At the organic farm I Carusi, the olive harvest is done using the traditional technique of "brucatura". In practice, the half-clenched hand is "crawled" between the twigs (in some cases rakes are used to reach the highest branches) and the olives are dropped onto the sheets laid on the ground to be collected and transported in jute sacks.
This is undoubtedly the best harvesting method for producing top-quality extra virgin olive oil because the olives are harvested in a single pass and damage to the tree, which could compromise productivity the following year, is avoided.
In addition, olives harvested by plucking are cleaner (which reduces the microbial load on the skin and consequently the presence of hydrolytic and oxidative enzymes of bacterial and fungal origin) and do not show lesions.
The olives are then stored under a canopy, so as not to be subjected to temperature rises, and poured into a hopper to be led to the defoliator and washing machine, which remove all impurities (leaves, branches, soil, etc.).
After washing, the olives are milled using knives and hammers to produce a greener oil rich in phenols.
All this takes place indoors to prevent the loss of very useful volatile substances such as polyphenols, which help preserve the oil, and away from the oxygen that oxidises the product, producing peroxides.
After kneading, the paste is passed to another tank where it is kneaded and diluted with the same water produced by the olives without any other addition, as normal water could affect the last phase of separation of the oil from the water. After this last kneading it is pushed into the decanter which extracts the residual oil by centrifugation.