Once harvested, the olives are immediately taken to the mill where they are stripped of their leaves and washed, so they are ready to be processed through a sequence of steps:


Frangitura, also known as molitura, is a process whereby the olives and their stones are crushed into a paste, the so-called “pasta di olive”. They may be either pressed in a mill – it takes longer but does not alter the organoleptic qualities of the product – or in a cylinder press, which mechanically breaks up the product. If this process takes place at a temperature below 27°C, it is called “cold pressing”.


The paste from the pressing process is put in stainless steel vats and gently stirred to separate the olive oil from the water. During this process, time and temperature are extremely important, since proper kneading will produce perfectly even olive oil drops, which is essential for the subsequent processing steps and for the olive oil yield. In addition, it is this operation that gives olive oil its final flavour.


The most classical and still widespread method is pressing the olive paste to separate the liquid oil and the brine from the solid portion (pomace). It was used to be done by hand with the help of an iron or wooden press. Nowadays, this operation is carried out by hydraulic presses and followed by centrifugation and decantation. The latter two operations finally separate the olive oil from any solid residues.