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The Extra-Virgin Olive Oil Handbook

Claudio Peri (Editor)
ISBN: 978-1-118-46045-0
380 pages
April 2014, Wiley-Blackwell
The Extra-Virgin Olive Oil Handbook (1118460456) cover image


According to European legislation, extra virgin is the top grade of olive oils. It has a superior level of health properties and flavour compared to virgin and refined olive oils. Mediterranean countries still produce more than 85% of olive oil globally, but the constant increase of demand for extra virgin olive oil has led to new cultivation and production in other areas of the world, including California, Australia, China, South Africa and South America. At the same time, olive oil’s sensory properties and health benefits are increasingly attracting the attention and interest of nutritionists, food processors, manufacturers and food services. Progress and innovation in olive cultivation, harvesting and milling technologies as well as in oil handling, storage and selling conditions make it possible to achieve even higher quality levels than those stipulated for extra virgin oils. As a consequence, a new segment – excellent extra virgin olive oils – is increasingly attracting the attention of the market and earning consumers’ preference.

The Extra-Virgin Olive Oil Handbook provides a complete account of olive oil’s composition, health properties, quality, and the legal standards surrounding its production. The book is divided into convenient sections focusing on extra virgin olive oil as a product, the process by which it is made, and the process control system through which its quality is assured. An appendix presents a series of tables and graphs with useful data, including conversion factors, and the chemical and physical characteristics of olive oil.

This book is aimed at people involved in the industrial production as well as in the marketing and use of extra virgin olive oil who are looking for practical information, which avoids overly academic language, but which is still scientifically and technically sound. The main purpose of the handbook is to guide operators involved in the extra virgin olive oil chain in making the most appropriate decisions about product quality and operating conditions in the production and distribution processes. To these groups, the most important questions are practical ones of why, how, how often, how much will it cost, and so on. The Extra-Virgin Olive Oil Handbook will provide the right answers to these key practical considerations, in a simple, clear yet precise and up-to-date way.

