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How olive oil is produced

How olive oil is produced
Olive oil is obtained from the processing of the olive. Its origins is very ancient and date back to Asia Minor and Greece, and then spread throughout the Mediterranean area. Based on the processing methods and the quality of olives we can distinguish olive oil among: extra virgin olive oil, virgin olive oil, lampante olive oil, refined olive oil, olive oil formed by refined and virgin oil and different types of olive pomace oil.

In general, olive oil (extra virgin and not) is obtained from the first pressing of olives. However, the finished product differs both in organoleptic qualities and in the percentage of acidity. In fact, extra virgin olive oil differs from simple olive oil because it has specific characteristics, including a lower percentage of acidity, which must not exceed 0.8%. The acidity of virgin oil, on the other hand, must not exceed the limit of 2 grams per 100 grams. Then we have the olive oil which is obtained by combining refined oil and virgin oil and its acidity limit is 1%. Finally, the pomace oil is obtained not mechanically, but using a solvent from the residue of the last pressing of olives.
Olive Tree in Italy
The stages of oil production start from the olive harvest up to the oil mill. The olives are harvested in autumn on the basis of their degree of ripeness; they may in fact be more or less mature when they are still on the tree. Normally to have a good harvest it is necessary to wait for the color of the olive tree to change from green to black, as in this phase there is a greater quantity of oil and nutrients, such as to make the oil of superior quality.

At a family level, the olive harvest still takes place with the traditional method, that is by placing nets under the tree to collect olives that fall and then proceeding to harvest by hand. The oldest method consists in "beating" the branches of the olive tree with a stick to make olives fall off. Or pick the ripe olives on the ground that naturally broke off the branches. Ladders are used to collect olives higher up the tree. Obviously this kind of collection requires a lot of time and higher costs. The use of machines for the mechanized harvesting of olives, in the extensive olive groves, has allowed to reduce time and costs. However, the latter method, if not done correctly, can also damage olive trees.
Bruschetta Olive Oil
After being harvested, olives are brought to the oil mill. This must be done quickly and in any case within two days of harvesting, to prevent olives from spoiling. In the oil mill olives are processed, or ground and transformed into olive oil through various procedures. Finally we have the extraction of the oil which takes place through pressure or centrifugation. As soon as squeezed, the oil has a greenish color and will take on its characteristic golden color after a few days. Only after it has been stored for some time in large steel tanks at a storage temperature of 15 ° -17 ° C, it will be also ready to be consumed. On average, from a quintal of olives a variable percentage between 10% and 20% of oil is obtained. We also remember that Italy is the second largest producer of olive oil in the world and that in recent years there has been a growth in demand for olive oil in the world thanks to the organoleptic characteristics and beneficial virtues of this food. The Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) oil is the oil obtained using only traditional techniques and using only native varieties of olives, thus guaranteeing superior quality.
Olive Harvesting
Olive oil has several uses. First of all, it is one of the most used condiments in cooking, as an alternative to butter and margarine. In fact, it can be used to preserve and season food and, of course, also for frying. In this regard, it should be remembered that extra-virgin olive oil, having a high degree of resistance to heat degradation, does not produce toxic substances.

It is also the main food in the famous Mediterranean diet. In fact, thanks to the monounsaturated fatty acids contained in it, extra virgin olive oil is a very important product for the well-being of the body, because it lowers the level of bad cholesterol in favor of good cholesterol, thus protecting against arteriosclerosis.
Olive oil has many uses and is also used in the medical and cosmetic sector as it contains vitamin E, vitamin A, fatty acids and beta-carotene. It is also an excellent moisturizer for the skin and for this reason it is used in the composition of soaps, face and body products.

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