Increasing EVOO extraction, improving quality, efficiency and reducing costs with PEF (pulsed electric field) in olive oil extraction

Moulin Agricole de L’Olivette based in Manosque in Provence, France, has produced olive oil for close to a century. After installing an oliveCEPT® system, the cooperative not only managed to increase yield but improved in many other areas as well!

"We immediately recognized the benefits of utilizing the technology to 'enhance marketing'. We were able to extract from olives and enrich the olive oil with the aroma locked in the cells, thereby enhancing the organoleptic attributes of the olive oil. Most importantly, with oliveCEPT®, one can achieve both enhanced yields and improved quality"
Grégory Leme,
The Director of Moulin Agricole de L'Olivette

Exploring the Impact of oliveCEPT and PEF Technology: A Visit to The Moulin Agricole de L'Olivette

We are thrilled to share that OptiCept recently embarked on an insightful visit to The Moulin Agricole de L’Olivette in France. Our primary objective was to engage in an in-depth interview with the mill’s director, uncovering the remarkable impact of OptiCept technology in their production process and business.

About Moulin Agricole de L'Olivette

The Moulin Agricole de L’Olivette was established approximately a hundred years ago, in 1928. It was the first cooperative olive mill in the region to employ cold-pressed olive oil extraction using modern machinery. As early as 1932, the mill received its first recognition through a diploma, acknowledging its distinction in olive oil production. Being the top competitor and renowned as the best olive oil producer has always been the mill’s primary goal.

Enhancing Olive Oil Production with OptiCept Technology

OptiCept Technology was first introduced to The Moulin Agricole de L’Olivette about a year ago, offering both enhancements in productivity as well as quality, which immediately got recognized by the mill. According to the director of mill, Gregory Leme, the OptiCept technology made it possible to extract from olives and enrich the olive oil with the aroma locked in the cells, thereby enhancing the organoleptic attributes of the olive oil. Most importantly, with OptiCept, one can achieve both improved yields and enhanced quality, which should benefit the cooperative structure. 

The Moulin Agricole de L’Olivette had the opportunity to try the OptiCept technology before committing to a commercial deal to see if OptiCept’s proposal to increase olive oil yield would be successful. After achieving satisfactory results, the mill decided to continue with OptiCept, and they have been a customer of OptiCept Technology for one year now.

The installation of the OptiCept application (oliveCEPT®) was entirely entrusted to the experts at OptiCept, and they successfully completed it within the promised timeframe. Leme stated that despite their limited technical understanding, the OptiCept team ensured the smooth and uninterrupted operation of the system.

PEF System - oliveCEPT

Significant Advantages with oliveCEPT®

Gregory Leme also mentions how OptiCept Technology impacted their production process. He highlights two significant advantages observed when utilizing the OptiCept system—both in terms of quantity and quality. He notes that in the quantitative domain, the system has led to improved productivity by significantly reducing the malaxation time by half. This reduction in processing time not only enhances efficiency but also minimizes the energy resources required while still achieving higher yields of olive oil

Additionally, the director highlighted the qualitative benefits of the OptiCept system. He mentions that the extracted oil possesses a distinct “more” green colour, indicating a higher quality oil. This implies that the OptiCept system plays a vital role in elevating the olive oil’s overall quality.

Maximizing Nutritional Content

In the interview, Leme also explains their usual practice of producing olive oil from young, green fruits during the early harvest, as it yields the highest quality oil. Although these green fruits are rich in resources and nutrients, their complex and robust nature makes the extraction process challenging. However, the director notes that implementing the OptiCept system effectively disrupted the complex cells, leading to increased oil extraction from the same fruits.

The director mentioned that their olive oil production process is divided into four periods, with the first period occurring in October when the olives are hard. The oil yield typically ranges from 13 to 14% during this period. However, using the OptiCept system, the yield was consistently elevated to 19% throughout this period. In the other periods where riper olives were used, the yield increased from 17 to 20% in the second period, 18 to 20% in the third period, and reached approximately 21% in the fourth period.

The director especially emphasized the benefits of extracting olive oil from green fruits, despite the complex process. This is due to their great nutritional content, including polyphenols, antioxidants, and vitamins. 

A Game-Changer for Olive Oil Mills and Future Extraction Success

Ultimately, Gregory Leme describes the OptiCept system as a “win-win” system and expresses his willingness to recommend our system to olive oil mills with a similar structure. He also highlights several aspects that contribute to the positive impacts of the Opticept on the future of olive extraction. These include increased yield, enhanced flavor intensity, and the ability to produce olive oil with diverse aromas. Furthermore, he mentions the significant economic benefits and expanded marketing opportunities associated with using OptiCept.

Regarding environmental benefits, the director pointed out the foremost advantage of reduced electricity or power consumption achieved by minimizing the malaxation time. Adopting the Opticept system allows for a remarkable reduction in energy consumption, approximately cutting it in half compared to the initial demand. This substantial reduction in energy usage directly contributes to a positive environmental impact. 

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