How is extra virgin olive oil made: the 7- step guide

Olive oil is famous across the globe and generally associated with Mediterranean cuisine. However, the Olive tree is believed to have originated in Asia Minor and was first cultivated as far back as the 8th century BC. Research shows us that olive oil was first produced and then traded approximately 8,000 years ago. This started around the Sea of Galilee and quickly spread into Egypt, Greece, and other places in the Mediterranean. It’s been used and produced in Italy and other areas of Europe since 1600 BC. It’s time to learn how olive oil is made!

 

How is olive oil traditionally made?

It’s critical to know how to store the olive oil, or extra virgin olive oil, to ensure its high-quality taste, consistency and the associated array of olive oil benefits. You also need to know how to recognize the original Italian EVO and avoid fake olive oil.

Step 1 - Harvesting

Olives need to be harvested when they are green and just turned ripe. The easiest way to verify they are ready for harvesting is to squeeze them, their juice should be cloudy.

It’s worth noting that green olives generally lead to a lighter olive oil, often with a hint of spice. The darker the olive, the fruiter the flavor of the olive oil.

Olives are collected in nets positioned under the trees. A wooden rake is used to hit the branches, allowing the olives to fall into the net. Some will be damaged but this is a fast approach.

Step 2 – Moving the olives

A key ingredient to how olive oil is made is time! The best quality extra virgin olive oil and all the associated olive oil benefits are a result of the olives being crushed within 24 hours of harvesting.

 

The lives must be moved into creates without lids, this helps them to stay fresh. You should note that 8 kgs of olives are needed to make one liter of olive oil.

Step 3 – Crushing

Crushing the olives turns them into a paste, making it easier to get the oil out. This is generally done with the aid of machines. Today crushers are either disk, blade or hammer-style crushers. Metallic crushers are generally the preferred option.

 

Step 4 – Extraction

The oil should be extracted from the olive oil paste as quickly as possible, ideally within an hour of crushing. It’s done via machines and uses centrifugal force, effectively forcing the oil out of the grapes and into the collection containers. The extraction process can take as little as 30-40 minutes.

Step 5 – Filtration

You now have olive oil. However, to create the perfect product it needs to be filtered. This is done using gravity. The oil flows downward through a filter and impurities are captured by the filter. The result is virgin and extra virgin olive oil.

Step 6 – Storing

It’s normal for olive oil producers to check the quality of their oil, sample it, and test it multiple times before it’s put into bottles. The testing confirms its purity level and whether it is olive oil, virgin olive oil or extra virgin olive oil.

Step 7 - Consuming

You can now purchase the bottles of olive oil and use them when cooking. It’s worth noting that an unopened bottle of olive oil will stay fresh for two years. For those interested in olive oil calories, a tablespoon will have approximately 120 calories. However, it is also high in healthy fats, which is why it’s generally associated with a healthy diet.

 

All that is left for you to do is enjoy it!