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How Olive Oil Is Made (An Inside Look)

  2. Information produced by A SUPPLIER OF BULK OLIVE OIL & EDIBLE OIL INGREDIENTS 800.689.7510 8629 S 208th St, Bldg O Kent, WA 98031
  3. Olive oil is the liquid that comes from olives. Put simply,
  4. Olives are a type of fruit, that are grown on trees.
  5. That makes olive oil, technically, just fruit juice. © Kevin Carlin, The Noun Project
  6. in mild or temperate climates. Olives trees grow in groves,  
  7. The majority of these groves are located in the Mediterranean.
  8. Especially, © James Christopher, The Noun Project Spain italy &   © Ted Grajeda, The Noun Project
  9. But good olive oil is made all over the world, in places like Argentina, Australia & the US. © Andrew Forrester The Noun Project
  10. The harvest happens in the wintertime. Whenever that happens to be in that hemisphere. © Lil Squid The Noun Project
  11. Olives grow plump over the season. Then they are harvested.
  12. Some olives are hand picked, while others are machine harvested.
  13. But the debate is still out about which harvesting method produces better olive oil. © Paulina Szatanik The Noun Project
  14. There are many different types of olive oil known as varietals. © Jane Wiley The Noun Project
  15. Each olive varietal has a slightly different taste.
  16. Most olive oils are made from a blend of different olive varietals.
  17. Some olive oils are produced from just one type of olive. Those oils are known as monovarietals. ❶  
  18. Olives are picked from the groves and immediately brought to the manufacturing mill.
  19. At some farms, the mill is right on site. © Ana Maria Lora Macias The Noun Project
  20. Other mills function as a co-op, with many farmers bringing their olives to one shared mill. © Nicolas Ramallo The Noun Project
  21. At the mill, the olives are washed in cold water. .
  22. Then the olives are crushed into a paste .
  23. In old world traditions, big stones crushed the olives. © Grufus The Noun Project
  24. Now, crushing is usually done with Steel blades. .
  25. In old world traditions, the paste was loaded on to mats and squeezed.
  26. In modern times, the oil is spun in a centrifuge. Image by © Arturo Yee, Flickr
  27. This is what a centrifuge looks like inside. Image ©
  28. It works like the spin cycle of a washing machine, separating the oil from the olive solids. © Megan Sheehan The Noun Project
  29. The oil that comes out of this initial production run is known as the “first press”.
  30. But technically, it should be called the “first spin ”.
  31. If the oil is produced without using heat, it’s known as the “first, cold press”. Thistermactuallycomesfrom anantiquatedmethodthatusedhot watertogetmoreoilfromthepaste duringsecondarypressingcycles.
  32. Sometimes the oil is filtered to make it crystal clear.
  33. And sometimes it’s not, which is called unfiltered oil. ©Alberto Galindo The Noun Project
  34. This initial oil that comes out is the purest olive oil, and it is called Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
  35. It is the highest quality of olive oil, and is coveted around the world.
  36. But, to be called Extra Virgin it has to meet a few quality requirements. © Aaron Dodson The Noun Project
  37. It has to have an Acidity level below 0.8 © Márcio Duarte The Noun Project
  38. And it has to meet about 20+ other chemical requirements. © Rafael Farias Leao The Noun Project
  39. But that’s not all. It also has to taste good.
  40. A trained taste tester makes sure that it is Extra Virgin Olive Oil & that the oil doesn’t have any faults. Image © Maretta Stiles, Flikr  
  41. If he doesn’t think it’s up to par, or the acidity is above 0.8, it’s called Virgin Olive Oil.
  42. The reason some olive oil turns out to be Virgin instead of Extra Virgin often has to do with the weather and other natural factors... © Maurizio Fusillo The Noun Project
  43. …like how fast the olives begin to oxidize in the sun after they are harvested, or while in transport.