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Table of Contents

List of Contributors xi

Acknowledgements xiii

Introduction 1

Part I The product 3

1 The extra-virgin olive oil chain 5
Claudio Peri

1.1 The legal classification and denomination of olive oils 5

1.2 The subject of this handbook 7

1.3 The extra-virgin olive oil chain 7

1.4 Yield and quality 8

2 Virgin olive oil: definition and standards 11
Manuela Mariotti

2.1 The legal definition of virgin olive oil 11

2.2 Quality standards of virgin olive oil 12

2.3 Authenticity standards of virgin olive oil 19

Reference 19

3 The composition and nutritional properties of extra-virgin olive oil 21
Manuela Mariotti and Claudio Peri

3.1 Triglycerides and fatty acids 21

3.2 The nutritional role of olive oil triglycerides and fatty acids 26

3.3 Minor components and antioxidants in extra-virgin olive oil 28

3.4 The colour and odour components of extra-virgin olive oil 31

3.5 Conclusion 32

4 The sensory quality of extra-virgin olive oil 35
Mario Bertuccioli and Erminio Monteleone

4.1 Introduction 35

4.2 The official evaluation of defects and positive sensory attributes 36

4.3 The sensory profile 41

4.4 Sensory performance of extra-virgin olive oil-food pairing 49

5 Olive tree cultivars 59
Luana Ilarioni and Primo Proietti

5.1 Introduction 59

5.2 Cultivars 59

5.3 The cultivar’s relationship to productivity 60

5.4 The cultivar’s relationship to oil quality 64

5.5 Common-sense recommendations 65

6 The role of oxygen and water in the extra-virgin olive oil process 69
Bruno Zanoni

6.1 The conflicting roles of oxygen 69

6.2 The role of water in the transformation of phenolic compounds 71

References 74

Further reading 74

7 Extra-virgin olive oil contaminants 75
Cristina Alamprese

7.1 Introduction 75

7.2 Contaminants of virgin olive oil 78

Part II The process 87

8 Olive harvesting 89
Luigi Nasini and Primo Proietti

8.1 Introduction 89

8.2 Olive ripening 90

8.3 Harvesting systems 91

9 Olive handling, storage and transportation 107
Primo Proietti

9.1 The autocatalytic nature of olives and oil degradation 107

9.2 Avoid mechanical damage to the olives 107

9.3 Control the time-temperature relationship 109

9.4 Management of the harvesting-milling link 112

10 Olive cleaning 113
Claudio Peri

10.1 Introduction 113

10.2 The separation section 113

10.3 The washing section 114

10.4 Control points 115

11 Olive milling and pitting 117
Alessandro Leone

11.1 Introduction 117

11.2 Milling machines 119

11.3 Pitting machines 124

12 Olive paste malaxation 127
Antonia Tamborrino

12.1 Basic phenomena in malaxation 127

12.2 Malaxers 132

13 Centrifugal separation 139
Lamberto Baccioni and Claudio Peri

13.1 Introduction 139

13.2 The three-phase process 140

13.3 The two-phase process 142

13.4 Decanters 142

13.5 Disc centrifuges 148

13.6 Final comments and remarks 151

14 Filtration of extra-virgin olive oil 155
Claudio Peri

14.1 Introduction 155

14.2 Filtration principles 156

14.3 The filter media 159

14.4 Filtration equipment 159

14.5 Filtration systems 160

14.6 Conclusion 164

15 Extra-virgin olive oil storage and handling 165
Claudio Peri

15.1 Introduction 165

15.2 Prevention of temperature abuse 166

15.3 Prevention of exposure to air (oxygen) 168

15.4 Prevention of exposure to light 170

15.5 Prevention of water and organic residues in the oil 171

15.6 Prevention of exposure to contaminated atmosphere and poor hygienic standards 171

15.7 Prevention of mechanical stress 171

16 Extra-virgin olive oil packaging 179
Sara Limbo, Claudio Peri and Luciano Piergiovanni

16.1 Introduction 179

16.2 The packaging process 181

16.3 The packaging materials 185

16.4 The packaging operation 189

17 The olive oil refining process 201
Claudio Peri

17.1 Introduction 201

17.2 The process of extraction of crude pomace oil 202

17.3 The refining process 205

17.4 The physical refining process 208

17.5 The quality and uses of refined olive oil 208

Part III The process control system 211

18 Process management system (PMS) 213
Claudio Peri

18.1 Introduction 213

18.2 The structure of a PMS 214

18.3 Control of critical points 220

18.4 Risk analysis: a blanket rule for management decisions 224

19 Extra-virgin olive oil traceability 245
Bruno Zanoni

19.1 Introduction 245

19.2 Four basic steps 246

19.3 Comments and conclusion 249

20 Product and process certification 251
Ardian Marjani

20.1 Aims and approaches 251

20.2 Product and process certification 253

20.3 The selection of a certification system 257

20.4 The certification procedure 260

21 The hygiene of the olive oil factory 263
Cristina Alamprese and Bruno Zanoni

21.1 Introduction 263

21.2 Hygiene of the external environment and buildings 264

21.3 Hygiene of the plant 268

21.4 Hygiene of the personnel 269

21.5 Hygiene management system (HMS) and HACCP 270

22 Olive mill waste and by-products 283
Claudio Peri and Primo Proietti

22.1 Introduction 283

22.2 Composition, treatment and uses of olive mill wastewater 285

22.3 Composition, treatment and uses of olive mill pomace 291

23 The production cost of extra-virgin olive oil 303
Enrico Bertolotti

23.1 Introduction 303

23.2 Concepts, terms and definitions 305

23.3 Hypotheses for the cost analysis 306

23.4 Cost calculation 308

23.5 Total cost 317

24 The culinary uses of extra-virgin olive oil 321
Alan Tardi

24.1 A brief history of the olive 321

24.2 Old versus new: expanded culinary possibilities offered by excellent extra-virgin olive oil 324

24.3 Excellent extra-virgin olive oil as a condiment, at the table and in the kitchen 330

24.4 Putting excellent extra-virgin olive oils to work 332

24.5 Education and communication: revolutionizing the perception of olive oil one drop at a time 335

25 An introduction to life-cycle assessment (LCA) 339
Stefano Rossi

25.1 Introduction 339

25.2 Methodological approach 340

25.3 Limits and advantages of the carbon footprint 342

25.4 Environmental communication strategies 343

25.5 The food sector 344

References 347

Appendix 349

Index 361

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Author Information

Claudio Peri is professor emeritus in Food Science and Technology at the University of Milan, Italy, and President of the Centre for Quality Studies of the Academy of Georgofili, Florence, Italy.

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