`Ravetti Returns to Lead World-Class Milling Course at UC Davis - Olive Oil Times

Ravetti Returns to Lead World-Class Milling Course at UC Davis

Jul. 16, 2015
Wendy Logan

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The pre­miere olive oil milling course in the U.S. is set for October 1 – 4 at the Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science’s U.C. Davis Center. Under the direc­tion of the Center’s exec­u­tive direc­tor, Dan Flynn, the UC Master Milling Certificate Course, now in its sev­enth year, con­tin­ues to ele­vate its world-class cur­ricu­lum. The course pro­vides a detailed guide to cur­rent or future olive oil proces­sors on how to max­i­mize qual­ity and prof­itabil­ity,” Flynn Said. It’s the only course of its kind in North America.”

This year’s pro­gram, with its home base set at the Silverado Vineyard Sensory Theater, will be led by Leandro Ravetti, one of the world’s lead­ing experts in olive oil from har­vest to pro­cess­ing.

Register Online: UC Master Milling Certificate Course

An agri­cul­tural engi­neer hail­ing from Argentina, Ravetti worked for many years with the National Institute of Agricultural Technology in olive pro­duc­tion research, serv­ing as advi­sor to sev­eral of the country’s largest olive grow­ers and olive oil pro­duc­ers. In 2001, he made the cross-con­ti­nen­tal leap to Australia where he cur­rently leads a Modern Olives” tech­ni­cal team, con­sult­ing and pro­vid­ing guid­ance to that country’s major grow­ers and proces­sors, and help­ing to facil­i­tate the plant­ing of 3.5 mil­lion trees.

Since 2005, Ravetti has served as exec­u­tive direc­tor of Boundary Bend Ltd., Australia’s lead­ing, fully inte­grated olive com­pany, help­ing to spear­head the company’s rapid growth, high effi­ciency, and a col­lec­tion of oils that con­tinue to gar­ner top awards at inter­na­tional com­pe­ti­tions and tast­ings. Under Ravetti’s lead­er­ship, through his focus on inno­va­tion, data, and analy­sis, the com­pany con­tin­ues to max­i­mize pro­duc­tion effi­ciency with­out sac­ri­fic­ing qual­ity.

Leandro Ravetti (Photo NYIOOC)

Leandro is a rock star in the field,” said an enthu­si­as­tic Flynn. He is sim­ply one of the world’s best teach­ers about olive oil.”

Flynn said the 2015 course for­mat will remain sim­i­lar to its estab­lished stan­dard. Olive2Bottle, a mobile milling ser­vice, will be on hand to process olive oil directly on site. An off-site com­po­nent will include vis­its (includ­ing one to the new California-based oper­a­tion of Boundary Bend), to five local olive oil pro­cess­ing facil­i­ties — two more than the pre­vi­ous year — giv­ing the approx­i­mately 50 par­tic­i­pants a chance to see best prac­tices first-hand.


The field trip has become a valu­able com­po­nent of the course, Flynn noted, with the class get­ting quizzed about what they have learned in the pre­sen­ta­tions. Being able to visit the pro­cess­ing plants, from the very small­est millers to much larger facil­i­ties, is inte­gral to the program’s mis­sion.

At Yolo Press, a cer­ti­fied organic oper­a­tion that pro­duces sin­gle cul­ti­var oils, miller Mike Madison uses a low-speed roller mill to gen­tly crush the olives and pits, min­i­miz­ing heat and emul­si­fi­ca­tion. And at Olica, founded by Russian native Olga Orlova, the sys­tem is designed to allow for cus­tom-milled batches as small as 200 lbs.

Jim Etters at Séka Hills

The world’s only Native-American pro­ducer of olive oil is Seka Hills, whose award-win­ning extra vir­gin Arbequina is processed using Alfa Laval equip­ment. The cylin­dri­cal tanks pro­vide an oxy­gen-free envi­ron­ment for the malax­a­tion of the olives. By con­trast, Bondolio’s Pieralisi mill includes the only multi-phase decanter in the U.S., result­ing in a zero-waste pro­cess­ing sys­tem and a by-prod­uct known as paté,” thought to have the poten­tial to add some of the health­ful antiox­i­dants found in fine qual­ity olive oil to foods like bread and pasta.

The fresh and sea­sonal New American cui­sine of local Magpie Caterers will be on the menu for stu­dents at the Master Millers class, bring­ing a bounty of Northern California-grown-and-raised ingre­di­ents to the expe­ri­ence. Participants who sign up prior to August 1 will enjoy an early enroll­ment dis­count of 20 per­cent, a sub­stan­tive bonus for the wealth of knowl­edge expe­ri­enced and would-be millers will take home.

Karen Bond at Bondolio

Past atten­dees have made imme­di­ate improve­ments in the qual­ity and prof­itabil­ity of their oil pro­cess­ing oper­a­tion,” noted Flynn. This course is a small invest­ment that will pay off in more effi­ciency, bet­ter qual­ity, and higher prof­its.”

Learn more about the pro­gram and reg­is­ter for the UC Master Milling Certificate Course at the UC Davis Olive Center web­site.

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