Solid carbon dioxide to promote the extraction of extra-virgin olive oil


  • A. Zinnai Department of Agriculture, Food and Environment, University of Pisa
  • F. Venturi Department of Agriculture, Food and Environment, University of Pisa
  • M. F. Quartacci Department of Agriculture, Food and Environment, University of Pisa
  • C. Sanmartin Department of Agriculture, Food and Environment, University of Pisa
  • F. Favati Department of Biotechnology, University of Verona
  • G. Andrich Department of Agriculture, Food and Environment, University of Pisa



Carbonic snow, Cryomaceration, Extraction index, Extra-virgin olive oil, Product quality


The use of solid carbon dioxide (dry ice) as a cryogen is widespread in the food industry to produce high quality wines, rich in color and perfumes. The direct addition of carbon dioxide to olives in the solid state before milling represents a fundamental step which characterizes this innovative extraction system. At room temperature conditions solid carbon dioxide evolves directly into the air phase (sublimation), and the direct contact between the cryogen and the olives induces a partial solidification of the cellular water inside the fruits. Since the volume occupied by water in the solid state is higher than that in the liquid state, the ice crystals formed are incompatible with the cellular structure and induce the collapse of the cells, besides promoting the diffusion of the cellular substances in the extracted oil, which is thus enriched with cellular metabolites characterized by a high nutraceutical value. Furthermore, a layer of CO2 remains over the olive paste to preserve it from oxidative degradation. The addition of solid carbon dioxide to processed olives induced a statistically significant increase in oil yield and promoted the accumulation of tocopherols in the lipid phase, whereas a not significant increase in the phenolic fraction of the oil occurred.


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How to Cite

Zinnai A, Venturi F, Quartacci MF, Sanmartin C, Favati F, Andrich G. Solid carbon dioxide to promote the extraction of extra-virgin olive oil. grasasaceites [Internet]. 2016Mar.31 [cited 2022Dec.5];67(1):e121. Available from:




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