The mills (Almazaras) are the key in the quality of an Extra Virgin Oil. Many types of olives can be found at the oil mill, but once it reaches the mill, it can not be changed anymore. The goal of processing these olives is to get the best out of them.
Shopping by mill
First the mills must have the most modern machinery. Gone are the famous pressing mats of dried esparto, which accumulated all kinds of residues of previous milling. Now there are milling machines that can be regulated electronically. And above all, control the crushing temperature of the olives and beating the paste.
Low temperature milling
This temperature should be low, but not too low because otherwise the paste would be like cement, too dense, and it would not let out the olive juice that we are looking for. On the other hand, if it is too high, we will obtain oil immediately but its precious components, polyphenols and other anti-oxidants will volatilize.
We must remember that these small particles, barely 1% of the oil, are responsible for the flavor and taste, as well as for the beneficial health properties that so many great surprises are bringing the latest scientific research. Therefore, experts consider that a “cold extraction” is one that does not exceed 27ºC.
The problem of cold grinding is that for a liter of oil we will need 12-15kg of olives (in the past it would be enough with 3-4kg). Therefore, it is not surprising that extra virgin olive oil has a price in correspondence with this amount of fruit and work. Remember also that the collection of olives is still very manual. because you can’t use machines as if it were wheat or corn.