MODERNITY AND TRADITION
FOCUS ON SUSTAINABILITY OF PRODUCTS AND PROCESSES
Traditional values are inextricably linked to modern technology that is capable of producing products with a unique flavour and high-quality standards.
Every batch of olives is tracked from the moment it enters the mill until the oil is returned to the producer, with scrupulous tests being carried out throughout the entire process.
All oil is produced and sold respecting certification specifications: IGP Toscano, DOP Terre di Siena or organic.
THE PRODUCTION PROCESS
AN ACCUTRATE AND PASSIONATE JOB
The company works with two milling plants from the company Pieralisi Spa with a two-phase continuous cycle method with cold extraction at a temperature of no more than 27 degrees. Batches of olives from every grower are processed and treated individually.
The oil production process entails various steps, everyone is checked using a series of processes that guarantee the quality of the product.
THE PRODUCTION PHASES
The olive press consists of a cylindrical perforated cage with a mechanical shaft with articulated beaters (hammers) inside which spins constantly crushing the olives against the cage. The crushed olives and stones are pushed using pumps to the next phase which is filling the kneaders.
The olives are emptied onto a hopper situated outside , with an auger they pass under the aspirator which removes the branches and leaves and then they are washed. Once the olives exit the washing machine a constant flow of water rinses the olives before the next phase.
These are semi-circular stainless-steel tanks that can hold up to 6 or 8 quintals with a cavity space around to permit the recirculation of water. They have a central wheel equipped with converging palettes which are used to move the paste continuously and keep the temperature uniform. Kneading is an essential phase in processing the olives because it allows the paste to warm up and reach the perfect extraction temperature (25-27° C) where the natural enzymes present are activated fully to allow the fat molecules to form into oil droplets with a specific weight that is different to the vegetation water present in the pomace. It is for this reason that, looking at the pomace through the glass cover of the press oil can be seen rising to the surface at the end of the process which takes about 30-40 minutes depending on the type of olives.
After kneading the pomace is pumped into a centrifugal separator with a horizontal axis that makes it possible to separate the various elements in the pomace, olives, oil, vegetation water and pomace which all have different weights and can be separated using centrifugal force. In our two-phase extraction process no water is added during the extraction phase while the stones are collected. The so-called stones are dried using a specific process and used as fuel for heating which is very convenient because they have a very high calorific value. The cooperative has a bagging plant and the stones are sold in 25 kg bags.
With the two-phase extraction process the oil produced is slightly bitter and rich in polyphenols and saves significantly on water consumption.
The remaining liquid part of water and oil is then sent to the separator which consists of a vertical cylinder that acts as a decanter with the centrifuge system. It consists of tens of stainless steel rotating conical plates and a drum that spins at around 5000 turns per minute. The whirling rotation of this pile of plates separates the liquids that pass through it depending on their different weights. There are two exits in the machine, one for purified oil and the other for water which flows into the decantation tanks together with the pomace residue which is then sent to the biodigester to produce energy.