2015 Volume 21 Issue 2 Pages 193-205
Processing of olive fruits using a three-phase extraction system for the production of virgin olive oil was analyzed to clarify the material balance of olive fruit components, i.e., oil, water, carbohydrates, proteins, minerals and polyphenols. The estimated total olive material balance based on mass flow indicated a final oil extraction yield of around 83.3%, with an initial olive fruit mass flow of 500 kg/h. The remaining oil was discharged as a by-product, mainly in olive cake (8.9%) and olive mill water (7.8%). The material balance of carbohydrates showed that the majority were discharged in olive cake (73.3 kg/h) and olive mill water (27.7 kg/h). The material balance of polyphenols, the most important functional compounds in olives, was determined because of their importance to olive oil chemical stability. Results showed an increase in polyphenols content during malaxation operation (17.6%), which was correlated with several enzymatic reactions directly reflected in the composition of virgin olive oil.