  44. …It also just has to do with the olives, the climate, and how they were grown. © Parmelyn The Noun Project
  45. Sometimes, people want a lighter tasting olive oil, with a lighter color.
  46. To get this light color & taste, virgin olive oil is refined. © Ilsur Aptukov The Noun Project
  47. This is a High heat process that removes a lot of the oil’s color and flavor.© Laurant Patain The Noun Project
  48. What’s left over is a lighter colored olive oil that doesn’t really taste like olives anymore. © Jane Wiley The Noun Project
  49. It’s also called Light-Tasting Olive Oil, Extra Light Olive Oil or Light Olive Oil on your retail grocery shelves.
  50. NOPE. Those names don’t mean they’re low fat.
  51. Light Olive Oil Light-Tasting Olive Oil Extra Light Olive Oil“ ” They are all just names to indicate that they’re refined olive oil. . . . .
  52. If you take that Refined Olive Oil and mix some Extra Virgin or Virgin in, you’ve created a new grade of olive oil.
  53. This grade is simply called, olive oil or sometimes, pure olive oil.
  54. So, when you see Pure Olive Oil on your grocery shelf, it’s saying that it is a particular quality grade… Not that it is original or authentic.
  55. Pure Olive Oil is, in fact, not the “purest” or most original grade of olive oil… EXTRA VIRGIN IS!
  56. Do you remember those olive solids that remained after the extra virgin olive oil was extracted? © Alex Fuller The Noun Project
  57. Those bits of olive flesh, fruit and pit are called the pomace of the olive.
  58. That pomace still has a little bit of olive oil in it that can’t be SQUEEZED out. But it’s in there! © Andrew Schatz The Noun Project
  59. Kind of like a how a wet sponge still has water in it, no matter how hard you wring it out. © Alex Fuller The Noun Project
  60. There’s a way to get this oil out, and it would otherwise go unused. Key © Bucky Clarke The Noun Project
  61. A solvent is added to the pomace (usually hexane). © Kristen Lehua The Noun Project
  62. This extracts the last possible oil from the olive. Then the solvent is removed.Icon © Louis Prado The Noun Project
  63. This is the same process that’s used to produce conventional soybean oil, canola oil and many other seeds oils in the US. © Rául Santos The Noun Project
  64. This last remaining grade is called Olive Pomace Oil, and it is the lowest grade of olive oil. Icon © Kristen Lehua The Noun Project
  65. Tree © Parmelyn Olive © Jane Wiley The Noun Project But it’s still made 100% from the olive itself.
  66. It’s important to choose the right oil olive grade, depending on what you’re using it for.
  67. Extra Virgin is delicious on everything. But it is a more expensive oil.
  68. It also has a lower smoke point. © Jory Raphael The Noun Project (which means it doesn’t love high heat cooking).
  69. Pure olive oil is perfect for baking and cooking, because it doesn’t have a strong flavor.
  70. It also has a higher Heat Tolerance, because it’s refined through high heat.
  71. Olive Pomace Oil is used in Soap Making, Restaurants Manufacturing & Other Industrial Purposes.
  72. Sometimes, one of these types of olive oil will be blended with another type of seed oil. © Tommy Lau The Noun Project
  73. These are known as Olive Oil Blends.
  74. You can choose any kind of ratio of blend you like. © Roman Kovbasyuk The Noun Project Made With any kind of seed oil, And any kind of olive oil.
  75. The most common ratios are blends like… 75% Canola Oil & 25% Extra Virgin Olive Oil 90% Soybean Oil & 10% Olive Oil 95% Non-GMO Canola Oil & 5% EVOO
  76. . . . . . . . . . . . . . The bottom line is…
  77. Anything with olive oil is delicious.
  78. So eat up!
  79. Want to learn more about olive oil ?
  80. Visit
  81. And subscribe to the Bulk Oil Blog
  82. Information produced by. Written by Hannah Broaddus A supplier of bulk oils to the manufacturing & distribution industries