olive oil processing technology

Olive oil is a kind of grease extracted from olive fruit by proper mechanical methods. It is usually cold squeezed oil, and the most prestigious oil is extra virgin olive oil, which has the best quality, and the price is the most expensive as well. The more it is pressed, the worse quality it has. The oil processed three or four times or extracted from pressed cakes must be refined( before being used for edible purposes. 

How to Make Olive Oil
How to Make Olive Oil

Benefits of Olive Oil

  • The virgin olive oil with unique fragrance still remains in a liquid state under 0℃, which can be used as cold oil and cooking oil. 

  • Olive oil absorption rate is up to 93.45 in human bodies, and olive oil possesses various healthy functions, especially for reducing cardiovascular disease and promoting the bones and nervous system of children, there is a special effect. Therefore, olive oil is called “the queen of vegetable oil”. 

  • Besides, olive oil has a wide range of uses in medicine, hairdressing, washing, food and other industries.

The Global Development Status of Olive Oil

Olea europaea is a plant of the genus Osmanthus in the Oleaceae family. It is native to the east coast of the Mediterranean Sea. It is now mainly distributed along the Mediterranean coast and other regions with Mediterranean climate, such as California in the United States.

Global Market of Olive Oil
Global Market of Olive Oil

Olive oil is one of the oldest and the most valuable oils in the world. Olive oil has been cultivated along the Mediterranean coast for more than 4000 years, where its oil production accounts for about 85% of the world's total olive oil production. Today, Spain is the biggest olive oil producer in the world, followed by Italy, Greece, Tunisia, and Portugal. In those countries, the yield of olive oil accounts for 80%-90% of the total national edible oil.

Olive Oil Processing Process Flow Chart and Technical Features

The processing technology and facilities of olive oil are relatively simple. The traditional method is to grind olive fruits that are mature and clean on the stone mill, and then use clean dedicated straw bags to pack them up, and squeeze the oil on the extruding machine. After filtration, sediment, bottling, the olive oil is ready. Modern oil production is to separate the oil and oil residue rapidly by high speed centrifuge, which effectively improves the oil extraction rate and quality.

Modern olive oil making process flow

Fresh fruit collection→transportation and store→getting rid of branches and leaves to cleaning→grinding→blending→centrifugal decantation→centrifugal separation→store→bottling

Olive oil making technical features

Fresh fruit collection. 

On the basis of different varieties, the best picking months are from November to February next year. The fruit should be avoided to touch ground. The green olive fruit has a low oil content rate but the content of polyphenols is high, while the black olive fruit oil has a high oil content rate but the level of antioxidants is low. Therefore, to guarantee the quality and oil productivity, the optimal proportion of green fruit and black fruit is 75:25, but the proportion is around 50:50 in the actual production.

Transportation and stores. 

The collected fresh fruits should be put into little baskets then stack the baskets together, transport them to the plant, and spread in the storage room with ventilations, avoiding overpressure, overheating and bruising, otherwise the fruits are easy to be oxygenated and fenmented. But during the actual transportation, the fruits are stacked with sacks, thus fruits storing time shall not exceed 1~2 days.

Getting rid of branches and leaves.

This step adopts belt conveyor and winnowing, and branches and leaves are separated from fruits by draught fan. This step requires no leaves among fruits, for leaves have lots of chlorophyll which is easy to oxygenize during the process of grinding and blending when the temperature is high, thereby affecting the quality of the oil, so the power of draught fan is higher.


 The aim of this step is to remove the dust and get rid of a small number of leaves. Cleaning needs a certain amount of water, which will produce waste water. To reduce the quantity of wastewater, it adopts circulating water to clean fruits, and the standard is 2t water clean 5t fruits.


 It uses the hammer crusher to crush fruits, whose sieve pore size and beating speed are key points. The optimal sieve diameter is 6mm, and the optimal beating speed is 2500~3000r/min. Under that circumstance, the acidity of the oil, UV value of peroxide, total polyphenol, and sterol etc will have a good result.


The crushed olive pulp is transferred to the blending pool, and blended uniformly by the movement of the screw rod. On the one hand, it is beneficial for heat dissipation, on the other hand, it helps the formation of oil droplets to avoid emulsification. It is important to control temperature and blending time. The best time is 30minutes and the temperature is less than 40℃, which uses the method of interlayer water to bring down the temperature.

Centrifugal decantation.

 At present, most plants adopt three-phase centrifuge, and a few adopt two-phase centrifuge. The former needs to add 40%-50% of water, and the pomace occupies about 45%, whose residual oil ratio is 4%-6%, and oil extraction rate is about 25%, while the latter doesn't need to add water, and the pomace occupies about 75%, whose moisture content is 60%-65%, oil extraction rate is around 25%. The centrifuge spinning is 3000r/min.


 The oil being centrifugally separated, should be put in a big stainless steel tank to avoid light and heat, if necessary, the tank should be put into nitrogen to protect the oil.


 The oil in the tank should let out bits of water and oil feet regularly. If the oil is still unclear, the oil mixed with kieselguhr can be filtered by sheet frame, then the oil is put into little bottles at a certain amount.

Olive oil refers to the oil obtained from the fresh fruit of Olea europaea as a raw material instead of solvent extraction or heavy esterification. The International Olive Oil Council divides edible olive oil into five categories, namely Virgin Olive Oil and Refined Olive Oil.

Virgin olive oil is the juice obtained directly from fresh olive fruits by mechanically cold pressing, and after filtering and other treatments, there is no chemical treatment in the processing process.

Integrated Oil Press
Integrated Oil Press
Olive fruit oil press
Olive fruit oil press

There are three levels of virgin olive oil:

Levels of Virgin Olive Oil Acid Value Usage
Extra Virgin Olive Oil <0.8%

It is the best quality olive oil, and its pressing method adopts a pure physical low-temperature pressing method without any preservatives and additives.

Fine Virgin Olive Oil <2% It meets the prescribed food standards, but is generally used for cooking.
Fine Virgin Olive Oil <3.3% Only used for refining refined olive oil. Olive oil with an acid value of more than 3.3% is generally not edible, but is used as fuel for oil lamps.

Refined olive oil is a colorless and odorless olive oil produced by a refining process using "ordinary virgin olive oil".

Olive Oil Refinery Mill
Olive Oil Refinery Mill
High Quality Olive Oil Refinery
High Quality Olive Oil Refinery

There are also two levels of refined olive oil:

Levels of Refined Olive Oil Acid Value Usage
Refined olive oil <0.3% Colorless and tasteless olive oil refined from low-grade virgin olive oil.
Pure olive oil <1% This olive oil is generally made by mixing a certain proportion of refined olive oil and virgin olive oil.

Refined High Quality Oil
Refined High Quality Oil

Video of Olive Oil Production Processing

Compared with other edible oils, olive oil does have some unique advantages of its own, but these advantages cannot be a myth of olive oil. The reason why olive oil is sought after and very popular is related to the healthy marketing concept that the "Mediterranean Diet" has been promoting in recent years. At the same time, there are not many countries in the world that can grow olive trees and produce olive oil. Under marketing, olive oil with limited output has naturally become in demand. To learn more about olive oil production and processing knowledge, please fill out the form below to contact us. We will have professional business personnel to solve your doubts within one working day!

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