Production processes: Olives

01. Olive harvest.

Olives are harvested in January. The varieties generally used for whole green olives production are: Manzanilla Fina, Aloreña, Hojiblanca and Picual.

The harvest is performed manually.

02. Transportation to the factory.

Olives are placed in 550 – 600 kg. bins and are transported to the industrial plant goods yard.

03. Natural bitterness removal.

In this operation, the "oleuropein" glycoside that causes olives to taste bitter is removed. To do so, a caustic soda solution is used. After this alkaline treatment, several washes are performed in order to remove the caustic soda solution.

04. Lactic fermentation.

Natural controlled lactic fermentation process. The fermentation time occurs during the first ninety days. pH, acidity and residual sugars are controlled, since the proper development of lactic acid bacteria depends on these values.

Final fermentation parameters:

  • pH < 4,3
  • Lactic acid free acidity > 0,5 g/%
  • Salt concentration > 5%
  • Color, taste, aroma and texture: typical of the finished products.

05. Selection and classification.

In order to finish their conditioning, olives are selected, defective fruits are removed and then they are classified according to size (grade) according to the number of olives per kilo. The CODEX STAN 66 standard is used.

06. Machining.

Olives are subject to different machining operations, which are detailed below:

  • Pitting: this operation consists in separating the pit from the pulp using automatic machines that pit olives at high speed, which then pass through a densitometer that classifies pits by density and then to an inspection belt where defective olives are discarded.

  • Slicing: after being pitted, olives enter a slicing machine, which cuts them perpendicularly to their main axis into relatively even slices. Then, they go through a strainer that removes the small pieces of pulp, leaving olives ready for packaging.

  • Filling: The filling operation separates the pit from the pulp and fills the hole with the bell pepper paste.

07. Packaging

The packaging operation is performed using glass and/or flexible containers of different sizes and formats:

7.1 Pouch and doypack packaging

In the packaging room, containers are filled; first, the product volumetric dosing is performed and then, the coverage liquid is poured after which, pouches and doypacks are horizontally, vertically and top sealed. For these operations, the company has automated packaging machines. During these stages, containers are also coded.

7.1.1 Preservation method
(brine parameters)

The coverage liquid (packing brine) has the following final parameters:

  • Salt: minimum value 5%
  • ph< 4,3

7.1.2 Product presentation.

7.3 Glass jar packaging.

Glass jar packaging is performed in a linear filling machine and in a continuous manner; then, the filling liquid is poured and the jar lid is placed.

7.3.1 Preservation method - Pasteurization.

Jars, once sealed, enter a machine suitable for pasteurizing different sized glass containers that consists in an initial heating area, an intermediate normal temperature sector and a final cooling sector. It works with an automatic loading device that allows all containers to enter the tunnel in a vertical, orderly manner.

Treatment temperature and time parameters for each package type are the following:

The coverage liquid (packing brine) has the following final parameters:

  • Salt: minimum value 5%
  • ph< 4,3

7.3.2 Product presentation.