Production

Pulsed Electric Technology Increases Yield and Quality, Study Finds

A study from the University of Perugia confirms that pulsed electric field technology increases both the quality and yield for three different olive cultivars.

Oct. 28, 2019
By Matthew Loffhagen

Recent News

Olive oil yield and qual­ity can be sig­nif­i­cantly improved through the use of pulsed elec­tric field (PEF) tech­nol­ogy, a new study has found.

The study, which was con­ducted by researchers at the Uni­ver­sity of Peru­gia in Italy, found that pass­ing an elec­tri­cal cur­rent through olive paste saw between a 2.3‑percent and six-per­cent increase in olive oil yield. The use of PEF tech­nol­ogy also sig­nif­i­cantly increased the qual­ity of the oil that was pro­duced from this extrac­tion method.

The Olive­CEPT as a fin­ished prod­uct ensures an extrac­tion increase by at least five per­cent and increases the qual­ity by increased polyphe­nols, richer taste, bet­ter color and higher oxida­tive resis­tance.- Johan Möller­ström, CEO of Arc Aroma

The study involved test­ing three dif­fer­ent olive cul­ti­vars – Car­olea, Coratina, and Otto­brat­ica – in order to test their rel­a­tive yields when oil was extracted using PEF. All three cul­ti­vars pro­duced both higher qual­ity and quan­tity of oil as a result of this extrac­tion method.

This break­through in oil extrac­tion comes cour­tesy of Arc Aroma’s Olive­CEPT machine. Using an elec­tric pulse to break down the cell walls within olives, it is pos­si­ble to drain more oil from within the flesh of the fruit.

See more: Olive Oil Research News

In addi­tion to this increase in oil yield, Olive­CEPT also has a for­tu­itous side effect: the oil pro­duced from PEF tech­nol­ogy is of a higher qual­ity than oil pro­duced from tra­di­tional meth­ods. The oil is purer and has a longer shelf life.

Advertisement

Accord­ing to Arc Aroma CEO Johan Möller­ström, there had ini­tially been con­cerns that PEF extrac­tion might lead to greater oxi­da­tion of the oil as it was being extracted, thereby reduc­ing the time before the oil would start to decay.

In fact, the oppo­site was observed with CEPT treated oil hav­ing a higher resis­tance to oxi­da­tion and thus was proved to have longer shelf life than untreated due to the increased con­cen­tra­tion of antiox­i­dants in the oil,” Möller­ström said.

Research into PEF has been under­way for sev­eral years at this point. Due to the time involved in the process of con­duct­ing, writ­ing, and pub­lish­ing aca­d­e­mic lit­er­a­ture, the results in the recently pub­lished study from the Uni­ver­sity of Peru­gia was con­ducted using an early pro­to­type of the Olive­CEPT machine.

Accord­ing to Möller­ström, the pri­mary ben­e­fit of the research that went into the study was that it allowed Arc Aroma to accu­rately mea­sure the impact of PEF on the three tested olive cul­ti­vars. It was impor­tant to deter­mine whether PEF would be use­ful for a sin­gle type of olives, or whether it would pro­vide sim­i­lar results for a vari­ety of dif­fer­ent com­mer­cially used cul­ti­vars.

Since all three types of olives pro­duced a bet­ter yield when sub­jected to a pulsed elec­tri­cal field, it became clear that the tech­nol­ogy could be put to use on dif­fer­ent cul­ti­vars of olives.

In the time since the Uni­ver­sity of Perugia’s study was con­ducted, the Olive­CEPT tech­nol­ogy has been refined into a final­ized com­mer­cial prod­uct, which Möller­ström said offers even bet­ter results than have been reported in the study.

The Olive­CEPT as a fin­ished prod­uct ensures an extrac­tion increase by at least five per­cent and increases the qual­ity by increased polyphe­nols, richer taste, bet­ter color and higher oxida­tive resis­tance,” he said.

As it has been proven that PEF can be applied to many dif­fer­ent kinds of olives, Arc Aroma is also under­tak­ing research into addi­tional uses for the tech­nol­ogy. The com­pany has also devel­oped a sim­i­lar machine, Juice­CEPT, which applies the same PEF tech­nol­ogy to the extrac­tion of fruit juices.

Accord­ing to Arc Aroma, Juice­CEPT sim­i­larly pro­vides a higher qual­ity and quan­tity of fruit juice, and Möller­ström said it will be inter­est­ing to see what other food pro­duc­tion fields might ben­e­fit from the appli­ca­tion of PEF.





Related News