Evolution of Olive Oil Technology

Olive pressing. Mankind has wondered how this should be performed since time immemorial. If, originally, they were simply crushed in a mortar, sometimes adding a little hot water to promote separation, and therefore the surfacing of the oil, progressively
the great inventions of Man were applied to the production of oil olive.

the rotating grinding wheel and the lever    

The first major innovation
in the pressing of olives was undoubtedly
the introduction of the rotating wheel:
a large cylindrical stone (today's muller) fitted with a wooden board, operable by hand or with the aid of animals.
The application of the principle of the lever then allowed a further improvement for oil yield. The paste was placed in cloth bags and pressed like a huge nutcracker using large stones to exert the necessary force.


the press   the hydraulic press
But a new invention was on the horizon: the Archimedean screw. Applied, firstly on the end of the
lever and then later on the press, ensured the exertion of pressure which, until
that time, had been unthinkable.
  In 1830, a French agronomist,
Pietro Ravanas, applied a revolutionary
invention of communicating vessels developed by Pascal, to the press. The hydraulic press thus became the most
efficient technology for oil extraction.
    In the '70s of last century,
the use of an absolutely innovative extraction system became wide spread:
the spin cycle. After pressing, the olive paste is placed in a large horizontal centrifuge (decanter) which separates the oil from water and pomace.