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Quality oil, the essential points

1) It is not possible to make GOOD OLIVE OIL from poor quality olives;

2) Olive oil is like a SPONGE: it absorbs any odours or substances it comes in contact with in the surrounding environment;

3) It is not possible to improve olive oil, when it has some DEFECTS, which cannot be removed from it;

4) Any processing of olives always REDUCES, more or less, the quality of the oil they contain.

"High quality olive oil" has excellent chemical-physical organoleptic rates; it is stable to oxidation for a long time; it has no contaminants; and it has remarkable nutritional qualities: EXTRA-VIRGIN olive oil has the optimum quality level.


Oil quality can be obtained by observing the following precautions, in its production processes:

- It is necessary to use sound olives: they are obtained by fighting, especially through biological fight, against parasites and olive fly;

- Fertilisers and phytosanitary products must be properly used;

- Climate and environmental conditions (minimum/maximum temperatures, drought, altitude, sun exposure, and soil type) influence olive ripening and their oil content;

- Harvest in optimum conditions is recommended, at the right start of the ripening process of drupes, based on the type of cultivar (early harvest has low yield, sour taste, excessive bitter and spicy taste; late harvest has apparently high yield - dehydrated drupe - low and sweet smell, flat taste, poor preservability, and high acidity);

- Olives must be clean, sound, and intact;

- Non-traumatic harvest methods are recommended (if drupes are damaged, the fruit becomes stale, with the possibility of mould formation and fermentation); in any case, do not pick up olives fallen on the ground a long time before;

- Olives must be transported in open and aerated boxes;
- Olives must be processed within 24/48 hours from harvest (and avoid any fermentations, which raise olive temperature);

Storage rooms must be aerated, protected from direct sun light;
- continuous-cycle systems are preferable, with short processing time;

- temperatures at the various processing steps must be within set limits, not higher than 27/30°C; processing time shall be properly selected;

- the quantity of water mixed with olive paste must be limited as much as possible, because water solubilises and removes high value substances, such as antioxidants and polyphenols;

- the contact of olive paste with air must be limited as much as possible, to avoid any possible oxidations and consumption of antioxidants in the oil;

- the equipments must be frequently cleaned and made of high quality materials (stainless steel);

- processing must be in accordance with production quality standard.