Thermal conditioning to increase quality parameters of EVOO

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Alfa Laval, a world leader in Olive Oil technology and Innovation for more than 80 years and a leader in separation and heat transfer, in collaboration with the staff of Professor Maurizio Servili at the University of Perugia (Italy), has carried out an investigation on the relationship between the temperature of olives coming into the oil mill and the consequent level of quality olive oil produced. Research clearly demonstrates that olives comes to the mill from early harvest brings olive paste temperature immediately after olive crushing higher than approximately 18°C-25°C (with cases of 28°C-35°C or more) with consequent negative effects on the final content of phenols and volatile compounds of extra virgin olive oil. In effect, the traditional malaxer in the olive mill does not make it possible to handle the paste temperature except for gradual heating up to a prefixed maximum value.

Practically, today, with an increased temperature of olives comes into the mill (due to an autumnal outdoor temperature during early harvest), with the heating of the olive paste from crusher and with the traditional malaxer for olive paste temperature control it is practically impossible to bring to the olive oil bottle all the potential quality that you can get with your olives.

Three years of research by Alfa Laval and Perugia University has developed exclusive new technology equipment named Thermal Conditioning Module and a complete new way to handle temperature during the olive oil extraction process (Patent pending n. EP15183569.1). The Thermal Conditioning Module consists in a highly efficient tubular heat exchanger installed in the line after the crusher (Figure 1), able to bring down the olive paste temperature immediately before sending it to malaxer for gradual heating and consequent release of oil. A secondary use of Thermal Conditioning Module should be dedicated to fast heating up of olive paste when necessary.

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