Even today, the harvest is still carried out by hand (brucatura), using toothed shears or combs, as well as with machines (shakers). The olives fall into a net placed below the branches of the tree.
Let us have a look at the following phases of the olives’ processing:
• After the leaves are removed and the olives are washed, they move onto the crushing. The olives are crushed until they become a homogenous paste. The crushing can be done traditionally with a mill crusher, or with a continuous cycle plant using a metallic crusher.
• The next face, known as kneading, reduces the emulsion of oil/water thereby favouring the drops of oil coming together.
• This is followed by the extraction in which the solid part of the paste is separated from the liquid, which can be achieved using the pressure of a traditional plant, or using centrifuge as is done in continuous plants.
• At the end the separation of the oil from the paste is achieved using a centrifuge separator. The oil must be kept in containers suited for food, that are clean and odourless, such as those made from stainless steel, at a temperature no greater than 15°, or in dark glass in order to avoid any oxidation changes.