New technology using pulsed electric field also known as PEF is about to advance olive oil extraction in Australia. In Europe during early trials, the oliveCEPT® was shown to increase olive oil yield by at least 5% (and up to 15%) and also improves quality in terms of polyphenols, colour, and fruitiness. There are also positive side effects in terms of separation, meaning that the vertical separators may not use as much water.
The quality increase is mainly due to phenol concentration increase but also is due to increased concentrations of quality improving vitamins. The pre-treatment is based on pulsating electric fields (PEF), that are opening biological cell membranes with short but very powerful electrical pulses. The method is very energy efficient as it only consumes up to 5,2 kW of power.
Benefits of using the OliveCEPT®
- 5-15% increased Extra Virgin Olive Oil Quality
- 30% increased quality compounds in EVOO
- User-friendly modes of operation
- No additives used in the extraction process
- Low energy input
- No significant heating which upholds EVOO quality
- Can be integrated into an existing processing line
The pre-treatment system is operated via controlCEPT®, a Siemens based PLC system that logs sensory data and other information about the treatment. The system is prepared for customer-based start/stop signals or complete integration to parent PLC systems.
To start the system the pre-defined number of start signals needs to be active, including but not limited to, the difference in pressure before and after the treatment chamber to indicate that there is a flow in the system. There are safety mechanisms included in the system that is based on the electrical status of the high voltage generator units, and the temperature of the critical parts.
A performance test is being considered for Australia and interested parties are encouraged to email email@example.com
How does (PEF) Pulsed Electric Field processing work?
See more about Arcaroma’s OliveCEPT® and Specifications
The main operators of the olive oil sector are continuously involved in the development of the olive oil mechanical extraction process with the common aim of increasing both the quality and the oil extraction yield coupled with the potential enhancement of the working efficiency of the olive mill. The pulsed electric field (PEF) is a recently studied technological innovation for the improvement of olive oil extraction technology. The impact of the PEF on the diffusion of oil and micro constituents, determined by the disruption effects on olive cell tissues carried out by the non-thermal method, was evaluated. A PEF can increase the permeability and breaking of the cell membranes with a consequent positive result on oil extractability and quality, mainly related to the compounds involved in the health and sensory properties of extra virgin olive oil. The PEF was tested on three Italian olive cultivars (Carolea, Coratina, and Ottobratica). The results showed a positive impact of the new technology on the oil yield, with an increase ranging from 2.3 to 6%, and on the concentration of hydrophilic phenols, with an increase ranging from 3.2 to 14.3%, with respect to the control tests. The data of the main compounds related to the health and sensory notes also showed high variability as a consequence of the genetic origins of the olive cultivars.
The impact of the PEF technology applied to the olive oil mechanical extraction process showed a significant effect on the EVOO yield for the tests conducted on Carolea, Ottobratica, and Coratina olives. The percent increase in the oil yield (ranging from 2.3 to 6%) should be cultivar dependent, probably in relation to the different ratios of the constituent parts of the fruits, which is mainly influenced by the genetic origins of the olive drupes and by the ripening stage. As also supposed in a previous study (14), the different fruit-flesh/pit ratios and the moisture and oil contents influenced PEF extraction performance. The PEF also showed a positive impact on the quality of the EVOO characterized by an enhancement of the phenolic compounds responsible for health-promoting benefits, with an increase ranging from 3.2 to 14.3% that is a function of the different olive cultivars and their maturity index.
The alteration of the olive tissue structure induced by the PEF treatment and the subsequent release of intracellular matrices into the water phase did not affect the legal quality parameters or the oxidative stability of the product as a consequence of the possible release of pro-oxidant metals from the PEF chamber. The concentrations of α-tocopherol and the main classes of volatile compounds responsible for the EVOO flavor were not significantly modified compared to the control test. The new technology improved the oil extractability and the antioxidant contents of the EVOO without altering the main qualitative and organoleptic characteristics of the product.
- 1Department of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Sciences, University of Perugia, Perugia, Italy
- 2Council for Agricultural Research and Economics Research Centre for Engineering and Agro-Food Processing, Monterotondo, Italy
Read the full study at Fronteirs in Nutrition