OLIVE PRESSING

Until the first decades of the 20th century, the extraction of olive oil from the fruit was a difficult procedure. Olives were pressed on threshing floors where two large millstones were rotated. These were pulled by animals which trod around the stones. The pulp was then taken, a mixture of juices, oil and the pit, to be placed in cloth sacks. These sacks were piled up on top of each other and placed in the press. The pressure forced out the liquids (oil and water). The oil, being lighter, floated on the water and was easy to collect. The use of electricity put an end to the labour of the animals and the use of centrifugal power made the business of olive pressing much easier.

Today, technology has created the best conditions for olive pressing and extraction of olive oil. The crushing is done by machinery. Special metal hammers mush the olives and there then follow various ways of oil extraction. Centrifugal power is one of those methods. The most recent way is the “synolea” method. First the olives are crushed and then special blades plunge quickly and steadily into the olive pulp. Olive oil drops rest on them, due to adherence, and these are collected. This technique produces and excellent product which retains its natural character. In general, this type of olive oil keeps its scent intact and is much tastier.

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