Machine Improves Yield in Trial Runs by Hitting Olive Paste with Electricity

A new machine to improve yield fits into the standard olive oil production line, demonstrating that technology has a role in the development of the sector.

Simon Blackmore, an engineer at Harper Adams University in the United Kingdom told the journal Nature, that all types of different technologies are increasing small farmers’ production capacities and cutting costs.

“We can make crop production significantly more efficient and more sustainable,” he said.

OliveCEPT, a machine that provides an additional step in the olive oil extraction process, is among these new technologies that many in the sector are hopeful will lead to higher olive oil yields at lower costs for both small-scale and large-scale producers.

According to Johan Möllerström, the CEO of the Swedish company that has designed and launched OliveCEPT, the new technology that helps producers maximize their yields by adding another step to the standard olive oil production line.

“The traditional extraction process will not get all the oil out of the olive paste,” Möllerström told Olive Oil Times. “We are increasing the efficiency of the process.”

OliveCEPT is a machine looks like a large white rectangle standing on one end, with Arc Aroma’s blue logo painted on the side and four swiveling wheels at the bottom. The technology is currently being tested by ten producers in Greece, Italy, Morocco and Spain.

“We are very confident that we are providing benefits to the client,” Möllerström said.

The machine, which he touts for its energy efficiency, runs day and night during the harvest and is inserted between the malaxing and extraction steps. Olive paste from the malaxer enters one side of the OliveCEPT, which breaks down the cell walls of the olive flesh, releasing more oil that then flows into the extractor.

“We are doing that with the technology of pulse electrical fields,” Möllerström said. “That means that we are creating a voltage and electric field in the chamber. When we are doing that we attract particles in a sediment grain and break down the cell walls, which maximizes the oil yield.”

Möllerström claims that the technology increases oil yields anywhere from five to 15 percent and, so far, the results have borne his claim out. More