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Dedicated to getting the best from olives

Liki Udam Apr 4
The Olive Press processes 1500kg of olives per hour through its centrifugal olive press.

Having been named Best Processor for six years running at the 2019 New Zealand Extra Virgin Olive Oil Awards, The Olive Press is in for another big year, with improvements underway at its Wairarapa processing facility, and putting the by-products of olive oil production to work with opportunities resulting from a new waste management strategy.

For 20 years, The Olive Press has been adding value to it’s customers’ product, processing 1500kg of olives per hour through a centrifugal olive press and creating the highest quality extra virgin olive oil.

The Best Processor award is given to the processor producing the highest number of gold award winning olive oils.

“Making good oil and being awarded top processor for six years in a row now is all part of our brand,” says The Olive Press director Rod Lingard.

“The reason we keep winning top processor is because our customers are winners as well.”

As well as processing for other New Zealand olive growers, The Olive Press produces its own range of oils, which focus on flavour to showcase the talents and creativity of The Olive Press team.

At the 2019 awards, The Olive Press also won Best Flavoured Oil for its kaffir lime flavoured extra virgin olive oil.

This special product utilised the Italian process called Agrumato, or fusion, opposed to the traditional infusion process.

“We pressed the kaffir lime zest and leaf along with the olives.

“Most flavoured oils are created by infusion, adding flavoured oil to extra virgin olive oil. With Agrumato, you take the oil from the flavour product and the olives at the same time, combining the oils at the same time they’re being extracted.”

One of The Olive Press’s advantages is its ability to make fantastic oil-based food products for New Zealand’s food service industry.

Rod is seeing an increasing amount of interest from food producers, chefs, and others in hospitality wanting to work with The Olive Press and make use of its wholesale rates to create their own branded oils.

Upgrades to The Olive Press’s processing facility, which are continual, include an upgrade to the bottling facility to allow The Olive Press to bottle not only olive oil but similar products, and contract that plant out to other food producers.

The Olive Press’s waste management procedure has also been upgraded with a new filtration system which captures the by-products of olive oil production.

These can then be used in the production of a range of food products.

There are also some really important polyphenols in the waste water that can be extracted and used in the production of nutraceuticals and cosmetics.

“Olives are not just a superfood,” Rod says. “There are components in there that are fantastic for health minded people who looking for ways to improve their lifestyle and their health. Polyphenols are renowned for their anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antioxidant properties.

“We’re looking to create business opportunities for New Zealand businesses to expand their range with olive based nutraceuticals. This is a new thing for us and we are very excited about it.”

 

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