Until the first decades of the 20th
century, the extraction of olive oil from the fruit was a
difficult procedure. Olives were pressed on threshing floors
where two large millstones were rotated. These were pulled by
animals which trod around the stones. The pulp was then taken, a
mixture of juices, oil and the pit, to be placed in cloth sacks.
These sacks were piled up on top of each other and placed in the
press. The pressure forced out the liquids (oil and water). The
oil, being lighter, floated on the water and was easy to
collect. The use of electricity put an end to the labor of the
animals and the use of centrifugal power made the business of
olive pressing much easier.
Today, technology has created the best
conditions for olive pressing and extraction of olive oil. The
crushing is done by machinery. Special metal hammers mush the
olives and there then follow various ways of oil extraction.
Centrifugal power is one of those methods. The most recent way
is the “synolea” method. First the olives are crushed and then
special blades plunge quickly and steadily into the olive pulp.
Olive oil drops rest on them, due to adherence, and these are
collected. This technique produces and excellent product which
retains its natural character. In general, this type of olive
oil keeps its scent intact and is much tastier.