer takes place. On the other hand, there is traditional production with the use of hydraulic presses in an open circuit. Here one speaks of the "cold pressing" or "cold pressed".

In traditional pressing, the previously washed olives are processed into a pulp in a large container with rotating, vertically mounted grinding stones. This pulp is spread on mats in several layers and stacked to form a kind of tower. The hydraulic press acts on this tower from above and presses out a mixture of olive oil and water. This “amniotic fluid” is then separated in a centrifuge so that the pure olive oil flows off as the end product. Since this is a kind of fruit juice with remnants of olive flesh and olive peel, it is often filtered at the end. The olive oil of the Jordan family is obtained exclusively using the extraction process. The hand-picked olives reach the oil mill on the day of harvest and are processed within a few hours. First, the remaining leaves that were overlooked during manual sorting in the olive grove are vacuumed off. Then the olives are machine washed and chopped. So an olive mash is also made here. However, this happens through a rotating spiral that cuts the olives. The air supply is minimal. In the next step, the resulting olive mash is placed in a so-called decanter. There the solids in the olive mash - the olive pits as well as pieces and shreds of olive meat and olive peel - are extracted by rotation. What remains is a kind of natural fruit juice, a mixture of olive oil and water. Any oxygen supply is cut off in the decanter because it is closed and the pulp is fed through hoses. In the last step, the oil-water mixture is separated from one another in another centrifuge, as in the traditional process, and in this way pure olive oil is obtained without pressing and with a minimal supply of oxygen.

In both processes, the temperature of the processed substances (olives, olive mash, olive oil-water mixture) must never exceed 27 ° C during processing. Only if this temperature is not exceeded is it a "cold-pressed" or "cold extracted" olive oil.