How is actually “Liquid Gold” made?

Leonardo Olive Oil March 15, 2016 Benefits of Olive Oil 1209 Views

In India, more and more people are starting to find out what Mediterranean people have known for—literally—seven thousand years: the wonders of Olive oil.

Homer gave it a title “liquid gold“; according to the ancient Greeks the goddess Athena had created Olives; King David hired guards to safeguard Israel’s Olive groves and storerooms. Ancient people used Olive oil not only for consumption as well as cooking, however as perfume, soap and even medicine (Hippocrates even listed sixty different ailments that he said olive oil could help in being at bay!).

Olive oil have been attributed with everything from preventing and treating diabetes, obesity, cognitive function to heart diseases, thanks mainly to its high levels of MUFAs as well as its antioxidants properties.

Now to be precise, what is Olive oil? It’s a fruit juice: the nectar that you get from smashing up ripe Olives. However—looking at the different kinds as well as grades of Olive oils—its production process is a little complicated.
The Olive oil production process calls for a lot of precision and expertise and is highly dependent upon the growing region, methods of growing, harvesting and transporting, extraction as well as storage methods. Considering the olive’s richness and goodness, the process is very much time-bound, too.

Let’s explore the whole production process, in detail:

Collecting and segregating the olives
Based on the fleshiness, maturity and quality, the good as well as ripened olives are segregated. These are further stored in a warm place for a short period.

Cleaning and crushing the olives
The first step in the oil extraction process is cleaning the olives and removing the twigs, leaves, stems, and other debris left with the olives. The olives are washed with cold water to get rid of pesticides, dirt, etc.
Once olives are cleaned, they are crushed by passing between the olive crushers. The purpose of crushing is to tear the skin cells to make the release of the oil from the vacuoles easy.

Malaxation
Malaxing means the crushed olives are mixed for 20 to 45 minutes in large containers with slow turning tables letting make it a paste. It is no doubt, a very important step.

Cold Pressing
In this, oil is extracted by loading the paste in a hydraulic press. The olive paste is evenly spread over pressing bags covered with synthetic fibers. Each bag is covered with almost 4-6 kg of paste. Between 25-50 bags are stacked on a press plate. Plate guides are inserted at breaks of 5-6 bags. The plates help to keep the balance of the stack and to distribute the pressure equally. A piston pushes up against the stack, and the oil seeps gently through the pressing bags to attached tubes. The solid material remains in the pressing bags.

Cold-pressing talks about the fact that the oil is taken out without heating the paste, insuring the purity of the oil. The oil that is extracted is a reddish mixture of the oil and the purest form is called Extra-virgin Olive Oil.

Olive Oil Extra Light is naturally refined oil infused with Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Olive Oil-Extra Light is intermediate grade oil with mild aroma and flavor.

Olive pomace oil is obtained by treating the olive residue paste (after the fruit has been pressed) with solvents to extract the oil and then blending this product with extra virgin oil in order to enhance the product and its health benefits.

Lastly, the bags filled with the olive paste remains are run through several more presses to get the lesser grades of oil that remain.

Separating oil from vegetable water
Oil is separated swiftly from the vegetable water by pumping the mixture into a centrifuge. The centrifuge consists of a rotating drum and an auger that are spun on the same axis at great speed. As the oil and the vegetable water are of different densities, the centrifuge forces them apart and into separate containers.

Storing and packaging the oil
The oil is kept in underground container still it is ready to be shipped. Then the oil is either canned or bottled. Cans or dark-tinted bottles keep the deep-green color of the olive oil intact. Oil placed in clear-glass bottles fade to a yellowish-green color. Nevertheless, the flavor remains the same.

Lastly, do remember that Olive oil isn’t like wine, as aging does not make it better. So, when you buy a bottle, look for the year it was manufactured and try to consume it in two years, at the most.