In our latest look at some of the international patents sought for olive oil and olive-related products, olive oil makes donkey milk more suitable for human babies and the many uses of the volcanic mineral Zeolite.

Also among recent applications at the World Intellectual Property Organization are a new machine for making olive oil at home or in a restaurant, and a process for the easier mass production of stuffed olives.

Suntory product featuring olive extract   

Japanese drinks giant Suntory Holdings Limited claims to have developed an olive extract product that packs a powerful and persistent in-vivo antioxidant punch.

Its patent application explains that a chemical composition known as des(rhamnosyl) acteoside is added to the olive extract to produce the effect.

“Provided are food and drink, a non-medicinal product, and a medicine in which high antioxidant effect is exhibited over a long period of time in vivo,” it says.

Machine for making olive oil at home or in a restaurant  

From Spain comes a machine that allows olive oil to be made from olive paste. Oriented to use in homes or restaurants, it is designed to allow the oil to be made quickly and easily.

Unlike earlier such inventions, this machine is simple to operate and requires no specialist knowledge to operate it nor intervention during the extraction process, the patent application claims.

The machine’s compact housing is designed to rotate to provide for both the churning and centrifuging of the paste. It is also suitable for making oil from the paste from peanuts, hazelnuts and other such products, as well as from olive paste that has been frozen, and for mixing in other components to give oil a distinct flavor.

Olive oil helps make donkey milk even better for babies  
Donkey milk has been found a useful alternative for children affected by cow milk allergy and other food intolerances. But its low fat content – it provides less energy than human milk – complicates its use in baby formulas and other infant nutrition.

Thus, from Greece comes an application covering several kinds of powdered donkey milk, one of which is fortified with extra virgin olive oil to deliver more calories.

To ensure the encapsulation and stability of the olive oil in the donkey milk solids, the mixture is homogenized and emulsified before freeze drying.

The versatile volcanic mineral Zeolite   

The volcanic mineral and antioxidant zeolite is already known to have use in removing phenols from blackwater waste from olive oil production. But this patent application from Turkey describes a fine, powder sized form of natural zeolite which has a larger surface area and higher adsorption capability.

After treatment with it, the solid waste left after filtering can be used as a nutritional supplement for animals and the water used for farm irrigation.

The zeolite is also said to remove bad odors generated during olive oil production more effectively than existing products and methods, to be ideal as a constituent of soap made from olive oil byproducts and copper, and to be useful in removal of heavy metal traces.

Easier mass production of stuffed olives  

From Turkey comes a way to stuff olives – such as with pimiento or other foods such as green pepper, carrot, lemon and celery – that is said to overcome the inefficiency of hand-stuffing as well as drawbacks with alternative, automated methods.

According to the patent application, manual methods are still used whereby workers use eyeball estimation and hand skill to insert pimiento into pitted olives. But issues with this include that the workers can only do a small amount of pimiento placement per day, compliance with hygiene rules “cannot be controlled”, and the pimiento can come out over time, “creating a bad appearance.”

One of the purposes of this invention is said to be to instead provide for a low-cost, mass production, automated operation. Compared to some existing alternatives, it has fewer parts and is thus practical and simple, has a low manufacturing cost, and the pimiento (or other food) stays inside the olives for much longer, it is claimed.

Planting method apt for mechanical harvesting   

The French group Pellenc – already behind the filing of more than 500 patents in the agriculture field – is seeking a patent for its method of planting olive trees to provide for the rapid and continuous mechanical harvesting of the olives of all varieties.

Said to be particularly apt for plantations covered by Denominations of Origin, the method covers details such as the spacing of olive tree saplings in parallel rows, trellising on each row, placement of tree supports, and how the shape of the foliage should be adapted and periodically pruned.

The resulting plantations are said to be ideally suited to harvesting by machines originally designed for grapes and that provide direct collection of the olives, thus avoiding the need to let them first fall to the ground.

Pellenc says the method promotes high yields and the shorter harvest is a boon for quality.

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