Extra Virgin Olive Oil
How We Do It!
The Extra Virgin Olive Oil production process has remained the same for thousands of years Extra Virgin Olive Oil Extraction Processing.
Here at Redstone we stay loyal to the centuries’ old method of extracting olive oil perfected in the Mediterranean region over millennia. These age old techniques for extracting olive oil are akin to an art.
The modern, mechanical method for olive oil extraction is a refined version of this trusted old method. The changes have helped us enhance both the productivity and quality of the final product.
Starting With the Redstone Advantage
We use only the freshest olives for making the Extra Virgin olive oil. Our olives are picked before they fall off the trees and sent to our facilities. The fruit never hits the ground’ it is collected straight from the trees. The next step is to get the oil extraction process started within 3 hours of harvest to ensure the freshest, most flavorsome and healthiest olive oil for our consumers.
For thousands of years, farmers have understood and practiced harvesting their olive fruit at just the perfect time. We understand this tradition and stay true to it here at Redstone.
Once washed and cleaned these olives are then crushed into a fine paste. The paste is left to stand until the solids separate from the liquid. The liquid is further refined until water separates and the oil is left standing on top.
There may be slight variations to this process depending on the locality, but the basics for making the best Extra Virgin Olive Oil have stayed the same all these years. It is these variations that give olive oil from different parts of the world a distinct flavor and quality.
The Machinery and Technique Employed At Redstone
Here at Redstone, the method of extracting olive oil is entirely mechanical. This means the final product is pure olive oil that has not been spoiled by any chemical transformation or marred by human intervention. This leads to the production of high quality oil, extracted via an efficient process.
The Continuous Method of Olive Oil Extraction
The olives are entered into the oil mill, where they are mechanically crushed into a paste. This fine paste is then warmed in the malaxer while constantly being stirred. This separates the oil from the paste. While still warm, this paste is sent into the centrifuge where the solids in the paste are separated from the oil and water.
This method results in oil extraction in greater quantities. It is the most used method for olive oil production all over the world.
The Integral Method of Olive Oil Extraction
This method is exactly the same as the previous one… except for one little thing. The olives are de-pitted i.e. stones are removed before the olives are sent into the malaxer. This process produces are very fine, tasteful and delicate olive oil although the yield is a lot less as compared to what we get from the previous method.
The integral method is followed by only a handful of Italian olive oil producers because the slight loss in output can be a bit discouraging. We follow the method because the end product is highest quality extra virgin olive oil that is not too bitter, has little to no toxins and waxes, and best of all the output also includes a dry olive flesh that is perfect as cattle feed.
Now you know how we do Extra Virgin Olive Oil here at Redstone. Place your order and witness the amazing quality and enjoy the Redstone Advantage for yourself!
Our Traditional Style Condimento contains less than 5% high quality, barrel aged red wine vinegar from Modena which is added to inoculate the must with pro-biotic (acetic bacteria). The rest of the volume is wholly comprised of cooked Trebbiano grape must. The must is made from grapes cultivated in the region of Modena, which are crushed and cooked in the ancient “Traditional Style” in copper kettles, within the region of Modena, Italy.
Cooking in copper kettles to caramelize the grape sugar is more than just a quaint or romantic production step. Cooking down the grape must in copper is a rare production step which makes a monumental difference in terms of the quality and authenticity of the end product. Today most producers in Italy have opted for the vastly more efficient and modern method of condensing grape juice into a concentrate utilizing the relatively new process of vacuum evaporation. The use of this technology also typically necessitates the addition of up to 2% caramel color/dye to be added to the otherwise pale, anemic white grape must in order to add a deep, rich, mahogany-brown color. This practice was recently sanctioned by Italian law to allow producers to give the end consumer a false impression that the grape must was in fact cooked and caramelized in the “Traditional Style” in copper kettles.
However, it it not legal in Italy or North America, or most other countries to add artificial color or any other ingredients to a product and not disclose them on the ingredient statement. Despite this, many retail products labeled as balsamic do contain artificial color, thickeners, and types of refined sugar which are not disclosed on the product’s ingredient statement. Our Traditional Style Condimento and all of our infused dark balsamics which are made with it are certified on Third Party Certificate of Analysis to contain no caramel color, thickeners, or forms of refined sugar. It is conservatively estimated that upwards of 95% of all retail products labeled as “balsamic” do contain caramel color despite non-disclosure of it and other extraneous ingredients on the ingredient statement. If there is no traceability and guarantee via lab analysis otherwise, it is wise to be dubious. With no domestic industry in North America to protect, there is little to no interest in regulation of this product category by government. And with the most proficient third party labs that test for fraud being in Italy, adulteration is rampant in this product category. Even when the product is tested in proficient labs, it is incredibly difficult to test for caramel color as it’s typically added in less than 2% by volume and requires very specific testing methods to identify it.
In relation to the artisan method which is used to produce it, our Condimento is lab certified to have an extraordinarily high minimum relative density of 1.28+ – the highest minimum measured density on file for any standard. It is measured by a third party lab in Italy and carries traceability through each batches certificate of analysis. We are extremely proud that our Condimento contains on average, a whopping 749+ grams of dried extract solids per liter – a lab measurement which speaks to the extreme loss of moisture through natural evaporation which occurs in the cooking process and also while it ages in five types of wood barrels over time. The higher the amount of dried extract solids, the more complex a balsamic will be, as we are talking about the concentration of grape solids including grape sugar, which impart flavor and make for a thicker, naturally sweeter, and more complex balsamic.
We like to use these very exact and meaningful measurements and means of certification conducted by third party labs to detail quality as opposed to the often misleading, competing, and confusing Italian based categories and trade association standards such as the Leaf System, Star System, PGI, etc., And we urge you to do the same. In most cases these categories are ambiguous, romantic and hollow when drilled into. The common theme most share is that they place high value on the fact that Balsamic must be certified to come from specific regions, yet offer little to no measurable scientific, or production standards beyond geographic location. They don’t speak to the nuts and bolts of what really constitutes quality in balsamic such as density, dried extract solids, process, fruit maturity and quality, must percentage, barrel system, etc..
“But what about age?”, you say. Age claims are strictly illegal in Italy. Only here in North America do you see rampant, unqualified, and totally bogus age claims being made which would be prohibited if the product were being sold in the more regulated market of Italy.
With decades worth of experience driving our own balsamic standard ever upward, we are currently in the process of creating the first measurable chemical/production standard for balsamic in North which will use good science and meaningful criteria as opposed to superfluous romance which currently places all emphasis on the idea that place dominates. It will be akin to the difference between saying I have Italian extra virgin vs. saying “here’s my Fusti tag with all of the pertinent chemical parameters as detailed by my third party laboratory analysis ALONG with full traceability in terms of production method and lastly, origin certification.