Minus 4 Guarantee - Harvesting and First "Cold" Pressing

Minus 4 Guarantee - Harvesting and First "Cold" Pressing

Harvesting

To make olive oil, the olive fruit are either handpicked or mechanically harvested. The degree of olive fruit ripeness at picking determines to a large extent the character or style of the olive oil that is produced.  Oils made from greener early harvest olives typically display stronger grassy and bitter flavour characteristics. On the other hand, olive fruit harvested later in the season will generally produce higher volumes of softer, sweeter oil with less bitterness.

Many olives are harvested at an intermediate level of ripeness. Many producers think that by doing so, the resulting oil will display complex aromas and flavours in the spectrum of green apple and green bananas, and will have balanced levels of bitterness and pungency.

Cockatoo Grove guarantee that all organic olives harvested are “first” cold-pressed within 4 hours.  This is our “Minus 4″ Guarantee and ensures absolute freshness and vitality of flavour.

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Processing

In the past, all olive oil was produced by crushing the fruit into a paste and then spreading this past onto mats or felts, which were stacked into a press. The oil was squeezed from the pulp, much like squeezing water from a sponge and this subsequent oil was called the ‘First Pressing’. In many cases, the pulp from the first pressing was recovered and pressed a second or third time. The oil recovered from these subsequent pressings was of lower quality.

A major problem with this form of processing, which is still used in some countries is maintaining the cleanliness of the mats. The mats, which act like a sponge, retain oil that can become rancid or even ‘ferment’. Olives that are subsequently processed are very likely to become contaminated with the defect character retained by the mats.

With modern processing techniques, the fruit is crushed and the oil is separated in a continuous manner without the use of mats or felts. In this way, almost all of the recoverable oil is removed in a single operation (first pressing) under controlled temperature conditions to ensure true ‘cold extraction or pressing’ of the oil. Cockatoo Grove olive oil is processed in this manner to ensure that it maintains its delightful natural olive fruit aromas, flavour and other healthful properties.

Further oil recovery from the discarded pulp can be achieved by using methods such as distillation or solvent extraction. Cockatoo Grove does not produce oil from ‘second pressing’ or by employing artificial recovery techniques such as these.

‘First Cold Pressed’ olive oils are the highest grade of premium olive oils. They are produced from olive fruit of the highest quality and the oil is extracted with meticulous care. More importantly the extraction is gentle in that only the best ‘free run’ oil is obtained. These olive oils are noted for their fresh ‘olivy’ aromas and flavours and such are typically more expensive than other types of oils. Cockatoo Grove Extra Virgin Olive Oil is a ‘first cold pressed’ olive oil.