When it comes to the production of authentic extra virgin olive oil, timing is everything. Since high-quality olive oil production requires fast processing from the moment the fruit leaves the tree, it’s a race to the mill.
It takes approximately 100 lbs. of olives to make just one gallon of oil. For fledging producer states like Texas, add the challenge of transporting the olives to the mill, and common, harvest-time temperatures that can reach north of 100 degrees Fahrenheit, and the requirements for this finicky, heat intolerant commodity can become insurmountable. The state currently has just six brick-and-mortar mills.
Enter Texas Mobile Mill and its tricked-out, 45-foot trailer. The mill-on-wheels can be brought directly to the groves, providing farmers and producers with an on-site solution to a very narrow timeline.
The mobile mill uses only compression and no heat, as prescribed by the guidelines for processing EVOO, and it can process two tons of olives at a rate of 65 pounds per minute, yielding approximately 40 to 50 gallons of oil. By turns, it sorts, rinses, and crushes the olives into a paste. Then, while maintaining a cool temperature, the mill uses a centrifuge to separate the oil from the paste, and the oil is deposited into a vertical decanter for final clarification and treatment. Here, all water is removed, resulting in an extra virgin product to be bottled and sealed.
Powered by a generator, the machine weighs nine tons and costs farmers $75 to $100 per hour for hauling, fuel, and labor. With parts designed and imported from Italy, the mobile mill was custom-made in California, home to the only larger machine of this kind in the country.