Grasas y Aceites, Vol 57, No 1 (2006)

The postharvest of mill olives

José M. García
Departamento de Fisiología y Tecnología de Productos Vegetales. Instituto de la Grasa, CSIC., Spain

Khaled Yousfi
Departamento de Fisiología y Tecnología de Productos Vegetales. Instituto de la Grasa, CSIC., Spain


The greatest deterioration of olive oil is due to poor handling of the olives during the time between harvesting and processing. Storage of olive fruits is carried out by simple heaping in fruit piles, waiting their processing. These fruits develop all kinds of degenerative processes in a short period of time. Oils obtained from them show characteristics hydrolytic and oxidative deteriorations confirmed by their high acidity values, peroxide value or ultraviolet absorbance at 232 and 270 nm. To avoid this situation, the industry is currently reducing the interval between harvesting and processing, through an increase in milling capacity. However, the equipment necessary for preventing the accumulation of fruit in January would be unnecessary for the rest of the season. In this chapter, refrigeration of the olive fruits, or the use of physical treatments, to allow the processing of unripe fruits, are analysed as possible alternatives.


Heat treatment; Olive oil; Olea europaea; Quality; Refrigeration

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