Automated olive oil system wins innovation award at Barcelona food technology event
A joint project between FOSS Iberia and Gea Westafalia has been awarded a prestigious innovation prize at the Barcelona Alimentary Technologies (Bta) event on 23rd April 2015.
The prize was awarded for an Oil Extraction Process Self-Management System entered in the Bta. Innova award category for Automation, Sensors, Control, Logistics and Information and Communications Technology.
The innovative technology attracted the attention of judges because it introduces modern day automatic process monitoring and management to the ancient art of olive oil making.
More efficient than manual control
The two main elements of the system are an in-line analysis sensor provided by FOSS and decantering equipment supplied by GEA Westfalia.
The in-line analysis sensor provides continuous measurements of moisture and fat in the olive pomace every few seconds. The data is then used for automatic regulation of the decantering process. This makes the process more reactive to the constantly changing levels of oil and moisture than with traditional manual tests and regulation.
Getting more out of the milling process
The development of the system involved controlled trials in actual production conditions at four Spanish mills. The trials gave promising results. One of the mills taking part reported that the system accurately and quickly provided information about oil content and moisture in pomace. This allowed rapid correction of any deviations from the target set by the management of the mill.
Miguel Angel Martinez, CEO of FOSS Iberia and Juan Vilar Hernández, president of GEA Westfalia Separator Iberica, stated: "Our companies have invested in this R & D project because by integrating decanter equipment and analytical technology we help millers to get the very best out of both technology areas. A more reactive process based on automated monitoring and control can lead to significant gains in terms of olive oil output and quality.”
More about the analytical aspect of the system can be found on the FOSS website (In Spanish) here: http://www.foss.es/industry-solution/products/oliviapro/