How to get the extra virgin olive oil

Agriturismo Casale Il Picchio, Lago Trasimeno, Umbria

Extra virgin olive oil is produced by only using mechanical techniques that do not cause any deterioration of the oil.

The extraction process involves the following steps:

 

Agriturismo Casale Il Picchio, Lago Trasimeno, Umbria

Weeding and washing
the weeding and washing of the olives removes any external impurities (earth, stones, twigs and leaves).

Agriturismo Casale Il Picchio, Lago Trasimeno, Umbria

Crushing
the pressing is done with millstones, crushers or hammers. generally, the olives are crushed whole, without stoning. by this stage, the peel, pulp and the core are reduced to a paste.

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Agriturismo Casale Il Picchio, Lago Trasimeno, Umbria

Kneading
this is a gentle, continuous and prolonged mixing of the paste to make it uniform and to facilitate the separation of the oil. kneading is a mechanised process.

 

Agriturismo Casale Il Picchio, Lago Trasimeno, Umbria

Separating the marc from the oil must
this phase includes the separation of the solid part, called pomace, containing most of the dry material (skin, pulp, seeds and pieces of stone), from the liquid, called wort, consisting of oil and water. we can do this in a traditional press, into which is placed a layer of dough of about 1-2 inches thick, stacked in a steel tube to form a central cylinder or tower. the pressure causes the release of the liquids while the residue remains trapped in strainer. the water and the oil are then collected in a tank. recently, the process of separation of the paste, oil and water is by way of centrifugation. in this system, the dough is injected into a horizontal decanter. the process separates the three components are separated immediately. the oil and water are collected leaving the residue behind.

 

Agriturismo Casale Il Picchio, Lago Trasimeno, Umbria

Final separation of oil
the last phase of the cycle, is completed with the final separation of the oil. regardless of the extraction method used, the must obtained is treated through a centrifuge, which rotates at 6000-7000 rpm, separating the oil and water.
the oil should be stored in warehouses and maintained at an almost constant temperature of around 13-14 °c, which prevent the oxidizing effect of air and light.

 

The chemical composition of extra virgin olive oil
of all the vegetable oils, extra virgin olive oil is contains the least polyunsaturated fatty acids, being made up of three-quarters of monounsaturated fatty acids, mainly oleic acid. the lack of polyunsaturated fatty acids makes the olive oil very suitable for cooking.
in fact, polyunsaturated fatty acids are oxidized very easily when heated, turning into peroxides, which are toxic at high concentration (more than 20 mg/kg), for the human body. extra virgin olive oil is therefore preferable to seed oils.

extra virgin oil contains no cholesterol, and as such has beneficial dietetic qualities. the presence also of a certain amount of polyphenols protects it from oxidation. it contains chlorophyll, carotenoids, (vitamin e, fat-soluble vitamins (a, d, k) and phospholipids, very important components that aid the digestion of fats and helps to dissolve cholesterol in the arteries.