IVO – Improving olive oil quality

An olive oil mill enterprise in collaboration with a university, the regional chamber of commerce, machinery companies, and others, created a partnership to test an innovative filtering prototype for olive oil production.

Project summary: 

The O.L.C.A.S. mill enterprise a leading company on olive oil production started a collaboration with the University of Florence and other research institutes and machinery enterprises in order to test and introduce an innovative filtering prototype for oil production, based on the results of a previous research project.

The filtering system prototype was installed at the O.L.C.A.S. mill and tested for a period of two years. With the collaboration of all members of the partnership, four different types of olive oil were used for testing using both the prototype and conventional filtering systems. The testing and analysis were useful to introduce possible modifications in the filtering system. 

 

Project results: 

Tests showed that all samples (filtered and not filtered with three different systems) had similar content in water and not substantial differences in terms of chemical composition, such as level of acidity. However, the samples filtered with the prototype tend to keep the same flavour profile for longer. 

The analysis also showed that samples filtered with the prototype can be better preserved when stored in conditions not ideal to avoid oxidation. This was an important finding in terms of maintaining the quality standards unchanged for longer periods. 

The testing proved that the use of the prototype filters reduces the quantity of oil losses during the filtering process compared to the use of traditional filters. 

Steel filters used in the tested new system can be used for twice the lifetime of traditional filters, therefore reducing the environmental impact from their disposal and also lowering production costs.