Frantoio Oleario Fontanalaura - Montecompatri
Our olive oil mill is a family-run business from more than 80 years.
From generation to generation the experience has been accumulated to date, using the newest technologies to extract extra-virgin olive oil respecting the traditions.
The traditional method is used: granite millstones and cold pressing are the best choice to guarantee the quality of the final product.
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Processing stages
Weighting
The olives are carried in crates or bins and are weighted once bestowed on the oil mill.
Washing
Olives washing is done immersing them into a hydropneumatic washing machine that guarantees total removal of soil as well as leaves and any other foreign body. To obtain a high-quality olive oil is very important to enasure costantly clean water in the washing tank. At the end of the washing stage the olives are dried by simply dripping the washing water.
Leaves removing
This stage allows to remove leaves, branches, soil and stones that would impair the high-quality of the olive oil (for instance leaves make the olive oil very bitter). A bel elevator carry the olives to the leaves remover that uses a strong airstream to remove all the foreign bodies.
Crushing

Olives crushing is the first full-blown extraction step. Traditionally a stone grinder is used to mill olives: machanical action is made causing rotate two (or more) big grind stones. The purpose of crushing is to tear the flesh cells to facilitate the release of the oil from the vacuoles.

Kneading

Malaxing (mixing) the paste for 20 to 45 minutes allows small oil droplets to combine into bigger ones. It is an indispensible step. The paste can be heated or water added during this process to increase the yield, although this generally results in lowering the quality of the oil. The most common mixer is a horizontal trough with spiral mixing blades. Longer mixing times increase oil yield but allows a longer oxidation period that decreases shelf life.

Pressing

After malaxing, the olive paste is spread on fiber disks, which are stacked on top of each other, then placed into the press. Traditionally the disks were made of hemp or coconut fiber, but in modern times they’re made of synthetic fibers which are easier to clean and maintain.These disks are then put on a hydraulic piston, forming a pile. Pressure is applied on the disks, thus compacting the solid phase of the olive paste and percolating the liquid phases (oil and vegetation water). The applied hydraulic pressure can go to 400 atm.To facilitate separation of the liquid phases, water is run down the sides of the disks to increase the speed of percolation.

Centrifugal separation
Vertical centrifugation is the system used to separate the olive oil from the water. This process is applied to the liquid oil extracted during the pressing stage and it is based on the different specific gravity values of olive oil and water.