Getting a high quality oil is an art
The origins of organoleptic and nutritional qualities of extra virgin olive oil lie in the simultaneous coming together of many different factors, such as the quality of the olives when they are harvested, the extraction technique used, the treatment methods and the preserving and packaging of the oil.
Great attention to each phase is, of course, essential for top quality production.
It is very important that the olive is whole when it is harvested and taken to the oil mill.
Damage to the flesh predisposes the oil contained in the olive to deterioration (hydrolysis and oxidation) and fermentation due to the bacteria, yeasts and mold naturally present on the surface of the olives.
This results in an increase in free acid content and causes very serious organoleptic defects such as rancidity, mold, an oily deposit, vinegary flavors and heating.
VARIETY AND THE ENVIRONMENT
RIPENING OF THE OLIVE
THE OLIVE FLY
Olive transportation and storage
The oil is produced naturally by the plant and is progressively stored in the flesh of the olive as it ripens.
The variety (cultivar) of olive and, therefore, the characteristics of the fruit (shape, size, flesh-stone ratio) have a significant effect on the organoleptic characteristics and quality of the oil.
Different varieties can vary considerably and worldwide the olive growing heritage is extremely rich, boasting hundreds of cultivars.
The environment, for its part, plays a decisive role through the temperature, rainfall, altitude, soil type and exposure to sun and wind.
The variety of olives and the environment are the two factors which most contribute to defining the characteristics of the product.
The incredible differences in these two factors worldwide lead to an enormous diversification in the organoleptic and qualitative characteristics of the oils.
The production of San Giuliano Oil in our mill in Alghero (Sardinia) carefully takes all necessary measures to achieve higher quality oils, with peaks of excellence such as the Organic Oil and "Olio Fruttato".
The degree of ripeness of the olive is fundamental. It is this factor that allows different oils, in organoleptic and nutritional terms, to be obtained.
The olives of some cultivars ripen earlier than others, meaning that some varieties can be described as "early", while others can be described as "late". In the same way, environmental conditions and agronomic practices can also affect the way the fruit ripens.
Harvest time is determined by olive veraison, the progressive color changing of the olive's epicarp from green to purple to black according to the variety.
Veraison is an indication of the progress of the ripening of the fruit which is easily identified as it is linked to a color change in the olive.
This moment is important because the oil gradually builds up in absolute terms within the olive flesh as the fruit ripens and ceases at the time of veraison.
After veraison, although oil levels continue to increase, it is a rather "fictitious" increase as the greater volume is due to a loss of water.
In order to obtain the greatest amount of oil, the olives are, therefore, not harvested until they change color.
Furthermore, it is during veraison that there is the greatest accumulation of volatile elements and polyphenols, meaning that this stage is the best time at which to obtain a high quality, fruity oil, rich in polyphenols.
Harvesting too early can cause the maximum yield to not be obtained and give the oil a rather bitter and spicy flavor (due to excessive phenol concentration) that the consumer would find rather unpleasant.
This is one of the most harmful parasites for olives and a critical factor in their quality.
It lays its eggs, from which the larva develops, within the flesh of the olive.
The tears in the flesh cause it to deteriorate easily while the development of the larva increases acidity levels in the oil along with major organoleptic defects.
This is carried out mainly during the months of October, November and December.
It is important that the harvest takes place directly from the tree by forcibly detaching the olives to guarantee an intact harvest and prevent contamination by the soil or damage when falling.
The best way to harvest is by hand or using tools to facilitate the removal of the fruit, but the shortage of labor, high costs involved and progress made in modern olive growing have led to the mechanization of this stage (shakers, vibrators and nets which surround the foliage without touching the ground).
This has generally improved harvest overall making it quicker and more efficient, improving the yield of the operator and lowering harvest costs to guarantee that a good quality oil is produced.
These are the most difficult and indeed delicate stages of the entire production process.
For preference, the olives should be washed within 12 – 24 hours of harvest (in the San Giuliano oil mill the olives are normally ground within 6 hours).
They should then be transported in ventilated boxes and crates, stored in cool, ventilated rooms that are as sterile and clean as possible in order to avoid contamination, and moved in such a way as to avoid crushing, bruising and damaging the flesh.
The process to obtain oil from olives is comprised of various stages.
First the olives are washed to remove dirt and soil and subsequently defoliated to remove leaves and twigs which would give the oil an acrid, bitter and woody flavor, plus an excessively green color.
Next comes crushing with traditional granite millstones or the more modern mechanical crushers, during which time the olives and stones are broken up.
Thus the “olive paste” or “oil paste” is obtained. This is semi-fluid and made up of one part solids (ground flesh, skin and stone) and one part liquid (oil and vegetable water).
To encourage the oil particles to join together and separate from the water, malaxing takes place.
This is the technical term used to refer to the slow, thorough mixing of the paste in a steel tank a "malaxing machine".
This stage should really be carried out at an ideal temperature of no more than 27°C so as to retain all the perfumes and aromas of the intense fruitiness.
At this point extraction begins. This consists of separating the oil out from the olive paste or residue (fragments of stone, skin and flesh). There are three basic extraction methods:
|Our range of oils has
been created to meet
the demands of
consumers, to satisfy
the requirements of
the ever more
|DISCOVER SAN GIULIANO OILS|
The passion for quality
and good food is the
basis of San Giuliano
Specialities: a proposal
for a tasty
|DISCOVER SAN GIULIANO SPECIALITIES|
| COUNTRY RESIDENCE
|A gorgeus residence surrounded by the green of the Sardinian country, close to the sea, for a relaxing holiday. And a restaurant/pizzeria to taste the typical dishes from Sardinia and tasty pizzas, all made with fresh ingredients.|
|THE RESIDENCE AND THE RESTAURANT|
|The Manca family vocation for olive oil production is the result of great experience and of unmatched technical skills.|
|A COMPANY DEVOTED TO QUALITY|
|San Giuliano Extra Virgin Olive Oil inspired some of the most renowned Sardinian chefs to create a number of Mediterranean dishes. These recipes combine easy preparation and simple ingredients at sensible cost.|