Analysis of Olives and Olive Oil

Production Process Control with FT-NIR-Spectroscopy

Optimize the extraction yield with FT-NIR spectroscopy

Optimize the extraction yield with FT-NIR spectroscopy

Looking at the complete process of olive oil production, many parameters have to be taken into account to optimize the oil yield.

An optimal crushing of the olives is essential to break the plant tissues and release the oil from the mesocarp cells. In the following step, the olive paste is treated in the mixer (malaxer) to form larger droplets of oil. Here the correct kneading time and temperature is essential, as well as selecting the right auxiliary materials like talc or enzymes. For the extraction of the oil, choosing the correct speed, paste/water ratio and load capacity of the centrifugal decanter will also improve the yield.

To determine the maximum oil extraction yield and optimized operation of the olive production systems, a simultaneous variation of the parameters must be examined. FT-NIR is a simple and fast analysis with no sample preparation which enables the operator to test the olive pomace (alperujo) for residual oil content, which should be typically around 3% or lower.

This way FT-NIR helps to find problems along the production chain and to quickly react on varying process conditions. By keeping the oil content of the press residues to a low level, the production site can run more cost-effectively.

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