How Olive Oil Is Processed

How Olive Oil Is Processed

How olive oil is processed is it involves either by mechanical or chemical means, which each method produces the oil with their own characteristic and distinct qualities.

The olives are chosen is to be as perfectly ripened as possible: green ones produces bitter-tasting oil, while over ripe fruits will have the oil prone to being rancid at a faster rate. Perfectly chosen fruits are collected and transferred for the next step – extraction.

Further reading: The basics of olive oil.

Extraction Method For Olive Oil

Steps In Olive Oil Process

The olives are first ground into a paste by steel drums (or large millstones if you want a traditional approach, where it stay for at least 30 minutes before collected). The time taken for this step is essential (as well as temperature); as shorter time leads to a more raw produce with less oil while longer time means the paste will be oxidized and imparts less flavor.

Click here to read on how climate affects olive trees

The paste is then spread out on fiber disks, and stacked on top of the other forming a column. A pressure is applied to separate liquid from the paste, before getting them centrifuged for a faster and thorough separation of the oil, from water (as the water is denser than the oil), as even a tiniest amount of H20 can breed microorganisms.

The oil is then further filtered out to eliminate any solid particles that gets left behind, as well as to ensure that the result produces a clear oil, unless you favored a unfiltered variety to have much or less of cloudy appearances.

As for the remaining paste from the extraction (known as pomace) that still have little bit of oil that can’t get out through physical means, a chemical solvent is used, though done in specialized oil plants, known as pomace oil.

AOCS Lipid Library

For more detailed explanation, click on the link to a Wikipedia post, where further explanation, advantages and differences are discussed in processing olive oil, or through this Youtube video, as well as this post explains different types of packaging used in export/import of plant oils.

What Happen To Olive Oil Waste After Production?

Leftover olive oil (composted waste) can be used as an amendment in agriculture activities thanks to it’s nitrogen and phosphorus content, as a biofertilizer, and as a biofilter for toxic metal recovery and removal – these can be done, should the soil in question is suitable for this method.


Being a well-known oil for years, it’s no surprise that olive oil is here to stay, as shown by a number of researches, predicting the trend of olive oil consumption. Get to know bout the forecast regarding olive oil, here.

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