Extraction of olive oil starts with olive harvest. Once this process is finished, olives are transported to an olive oil processing Factory, where they are washed for the next phase in the mill. As a result of this step, the grinding of fruit produces a dense paste that will go through a kneading process; a long rubbing of the paste to join the oil drops, breaking the emulsion and forming an oily uninterrupted phase.
The previously kneaded paste must go through one last phase to achieve the final separation of its three components: pomace, vegetable water and oil. This process is called extraction and it’s made by centrifuging olive paste. This can be made in two or three steps, depending if oil is separated from the two other elements or if the three elements are separated on their own.
After this, the product is in conditions of being used, but to eliminate any solid element that might have remained from the process, oil goes through a filter to later be stored in stainless steel vats for its future packaging.
According to the International Olive Council (COI), olive oil is the one that comes uniquely from the fruit of olive tree (Olea europea L.) (Excluding oils obtained by solvents or alteration procedures, or any other oil blend of other natures). According to the COI, olive oil must be commercialized according to the following regulations:
Virgin Olive Oils are oils from the olive tree fruit, obtained uniquely by mechanical procedures or by other physical methods in special thermic conditions that do not alter the oil or the process of washing, decantation, centrifugation and filtration.
The virgin olive oils apt for consumption (which follow the appropriate procedure) are:
Aromatic quality of Olive Oil is one of its most valued elements by consumers, considering that other vegetable oils (such as grape, soy, marigold, canola, among others) don’t have the same quality because of its refining process.
Olive Oil characteristic smell and aroma is formed of both complex and volatile compounds groups and can be explored with senses through organoleptic appreciations through Olive Oil tastings.
For Olive Oil tastings, samples are placed in opaque glasses, since the actual color of oil is not a determinant factor. Then, the glasses are covered, smelled and tasted. Between each tasting, granny smith apples are eaten along with a sip of water, helping remove taste of the previous sample. Tasting is done in a temperature of approximately 28ºC, which facilitates the volatility of aromatic compounds.
Olfactory, Tasting, Tactile, Equilibrium and Harmony:
Positive characteristics and most valued features in olive oil are:
Likewise the set of unpleasant feelings or defects that can be found in olive oils are: