We are in mid-autumn and of course the harvesting of olives, has already started, the first extra virgin olive oil of this year is a fact.
From mid-October until the end of November all our teams are almost daily on foot – collecting fruits and transferring them to the mill for processing.
Through this article, we would like to share with you the process we follow to arrive at your table, Extra Virgin Olive Oil ‘’ARMAKADI’’ and of course the Early Harvest Extra Virgin Olive Oil ‘’ARMAKADI’’ derived from olives which have been collected through October and is produced by cold process at the mill.
Early morning we go to the grove. First we check the trees to distinguish those in which the fruit is ripe, so it is ready for harvesting. The workers places around the trees big sails and then starts beating the branches, until they fall all tree fruits.
Then, the fruits collected and placed in suitable bags. The process is repeated in the other trees, and in the early evening, the bags are transported to the mill for processing.
In the olive oil mill…
To meet the sanitary conditions at the entrance of the mill and in an isolated space from other machines, workers empty the bags in the slot. From there, by means of a conveyor belt, the fruit together with the sheets passing the first machine, which make the distinguish and allows only the fruit to get to the next step, the wash.
The fruit is washed thoroughly and automatically transferred inside the mill, the crushing machine. There is broken and converted into a thickened slurry as a paste. The dough is transferred mechanically to the mixers, there with the addition of water, kneaded at low temperatures, for less than 1 hour to release the juice of the fruit. The longer the massage, the more flavors will lose our oil and the more peroxides will display.
The temperature at which the kneading takes place, plays an important role in the quality of the final product as far as the content of polyphenols.Polyphenols are antioxidants which protect the oil from oxidation while having beneficial properties for the human body (prevent oxidation of the bad cholesterol).
Such substances begin to dissolve when in contact with water, whose temperature exceeds 28 ° C. So if during kneading, the temperature is much higher than 33-35oC, the essential ingredients are destroyed, making the olive oil less nutritious.
After kneading, the dough will automatically switch to the next machine, by force of centrifugation, separates the oil from the cores, the flesh and water.The oil is now ready to be collected and transported to our warehouse.
Inside the olive oil we produced, there are airborne particles that create a blur.These particles if not removed, over time will cause fermentations, which will degrade the olive oil quality.
For this reason, the same evening, we begin the process of filtering.We put the olive oil in large stainless steel containers, which are coated with medicinal paper and cotton. The paper retains the particles suspended in the olive oil and as a result of this procedure the final product is now clear.
After filtering, the extra virgin olive oil is stored in stainless steel tanks under controlled temperatures, which kept until bottling.
Exactly the same processes occur almost every day for the next month, so that to complete the gathering of all the olives and the production of the new ‘’ARMAKADI’’ extra virgin olive oil.
The program of each day is identical to the previous and the next and undoubtedly involves a lot of hard work.In spite of the hard work, we are very happy because we know that it is the only way to produce a real extra virgin olive oil.