`Eleotechnia Exhibition Showcases Innovation - Olive Oil Times

Eleotechnia Exhibition Showcases Innovation

Mar. 11, 2014
Marissa Tejada

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The 6th Annual Eleotechnia Mediterranean Exhibition of Olive Oil opened with a record num­ber of par­tic­i­pants. The four-day event began on March 7th at the Ellinko Airport in Athens fea­tur­ing 230 busi­nesses involved in the export, pro­duc­tion and mar­ket­ing of Greek olive oil. Eleotechnia fea­tured sev­eral speak­ers and sem­i­nars and it’s con­sid­ered the largest exhi­bi­tion of its kind in Greece.

The main goal for many pro­duc­ers here is to learn how to export qual­ity extra vir­gin olive oil abroad or to broaden their mar­kets,” said George Kouvelis, man­ag­ing direc­tor of Eleotechnia. We’re also see­ing Greek com­pa­nies that are inno­vat­ing dur­ing the cri­sis with new prod­ucts and tech­nol­ogy which is great for pro­duc­ers who are inter­ested in improv­ing their over­all olive oil pro­duc­ing process.”

New to the World

One olive oil’s unique, sleek, earth-col­ored glass bot­tles attracted a con­stant stream of atten­tion from exhi­bi­tion par­tic­i­pants. It was the first exhi­bi­tion for Monakrivo, an extra-vir­gin olive oil com­pany hail­ing from the Peloponnese region of the country.

Our name in Greek means unique, pre­cious and beloved. Eleotexnia is an oppor­tu­nity for us to show off those char­ac­ter­is­tics. There is a mar­ket for supe­rior prod­ucts like ours,” said Zoë Panagiotopoulou who helped start the fam­ily busi­ness a few months ago. Plus, our olive oils are entrenched in ancient history.”

The company’s olive groves sit along a 54 kilo­me­ter walk­ing path that ath­letes trav­eled to reach the ancient Olympic Games. Panagiotopoulou explains the grove is filled with 16,000 olive trees pro­duc­ing Koroneiki vari­ety olives.

It’s not a prod­uct we plan to sell here in Greece. We aim for for­eign mar­kets. We’d love to export to places like the UK and Germany and, one day, America. This is just the begin­ning. We are new to the indus­try but we believe we have excel­lent production.”

Engineering in Greece

When it comes to pro­duc­tion, Giorgios Hatzigiannis has 15 years of expe­ri­ence man­u­fac­tur­ing indus­try equipment.

We pro­duce fill­ing machines with absolute accu­racy. Not one drop off when it comes to fill­ing 50 mil­li­liters to up to 20 kilo­grams of olive oil,” said Hatzigiannis as he demon­strated his company’s lat­est prod­uct on the mar­ket, the M31 fill­ing machine.

The fill­ing machine is one of many semi­au­to­matic and auto­matic machines engi­neered and made in Greece that Hatzigiannis mar­kets in Greece and abroad.

We love what we do and we put our­selves in the client’s shoes. We adjust and improve our prod­ucts to pro­vide the best ser­vice. Besides that we make sure clients under­stand the whole process of olive oil mak­ing as we also began export­ing olive oil as well.”

Technology and Tradition

If the lit­tle saucer of black olive paste didn’t sit on top of the Olivas Gold 2 machine it would look like an over­sized printer. It’s actu­ally the first olive analy­sis com­puter of its kind intro­duced to the Greek mar­ket. The com­pany behind its cre­ation, Biodynamiki, began their attempt to sell it to Greek olive mills, pro­duc­ers and orga­ni­za­tions almost a decade ago. However, Helen Papaioannou, a mar­ket­ing man­ager at the com­pany says Greeks began to take notice of what it can achieve just recently.

Using this tech­nol­ogy is a new con­cept here. Producers and mills are tra­di­tion­al­ists and are reluc­tant. It helps if some­one they know or some­one in town has imple­mented the tech­nol­ogy — then will they take a closer look,” explained Papaioannou. Through word of mouth peo­ple have learned about the computer’s amaz­ing accu­racy. It has proven to save a lot of time and money in the industry.”

The Olivas Gold 2, the lat­est ver­sion of the machine, ana­lyzes an olive fruit sam­ple. Immediately, it can inform pro­duc­ers and olive mills about the exact amount of oil that can be pro­duced from each olive, even from the seed itself. As a result, the pro­ducer can deter­mine if their olives are at their best and ripe for pick­ing, and whether they should wait to har­vest or not. Armed with such infor­ma­tion, olive mills can set their milling processes to the exact set­tings best for extrac­tion, set­tings that are depen­dent on the char­ac­ter­is­tics of each harvest.

Papaioannou said because the device can cal­cu­late how much olive oil can even­tu­ally be extracted from an entire har­vest, the days of deliv­er­ing olives, extract­ing them and then weigh­ing them to deter­mine pay­ment – are over.

Everything can be cal­cu­lated beforehand.”

The machine costs around 30,000 euro ($42,000 USD). It’s an invest­ment that Papaioannou says is worth it.

From a small sam­ple of an olive fruit, olive oil mak­ers can max­i­mize their pro­duc­tiv­ity while adding to the olive oil’s qual­ity. It’s a tech­no­log­i­cal tool that’s finally mak­ing its way in the olive oil indus­try in Greece.”


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