Machine Improves Yield in Trial Runs by Hitting Olive Paste With Electricity

A new machine to improve yield fits into the standard olive oil production line, demonstrating that technology has a role in the development of the sector.

By Daniel Dawson
Nov. 30, 2018 12:10 UTC

Latest News

The agri­cul­ture sec­tor is well on its way toward a third rev­o­lu­tion and tech­nol­ogy is the dri­ving force.

We have con­firmed the results and the yield of our olive oil increased by four to six per­cent. We also have a sig­nif­i­cant increase in polyphe­nols, between 100 and 150 ppm.- Emilio Conti, Frantoio Conti

Simon Blackmore, an engi­neer at Harper Adams University in the United Kingdom told the jour­nal Nature, that all types of dif­fer­ent tech­nolo­gies are increas­ing small farm­ers’ pro­duc­tion capac­i­ties and cut­ting costs.

We can make crop pro­duc­tion sig­nif­i­cantly more effi­cient and more sus­tain­able,” he said.

OliveCEPT, a machine that pro­vides an addi­tional step in the olive oil extrac­tion process, is among these new tech­nolo­gies that many in the sec­tor are hope­ful will lead to higher olive oil yields at lower costs for both small-scale and large-scale pro­duc­ers.

According to Johan Möllerström, the CEO of the Swedish com­pany that has designed and launched OliveCEPT, the new tech­nol­ogy that helps pro­duc­ers max­i­mize their yields by adding another step to the stan­dard olive oil pro­duc­tion line.

The tra­di­tional extrac­tion process will not get all the oil out of the olive paste,” Möllerström told Olive Oil Times. We are increas­ing the effi­ciency of the process.”

OliveCEPT is a machine looks like a large white rec­tan­gle stand­ing on one end, with Arc Aroma’s blue logo painted on the side and four swivel­ing wheels at the bot­tom. The tech­nol­ogy is cur­rently being tested by ten pro­duc­ers in Greece, Italy, Morocco and Spain.

We are very con­fi­dent that we are pro­vid­ing ben­e­fits to the client,” Möllerström said.

The machine, which he touts for its energy effi­ciency, runs day and night dur­ing the har­vest and is inserted between the malax­ing and extrac­tion steps. Olive paste from the malaxer enters one side of the OliveCEPT, which breaks down the cell walls of the olive flesh, releas­ing more oil that then flows into the extrac­tor.

We are doing that with the tech­nol­ogy of pulse elec­tri­cal fields,” Möllerström said. That means that we are cre­at­ing a volt­age and elec­tric field in the cham­ber. When we are doing that we attract par­ti­cles in a sed­i­ment grain and break down the cell walls, which max­i­mizes the oil yield.”

Möllerström claims that the tech­nol­ogy increases oil yields any­where from five to 15 per­cent and, so far, the results have borne his claim out.

Maurizio Servili, a pro­fes­sor in the Department of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences at the University of Puglia, has worked on the project with Möllerström from the begin­ning. He said that in tests run by the uni­ver­sity, OliveCEPT has increased yields by five per­cent.

The impact of the pulsed elec­tri­cal field tech­nol­ogy applied to the olive oil mechan­i­cal extrac­tion process showed a sig­nif­i­cant impact on extra vir­gin olive oil yield,” he said. The yield increase was deter­mined to at least five per­cent com­pared to the ref­er­ence extrac­tion where the pulsed elec­tri­cal field tech­nol­ogy has not been applied.”

Emilio Conti, the qual­ity man­ager at Frantoio Conti, praised the tech­nol­ogy in a YouTube video, high­light­ing both the increased quan­tity and qual­ity of his yield, in terms of fla­vor pro­file, polyphe­nol con­tent and aes­thet­ics.

We have con­firmed the results and the yield of our olive oil increased by four to six per­cent,” he said. A bet­ter qual­ity of our oil is extracted as it increases the color of the oil, so if we have a green, it is more intense green. If we have a yel­low it’s more intense yel­low.”

As for the fruiti­ness, it increases by about one point,” he added. We also have a sig­nif­i­cant increase in polyphe­nols, between 100 and 150 ppm.”


Möllerström said that increas­ing polyphe­nol counts was not exactly what OliveCEPT was meant to do, but is a wel­comed side effect of the process.

This is a pos­i­tive side effect of the treat­ment of get­ting more olive oil out of the process,” he said. We thought we would have that. You never know, but we are glad we had this type of side effect.”

While OliveCEPT is only now being used in a lim­ited man­ner across the four afore­men­tioned coun­tries, Arc Aroma has also been test­ing the prod­uct in the Southern Hemisphere, with trial runs tak­ing place in both Argentina and Chile.

After four years to tweak the prod­uct, Möllerström said that he was get­ting pos­i­tive feed­back and will con­tinue look­ing for clients, both large and small.

I think we are cre­at­ing great value for olive oil extrac­tion cus­tomers,” he said. It’s quite a low invest­ment and a short pay­back time for the tech­nol­ogy.”

Arc Aroma also uses sim­i­lar tech­nol­ogy in wine, beer and juice pro­duc­tion.


Related Articles