Oil production with oxidative exposure control
Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) is obtained from olives by mechanical or other physical processes. It is one of the few vegetable oils that can be consumed without refining and is an important contributor to the economy, especially in Mediterranean countries. However, several studies have established that the most common processing techniques allow oxygen to dissolve in olive oil, as well as that the main cause of quality decay is oxidation reactions. The patented technology and method make it possible to intervene on existing machinery already on the market to implement a technical solution to control oxidative exposure and, therefore, to obtain high quality final products.
The patent concerns an inerting device to be applied to the two centrifuges that would reduce the oxidative impact through the introduction of inert gas into the production process. The device consists of: (i) a system that seals the centrifuge rotation chamber, (ii) a 3-way coupling for the introduction of water, olive oil to be treated and technical gas, (iii) appropriate measurement and regulation systems for the flow rates of the 3 fluids. The device is applicable to most existing centrifuges and avoids the addition of dissolved oxygen to extra virgin olive oil, reducing the appearance of the rancid defect. From tests previously carried out first in a laboratory scale and then in an olive mill, an instantaneous decrease in the concentration of dissolved oxygen was observed as a function of the increase in the gas flow rate introduced and thus a containment of the oxidative damage resulting from the use of extraction centrifuges.
The TRL of the patented technology is 5.
- Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) production.
- Oxidation control;
- Reduction of oxidation defects;
- Production quality improvement;
- Extension of product shelf-life.