The transformation of the olives to olive oil, comes from the crushing, pressing and the extracting of the olives. In Southern Greece, where the best extra virgin olive oil comes, there are many small mills where the olives are pressed within hours from harvesting.
After the picking, the olives are transferred to the mill, where they are getting deleafed, washed and dried. Then using traditional humongous stone wheels, the olives are getting crushed, without being pitted. They become like paste.
The paste is spread on nylon mats. The mats are placed in metal disks and get stacked in batches of 25 to 30 in a hydraulic press. Then are pressed until water and olive liquid gets drained through the pores of the mats into the bottom of the press.
At last the liquid mixture goes to a separator, where the oil is drained out into tanks and gets stored until bottling time comes. And then off to the consumer.
The leftover mass and water goes to a refinery, where extraction continues. The last results are used for feeding the cattle and other industrial uses.
The quality of olive oil, depends on the levels of acidity. Levels of acidity and labels are controlled by the International Olive Oil Council’s regulations.