How is olive oil made?
El olive oil is a healthy liquid fat obtained from olives. The highest quality olive oil is extra virgin olive oil which cannot have been processed and its extraction must be "cold", that is, stay below 27º C at all times during the mechanical extraction process.
It must also meet the strict chemical criteria defined by the International Olive Oil Council and adopted by the European Union and USDA, but it must also have a perfect taste and aroma as determined by certified tasting criteria.
From the olive tree to the table
The first step is to pick the olives from the tree. The traditional way of collecting olives is shake the tree or hit its branches with sticks so that the olives fall to the ground. However, if a net is not used to catch the olives before they hit the ground, it can cause some olives to get beaten, resulting in a lower quality oil.
Olives need to be carefully picked to ensure the quality of the final product.
Once the olives have been picked, washed and the leaves and twigs removed, it is time to crush them. The crushing was traditionally done with stone wheels, but stainless steel rollers are much more common today.
Water is slowly added to the resulting paste to allow the oil molecules to concentrate. Finally, the mixture is centrifuged to remove the water. What remains is olive oil.