OLIVE OIL PRODUCTION STEPS
The Extra-Virgin olive oil and the biologic Extra-Virgin olive oil are wholly natural products since they are made pressing the fresh olives directly picked from the tree. The production process consists in a three steps continuous cycle that takes place under a strictly controlled temperature.
The Vizzari’s company follows each single productive step with the highest care, from planting and picking to the transformation in olive oil and packaging and delivery.
Picking, transport, defoliation, selection, washing, pressing, kneading, squeezing, separation and storage are all the phases that are followed by the highest care. The picking period goes from early October to the end of December. In this period the olives are picked at the right point of ripeness through mechanic shakers that preserve them from touching the soil and get damaged, otherwise it would produce a highest acidity level and affect the organoleptic profile.
The olives are brought to the crusher in perforated plastic boxes straight after picking, so that humidity is prevented and the olives are kept in a ventilate place. After this step it follows the working process that is run over 24 hours. At that point, the olives are defoliated and cleaned from any residuals. The defoliated olives are poured from the plastic boxes into a steel funnel when it start the continuous cycle processing work. The olives path takes place in a conveyor belt that moves the olives from the funnel to the washing. After this step the olives are put in a hammer crusher were they are completely crumpled and form the olive paste. This is put into steel tanks were the kneading takes place.
The kneading consists in slowly mixing the olive paste so that the olive oil drops split up from water and mix together (coalescence phenomenon). This process takes a period of time which depends on the olive type and takes place under controlled temperature. As a matter of fact, the mixing determines an increase in temperature and this should be prevented to keep the organoleptic properties under control. After, the olive paste is automatically sucked by a pump that brings it into the spin, whose function is to separate the three paste components, water, oil must and the virgin pomace.
This kind of extraction takes place in cold temperature and is commonly called “three phases” because there is the separation of the three elements mentioned above. The vegetation water and the oil must are filtered through a shaker and separated in two containers, in the meanwhile the virgin pomace is transported to the pomace machineries. In the last step, the vegetation water and the oil must are separated by a spin separator, that splits the two components into two flows though their density difference. In this way the olive oil flaws in its full integrity and clarity. The olive oil produced is kept in stainless steel tanks, far from heat and light, for about two months. There takes place the natural decantation. Then the olive oil is bottled through semi-automatic machineries and finally it is labeled and packed, ready to reach stores and tables.