Talc: Why Talc in Olive Oil Production?

Talc: is a hydrated calcium magnesium silicate, a naturally occurring inert mineral product, which is milled to different microns.

Talc is normally used when moisture contents are high in your olive fruit or maturation points are swaying towards overripe (i.e. later in the season). Talc helps aid in proper malaxation during these types of conditions.  Talc can absorb up to 10-15 times its weight in water.

When the olive paste is unable to mix properly this does not encourage the enzyme release and hence the oil is locked/bound up in the cells and is exited from the machine with the waste.  Talc used in these exacerbated conditions can extract up to an extra 5%.

Talc also aids to minimise emulsion (oil combining with water) during malaxation.

Tips for use:

Using a very fine (normally under 2 micron) grade of Talc you may find some floating problems on the paste occur.  In order to avoid this, you must monitor wherein the malaxing tank that you are applying this product.  You may consider moving the application spot to a better-suited position.

A fine grade talc (normally 2.5 – 4%) also means that you do not need to use as much and cuts down on the amount you need to store as you achieve more efficient use.

Also, using finer grades of talc means that you may be able to cut your usage on average from 1-2% down to as low as 0.3% – 0.7%.

Various forms of Talc are available.  However, not all are efficient for use.  You need to make sure that the talc is coming from a trusted source and does not contain heavy metals.  Some talcs are bleached and may contain chloride.

Talc is expelled with the waste paste.

You have only one shot this season, so why not try something new & effective!

If have any questions about the application of these products or about olive oil processing, please contact me.  (ph) 07 4696 9845.

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