|HARVEST AND PRESSING|
Olive trees are wonderfully tough and robust trees that thrive easily. Though to get the best oil from the olives they must be tended a little at specific times. The tree blossoms in April and May and then the olives begin to grow. From then until the end of autumn the olives are a vivid green colour. As they begin to ripen they redden until eventually turning black.
Harvesting is done from December until February or March. Large plantations are now harvesting mechanically but for the best oil quality hand picking is the only way. ALAN’S CHOICE olives are exclusively picked by hand and collected in sacks. The sacks are then emptied on to a flat angled table for an initial sorting to remove any bad olives and any small twigs and leaves in the collection. The resulting olives are then put back in the sacks and transported to the olive mill. Once the picking has been done the sooner the olives are pressed the better the quality of the oil.
At the olive mill the olives are transported to a table shaker to remove any leaves and other foreign matter and then washed. The clean olives are then transported to the crusher. The resultant olive pulp is passed through an Archimedes screw of blades that extract the oil using the “synolea” method. The olive oil drops adhere to the blades and are collected then transported to the centrifuge. This separates the olive oil from any water and other residue from the pressing or separation. The temperature of the pulp and oil is always kept at 23°C in the mill used for ALAN’S CHOICE olive oil. To be classified as “cold pressed” or “cold extracted”, the best quality, it must be pressed below 27°C.
The resultant olive oil is an excellent product retaining all its natural characteristics and goodness. A full and rich olive oil that can be used for salads or in cooking.
HARVEST AND PRESSING
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