The Mediterranean olive industry experiences significant losses due to the olive fruit fly (Bactrocera oleae: Diptera: Tephritidae), which negatively affects the production of table olives, as well as olive oil.
To produce a high quality extra virgin olive oil with a fresh and fruity flavour it is essential to use sound fruit and keep all equipment clean at all time.
Olive Oil is extracted from the pulp after malaxation using horizontal centrifuges (decanters) which have replaced the cumbersome hydraulic presses of the previous century.
Oil Olives, unlike table olives, are not selected individually at harvest, but instead, individual trees are selected for the degree of ripeness of most of the fruit on them and these trees are picked clean. Trees on which most of the fruit is still green are left for picking at a later date.
The table olive market here in South Africa is just starting to flourish. The solid foundation will support its growth into a successful and valuable industry amongst the new olive producing countries.