Belser takes care and controls the whole production process of olive oil, from the moment when it is harvested from the tree until it is bottled and it reaches the final consumer.
It is one of the most important moments of the whole process, because it has a very big impact on the quantity and the quality of the yield of the current year and that of the following year, as well as on production costs. The perfect moment for harvesting is when the olives are full with the maximum amount of oil, and the highest quality is usually obtained when the green olives disappear or when the highest proportion of veraison olives is reached.
The old and traditional systems of the stone wheel and the hydraulic presses are well behind us, and the most extensively used system to extract olive oil is the two-stage centrifuge continuous system.
2.1 SELECTION OF OLIVES
Once the fruits have reached the mill, they undergo a selection and classification process that will separate them according to several aspects: their variety, whether they have been harvested from the branches or picked from the floor, whether they are healthy or have been attacked by diseases, etc. Then the olives are washed to remove any leaves or debris that may be mixed with them. After being washed, the fruits go into a hopper, where they are immediately CRUSHED. In order to obtain high quality olive oil it is essential to grind the fruits as soon as possible, in order to avoid any fermentation while stocked.
Rotary hammers crush the olives and the paste obtained goes into a mixer (either a vertical or a horizontal mixer), which will make the paste homogeneous and will help separate the oil.
2.3 OIL SEPARATION
El decanter is a centrifuge with a horizontal axis that rotates the mixed mixture, separating the oil from the rest of components, the dregs of crushed olives (skin, flesh, pits and water). This first oil still has a lot of water and flesh in it, so it goes through a centrifuge with a vertical axis which will enhance oil separation.
2.4 NATURAL DECANTATION
The olive oil goes then into decanting tanks. Thanks to gravity and the different densities of olive oil and vegetable liquids and water, olive oil stays in the upper part of the tanks while vegetable liquids and water go down to the conic bottom, from where they are drained.
Olive oil is usually stored in stainless steel tanks, although sometimes glazed tile, polyester or fiberglass tanks are used. Olive oil should be protected from light, oxygen in the air and changes in temperature, which may hamper an appropriate preservation of olive oil.
3. BOTTLING AND CANNING
Bottling and canning must help keep the product in the best possible conditions for consumption. In order to avoid early oxidation and deterioration before bottling, olive oil is filtered in order to remove any suspended particles still present, the particles responsible for the cloudy aspect of olive oil.