To obtain a superior quality oil, Catapano Oil, chooses the producers based on the respect of some indispensable practices of the field:
The olives are harvested at the right stage of ripening, that is to say, at the veraison, directly from the tree with the help of combs or shaking arms, making them fall on nets stretched under the trees and lifted from the ground.
The harvested olives are placed in superimposable perforated boxes which guarantee ventilation and prevent crushing.
The olive cassoni are immediately transferred to the oil mill where the olives are carefully checked to exclude excessive lacerations, rot, fly attacks and molds.
In the presence of these defects, the olives are rejected. Furthermore, a representative sample of the batch is taken and sent to an external laboratory for pesticide analysis that will be used to qualify the supplier.
The box with the olives accepted are placed in a cool and well ventilated room. The olives are pressed at the most within 48 hours from the harvest.
A time between harvesting and milling of more than 48 hours would accelerate the oxidative processes in the olives, jeopardizing the quality of the oil which, as soon as it is produced, will have higher values of acidity and peroxides.
The processing process begins by emptying the olive cassettes in a collection hopper from which a conveyor belt is conveyed to the washing tank. Along the way the olives pass under an aspirator that takes away the excess of leaves and twigs coming from the harvest.
The presence of a minimum quantity of healthy leaves does not affect the quality of the product but gives the olive paste a cross-linked structure through which the oil flows out and a pleasant bitter note emerges more easily and to the oil.
The olives undergo a double washing, first by immersion in a tank full of water and subsequently, transported in a thin layer on a belt, by sprinkling under a shower sprinkler system capable of eliminating the last residues of soil.
This phase ensures that the olives are cleaned of the earth and any other residue that could compromise the hygienic-sanitary and organoleptic characteristics of the oil.
The washed olives are crushed by the use of a newly designed hammer crusher, to obtain an “olive paste” in which the oleifera cells begin to tear.
The advantages of using a hammer crusher is to reduce the time of grinding the olives and to increase the extraction of polyphenolic substances which, in addition to preserving the oil from oxidative processes during storage, give it a greater bitterness intensity and spicy.
At this stage the olive paste is slowly mixed at a controlled temperature for 15-20 minutes. The slow remixing favors the complete rupture of the cells containing the oil and the aggregation of the oil droplets which thus tend to separate from the solid part and to surface on the surface of the paste.
In order to have a high quality oil, the kneading is done by heating the olive paste at a temperature below 27 ° C, only in this way it is possible to bring on the label the word “cold extract” (Reg. UE 1019/2002 e ss mm ). At temperatures & gt; 27 ° C the yield in oil would increase but the oxidation processes would suffer a rapid increase, compromising the quality of the oil.
The separation of the oil from the solid part and from the water of vegetation takes place by exploiting the centrifugal force.
The oil is passed through a “horizontal centrifugal separator” which favors the separation of the solid part (sansa) from the liquid part (oil + water).
The subsequent passage of the liquid part in a “vertical centrifuge” definitively separates the oil from the vegetation water.
The oil obtained is tasted by the company panel and analyzed in the internal laboratory to verify compliance with Reg. (EU) 2568/1991 and s.s. m.m .. In case of positive results, the controls are classified as “EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL”.