The oxidation of the olive
The black olives we eat are in reality not collected with a black skin from the tree. They are originally green. One week before they are filled in glass jars or tins we introduce the green olives in big tubs with a capacity of around 7000 kg. Following we inject air with such a power that the olives are moved and mixed constantely and are always exposed to the injected air. You could compare it with a hydromassage for olives. Afterwards they are immersed in caustic soda, to give the olives their soft and fleshy texture. Finally we add ferrous gluconate to stabelize and maintain their colour. The whole process takes one week and after that time the olives are ready to be filled in their glass jars or tins. The sterilization at 125º is the last step which stabelizes the black colour we see, when we consume black olives.
Pitted and stuffed olives
There exist special production lines, with the only aim to get the stone out of the olives and to stuff them. Although they are very similar, they are separated lines. We will present you the two processes, indicating the differences between them.
The olives are first transported to a machine with a small funnel. At the end they fall on a rotating disc, equipped with teeth between which there is space for only one olive. This disc separates the mass of olives at the beginning of the funnel and works them one by one. This is very important and we insist in this detail, as the surprising point of this process is the fact that the stones are taken out of each olive separately – one by one. This operation repeats itself at enormous speed by rotating the drum with separating disc, passing them finally on to a band. Once the machine has individualized the olives, they have to be orientated in the right direction. While they are on the band, which will transport them to the main drum, they pass through several brushes, which orientate them in the accurate way. Once the olives reach the main drum, they are pinched by an awl one by one lengthwise, separating the flesh of the olives from its stone. Please imagine this machine like the bullet chamber of a revolver, which rotates at 1500 revolutions per minute.
The next step would be the filling. Here the olives are stuffed with the corresponding filling by another symmetric awl. Finally the pitted/stuffed olives are ejected to another band, where they are inspected and from there directly filled in barrils for their storage.