Flavor Your Life Discusses the Original Methods of Olive Oil Extraction Compared to the New Procedures

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Flavor Your life recaps the techniques and methods to extract extra virgin olive oil used throughout history.

On June 11, Flavor Your Life, a European Union supported campaign, shares the techniques and machinery used in the past to extract olive oil and how they have evolved into today’s more sophisticated methods.

The methods originally consisted of using a mortar. After the olives were crushed, they were loaded into a bag that allowed liquids to seep out of it. The corners of the bag were then rotated in opposite directions to cause tension and crush the olives further. The olives then release the oil.

The rotating olive press was the first invention that affected the olive oil pressing technique. Operated by man or animal, this press was a large stone that was fixed by a wooden board. The olives were placed under a large stone. When the weight on the opposite end of the stone was released, the olives would get crushed. The press allowed olives to be crushed and have the juice extracted in the same process.

The invention of the Archimedes screw further enhanced this technique of using a press. The screw enabled a new level or pressure to be applied to the process of extracting the oil.

The hydraulic press invented in 1830 sped up the process and was widely used in areas, which created different varieties of oil, like Tuscan olive oil. However, it wasn’t until electricity was widely used that sizable improvement was made. Until the 1970s, the same process of adding pressure to olives had been the leading application.

The most modern method used today is centrifugal. This process takes the paste of the olives after they have been crushed and placing them in a centrifuge, which separates the oil from all other materials.

Flavor Your Life, a campaign supported by the European Union, Unaprol and the Italian Ministry of Agriculture, is dedicated to providing the latest in industry news and health information about European extra virgin olive oil. Extra virgin olive oil enhances the flavors of your recipes while providing health benefits. Flavor Your Life campaign, the voice of olive oil production quality control, aims to educate consumers so they can make informed decisions when purchasing olive oil.
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Scott Darrohn
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