It is inside of the olive that the oil forms spontaneously; there is no need therefore to think that sophisticated systems to extract it are necessary. Chemically, the juice gained from the pressing, is formed by two fundamental members: the saponificabile part (approximately 98%) and the unsaponificabile part (approximately 2%). The valuable condiment conserves, inside of the olive, in very small sacks protected by a thin membrane of anti-oxidants, substances that prevent the decay of the chlorophyll, the aromas, vitamins, mineral salts, tannins and the many other components that help our health (the unsaponificabile part).
The saponificabile part is the “fat”, composed by glycerides, monounsaturated, polyunsaturated and saturated acids. In this part of the olive, the most important substances are the unsaturated fat acids that have the benefit of not raising cholesterol
The unsaponificabile part (sterols, vitamins, pigments, polyphenols, hydrocarbons, etc.) even if present in minimal amounts, is what fundamentally influences on nutritional and organoleptic quality and the goods classification. In order to maintain high this part which is important to the aim to obtaining greater quality, one must adopt detailed and rigorous awareness during the collection, the processing of the olives and in the conservation of the oil.
At the end of its cycle of maturation, an olive is constituted usually by:
- water for approximately 45 - 50% (varied according to the climatic course)
- oil for the 18 - 25% (varied according to the Variety, and place of cultivation)
- other (carbohydrates, cellulose, ashes…) for 20 - 29%