Olive millers geared-up to gain more from 2012 harvest
When the olive harvest in Spain and Portugal gets underway this November some forward-looking oil producers will have a new tool to help them get the best from their olive presses.
A new simple-to-use analyser for testing olive paste and pomace was launched by FOSS in 2011. Now over 20 oil millers are equipped with the aptly-named Olivia instrument which will help them to hit their quality targets more consistently and avoid any waste of valuable oil in the crushing process.
One of the first to use the solution in 2011 was Fernando Sánchez, owner of olive oil producers Almazara Las Torres. In an interview for the FOSS In Focus magazine he explained how Olivia has given new insight into the true value of their raw material and the potential oil remaining in the pomace after the first press. “Before a solution like this, I could not control the fat content in the pomace and ended up throwing a lot away. But now I can retain that oil and make more money,” he said.
Laboratory in a box
The Olivia is not the only such solution available to millers, but it is unique in offering the same reliability as measurements made by official laboratories. The Olivia is calibrated in the same way as another FOSS instrument called the OliveScan that is used by the laboratories for quality control purposes. The calibration is built on a comprehensive database covering a wide range of olive varieties and harvest environments.
Designed for small to mid-size producers
No chemicals are involved in making a test and there is no waste with samples simply returned to the process after analysis. The analyser unit includes an in-built PC with simple touch-screen operation that allows anyone to make a valid measurement. The sample is put in a sample cup up which is then placed the instrument. Results appear within a minute.
The Olivia offers a viable option for olive oil producers because it reduces costs associated with external testing and provides a rapid return of the investment in terms of efficiency and output. It can also be used for payment of deliveries according to fat content of the olives.
Still time to join the analysis wave
There is still time to take advantage of the Olivia before the next harvest. General Manager of FOSS Spain, Miguel Martinez said: “The best way for producers to find out if Olivia is for them is to arrange a simple obligation-free trial with one of our experts. All you need is a power supply and a table to stand the instrument on.”