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Stainless Steel Press

Summary below taken from:

Seal Beach Chamber of Commerce

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Olive oil, handcrafted artisan food and bath products. The company also operates an olive grove management business and participates in olive oil education efforts. With the approach of the olive harvest later this month, the company is preparing to use its new olive press for the first time, said co-owner Nancy Curry. The one-of- a-kind, 100 percent stainless steel press was designed specifically for Temecula Olive Oil Company. It combines the best of old world technique and new world technology, Curry said. "We’re really excited," she said. The women-owned, family-run business uses only eco-friendly practices in its groves, including solar power and bio-diesel fuel


Excerpt below from:

Striking oil

Olives gush with flavor possibilities

Feb. 18, 2009
by Caron Golden
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Both in the Mediterranean countries that produce oils and in California, where 600,000 gallons of oil is expected to be produced this year, olive-oil makers pride themselves on the techniques they use. The preferred method is cold press, meaning the oil is extracted without using heat, but there are different extraction methods even within cold press.

Large-scale producers such as California Olive Ranch use a hammer-mill crushing system that works like a meat grinder, using high speed and force to push olives through a screen.

“It evenly crushes the olives into a paste in a manner that allows continuous flow,” explains Alan Greene, the company’s vice president of business development and chairman of the California Olive Oil Council. “We can process 3.5 tons of olives an hour.”

The pulp is then pumped into a malaxor, which stirs it to distribute the water and oil. Then it goes into a horizontal centrifuge, where the water is thrown off and the oil is trapped and collected, to be pushed through a screen to catch more particles. Then the oil is cleaned in a vertical centrifuge, which spins at 6,000 rpm, and sent to stainless-steel tanks for storage.

At Temecula Olive Oil Company, an artisanal producer, the process is a little different – more reminiscent of old-fashioned stone-mill pressing in Italy.

“We’re doing an updated version of the classic olive-oil press,” says owner Thom Curry. “I think it’s the best way to produce oil. It’s gentler and more authentic. It’s the way olives want to make oil.”

Instead of a hammer mill and centrifuge, Curry had two large, stainless-steel mills fabricated to crush the whole olives. (Traditionally, the mills are made of stone, but Curry was concerned about rancidity caused by the porous stones trapping the oil.)

The olives are poured into a large steel container, and the mills rhythmically circle around and, with a sound like rain on a tin roof, crush the olives into a tapenade-like mixture. This pulp is sent through another machine that presses it out to workers who push it onto steel-mesh mats that are then stacked onto a press. Gravity works the oil out of the mash like teardrops – what Curry calls “tears of gold.” The mixture still contains water, so it’s drained into separators and then stored.

Extra-virgin and virgin oils are extracted in the first press. The difference between the two is based on acidity. Extra-virgin has a free acidity of no more than 0.8 grams per 100 grams and has no flavor defects. Virgin olive oil is higher in acidity, with no more than 2 grams per 100, and may have some minor defects.

Second and third pressings, using heat or chemicals to extract more oil from the paste, produce pure, light and pomace oils. These refined oils are fit for consumption but won’t have the flavors of extra-virgin or even virgin oils.


Excerpt below from:

Olive Oil Gushes With Flavor Possibilities

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At Temecula Olive Oil Company, an artisanal producer in Temecula, Calif., the process is a little different — more reminiscent of old-fashioned stone-mill pressing in Italy.

“We’re doing an updated version of the classic olive-oil press,7rdquo; says owner Thom Curry. "I think it’s the best way to produce oil. It’s gentler and more authentic. It’s the way olives want to make oil."

Instead of a hammer mill and centrifuge, Curry had two large, stainless-steel mills fabricated to crush the whole olives. (Traditionally, the mills are made of stone, but Curry was concerned about rancidity caused by the porous stones trapping the oil.)

The olives are poured into a large steel container, and the mills rhythmically circle around and, with a sound like rain on a tin roof, crush the olives into a tapenade-like mixture. This pulp is sent through another machine that presses it out to workers who push it onto steel-mesh mats that are then stacked onto a press. Gravity works the oil out of the mash like teardrops — what Curry calls "tears of gold." The mixture still contains water, so it’s drained into separators and then stored.

Extra-virgin and virgin oils are extracted in the first press. The difference between the two is based on acidity. Extra-virgin has a free acidity of no more than 0.8 grams per 100 grams and has no flavor defects.


Excerpt below from:

California Olive Oil

Well-grown olives and an old-style olive press yield the most flavorful oil.

October 1, 2008
by Lizbeth Scordo
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Last year the company unveiled its very own stainless steel olive press, designed by Curry. Modeled after the old-fashioned presses he saw in Europe, the contraption squeezes oil from the olives similar to the way you’d get juice from an orange. Without the help of heat, chemicals or additives, it takes a whole lot of olives to make a small batch of oil, which is why artisan olive oils are often so expensive. But, insists Curry, the end result is well worth the cost. “People go home and use it and come back for more,” he says. “They’re addicted at that point.”


Excerpt below from:

Olio Nuovo has Arrived!

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Although the food was delicious, what interested the participants the most took place in a small steel building that housed the olive-oil- making equipment where Thom was turning olives into oil. Thom spent most of the day demonstrating his olive press; this is a press in the true sense of the word because it squeezes the oil from the olive paste. When I first learned that he made oil by what many consider to be an outdated method, I was wary. For centuries olives were crushed with granite stones, then the olive-oil makers smeared the resulting paste onto fabric mats, stacked them, and exerted pressure to separate the oil from the solids. This traditional process exposed the paste to oxygen, considered detrimental by many of today’s producers, and worse, the mats were almost impossible to clean properly, leaving a residue that could contaminate later batches.

But Thom sees an advantage to this method: some oxygen exposure is needed for enzymes in the olives to do their work of producing flavor characteristics. Why not make the mats out of a material that could be properly cleaned? He had custom-made mats fashioned from woven stainless steel. And while he was at it, he decided to replace granite stones with rollers made from stainless steel for the first step in the production.

The stainless steel wheels slowly churned the Tuscan-variety olives, picked late the previous day, into a paste. The paste was transferred into an enclosed drum and distributed onto the mats, which were stacked and squeezed to separate the oil from the fruit pulp.