Deoleo shares best-practice to safeguard the quality and integrity of extra virgin olive oil throughout the value chain
Honoring World Olive Day, Deoleo shares best-practice to protect extra virgin olive oil throughout the value chain, from the collection of olives through to shipping and storage of the product.
“Olive oil is a wonderful, natural and health product that instantly transports anyone who tastes it to the very groves where it was cultivate” said Victor Roig, General Manager of Deoleo in Spain.
“It is our mission to inspire everyone involved to make a positive difference, every day. We are committed to creating lasting value, both in Spain and around the world to promote ethical and sustainable practices.” he added.
1. Early harvesting helps preserve all the olives properties.
Every season, farmers work hard to track and monitor their olive orchards so they can identify the ideal time for harvest. That means paying strict attention to the life cycle of an olive, which is essentially divided into three phases: green, veraison and full ripeness. The moment of the crop is crucial as it will define the olive oil flavors and aromas profile.
When an olive is green, it’s in the beginning of the crop and at the first stage of ripening. The fruits are firm to the touch and contain a high level of antioxidants (polyphenols), which result in a bitter taste. This ensures that oils have a longer shelf life while preserving their properties.
It is also important that the olives once picked are transported to the mill in small trucks to best preserve the fruit.
In the mill, olives should be processed as quickly as possible, without ever exceeding 6 hours after harvesting.
With temperature variations possible, the mills must ensure temperature controls in place.
Hygiene and cleanliness are also important factors throughout the production process of the mill, from the arrival of olives, milling, blending etc.
Lastly, filtration after oil production is also an important step in the quality process.
2. Use isothermal tanks in the transport of oil, from the mill to the point where it is to be processed and packaged.
3. Arrival at the processing facility, it is recommended to have a covered area available to protect tanks from exposure to heat.
4. Before accepting deliver, oil samples should be taken with a full analysis conducted to verify its quality and certify that it matches both the control sample and the previously selected oil.
5. It is best practice to store extra virgin olive oil in stainless steel tanks, filtered and always in an inert atmosphere with a controlled and stable temperature throughout the year. These combined practices help to preserve the characteristics of the oils, whilst preserving polyphenols and maintaining its natural aromas.
6. Dark colored bottles are important when it comes to protecting extra virgin olive oil from external factors such as light.
7. Perform a 360-degree line control that makes it possible to plan all resources involved. Use an information management system that integrates and automates the business practices associated with the operational, productive, and commercial aspects of the company.
8. Where possible, minimize the presence of oxygen present in extra virgin olive oil at all stages of production, from tanks to bottles (both glass and PET) to better preserve the oils properties.
9. Storage of the finished product should be at a controlled temperature. This ensures a longer shelf life and preserves the oils natural qualities.
Shipping and Distribution
10. During the shipping process it is recommended to monitor the ambient temperature of the finished product, and when necessary use refrigerated transport to maintain the oils temperature.
11. Samples should also be taken of the product, both in the distributor’s warehouses and off supermarket shelves.