After the traditional harvesting follows the extraction by cold pressing, which takes place exclusively at 27 °C (80.6 °F) under constant quality control. We apply rigorously all the strict rules for the production of olive oil, which, in addition to high quality, is also nutritious, tasty and has excellent organoleptic ratings. We also have all the necessary international certifications that bring us one step ahead of the competition. The cold extraction method that we apply at all stages of production within the olive mill ensures all the health benefits as well as the stable taste characteristics of our olive oil.
Based on our experience acquired along 40 years in the art of olive oil production, we have built a state-of-the-art, innovative and fully automated olive mill. All our machines are made of stainless steel while centrifugal “decanters” and separators are made of duplex stainless steel (AISI 316 Ti) so that when the olive oil comes into contact with these surfaces this does not result in degradation of the quality or its organoleptic characteristics.
As the olives reach our olive mill, they are stored in plastic bins with holes on the side walls (suitable and certified for food) so that we can achieve ventilation and avoid the “heating” of the fruit, in which case bad odour and taste will be transmitted in the product. This particular storage method also contributes to low acidity levels. Furthermore, we always ensure that the olives are pressed within 12 hours.
Initially, the olives enter a special reception area. There they are placed in large coffins and from there they are mechanically transferred to the area where defoliation takes place. There are some big fans that create suction at the point where the fruits pass, and this way we achieve the separation of leaves and branches from the fruits.
Afterwards the fruits are transferred to the washing machine. There they are rinsed continuously with pure drinking water, which is mixed vigorously with the fruits. There is a second rinsing stage with three rows of nozzles that eject water under pressure in order to guarantee a thorough washing, which is one of the most important operations. This way, we avoid infections, bacterial growth and other damages, and thus guarantee the integrity of the taste in our olive oil.
In the next phase, the fruits reach mechanically the crusher where they become olive paste. It passes through a sieve which has holes of the right diameter so that the fruits become paste rather than cream. With the help of special stainless steel pieces, the fruit is broken and passed through the sieve.
The stages hereafter until the olive oil is produced are very critical. This is why we ensure that our olive paste does not come into contact with oxygen, also that it is subjected to malaxation for a certain time and at certain temperature and we try to prevent any contact of the paste with water. All this helps us produce a perfect quality olive oil, with excellent organoleptic characteristics (taste, aroma, colour), and healthy, since this way we achieve minimal phenol losses.
Afterwards, the olive paste enters through a dispenser into the tightly sealed malaxation units. The paste stays there for 30 to 40 minutes (30 minutes of ripe fruits and up to 40 minutes of early harvested fruits). It is subjected to continuous malaxation and heated slightly to a temperature of no more than 27 °C (80.6 °F), which, according to international studies, preserves the best organoleptic characteristics of olive oil. Due to the increase in the temperature of the olive paste, olive oil fluidity increases and it is easier to separate it in the next stage. We have an electronic system recording the temperature and water content of the olive paste, data that are essential for the production of a high quality product.
Next and very important stage is the centrifugal separation of the olive paste into the pomace, olive juice and olive oil through a machine called “decanter”. Here we make use of the data we have acquired from the previous stage, in particular the moisture content of the olive paste. This way we have the ability to directly adjust the diameter of the hole or else “impeller”, which separates the olive oil from the olive juice with the maximum output, thus eliminating the losses of olive oil. This innovation is held globally by the company that has supplied us with our “decanter”, the German FLOTTWEG.
At the final stage there is another centrifugal separation (separator) of olive oil, where traces of olive juice and solid residues are removed. Separation is achieved with the use of drinking water, due to the difference in density between olive oil and water. This way, our final product, extra virgin olive oil, is produced.
Afterwards, and before the olive oil is stored, a pre-filtration is carried out in the olive mill premises in order to remove the residual moisture that is always present in fresh olive oil, thereby protecting it from oxidation and helping it last for a longer period than the proposed best before date of the product.
Additionally, we pay attention to utilise the by-products of the olive mill in order to avoid damage to the environment:
A) The leaves resulting from the defoliation of the fruits are collected and given to farmers to feed their livestock.
B) The pomace resulting from the liquid-solid separation process occurring in the decanter, is given to pomace processing plants for the production of olive pomace oil (low quality seed oil) and pomace wood (solid fuel material).