Olive output. What it depends on.
But, what is exactly the output of the olive? Is it always the same? What does it depend on? Every detail, below.
What is the output of the olive?
The output of the olive is the amount of oil that it contains. It is expressed as a percentage by weight, so a value of, for instance, 25% output means that, for one kg of olives, a maximum of 250 grams of olive oil can be extracted.
If the olive output is 25%, as in the previous example, this doesn’t mean that this is the amount of oil that is going to be extracted. As we have said before, it means that, at most, that is the amount that can be extracted.
In the mills, most of the oil is extracted, but there are always 3 or 4 percentage points of the olive's fat output that are lost in the alperujo (solid remains of the olive).
Another concept that we can mention is industrial performance. This is defined as the amount of olive oil that is extracted for each kg of olives. This exact figure is only known when the process is finished. However, there are many analyzes to estimate the production of olive oil in oil mills.
What does the output of olives depend on?
The output of the olive is not the same every year; this may vary depending on several factors:
The harvest date of the olives is a key factor in the final output by the fruit. The more time passes and the more mature the olive is, the greater its output. The olive has oil and water inside. At an exact point of maturation, the olive stops creating more oil inside, but begins to lose water. Therefore, the output will be higher, since fewer percentage points of oil are lost in the alperujo.
However, care must be taken not to lengthen the olive harvest too much. As time passes, the oxidation of the fruit increases and, therefore, the acidity of the olive oil; In addition, there will be more olives that fall from the tree and are considered ground olives (of poor quality to make extra virgin olive oil).
Variety of olive
The variety of olive trees in a plantation influences the output of the olives. In this way, there are some varieties that have a very high output, even exceeding 20% of oil on olives. Some examples are the picual variety (main variety of olive trees from Vallejo Oils), cornicabra, picudo or arbequina.
As we already know, the Andalusian weather is ideal for the growth of olive trees. The warm and sunny areas have olive groves with a higher output of oil in the olives, unlike the colder or shady areas, where the output is lower. In addition, the climatic conditions that occur in a year can also vary the accumulation of olive oil. For example, the flowering of the olive tree can be delayed due to heavy rains in spring or less biological activity as a result of a colder summer than usual.
Amount of olive in each olive tree
The olive tree is a vecero tree. This phenomenon consists of alternating a year of abundant harvest with another of scarce harvest, without occurring biennially. When an olive tree has a high amount of olives, the resources of the tree have to be distributed among all the olives. This translates into a lower amount of olive oil in the olives, unlike what happens when the olive tree has a medium-low amount.
Type of plantation
The type of plantation influences the lighting of the olive tree and the kgs of olives produced per hectare. Basically, the higher the planting density, the lower the output. For this reason, the output of a super-intensive olive grove variety is lower than that of the same variety, but grown in a traditional olive grove.
Olive tree care
The care of the olive tree directly influences the output of the olive. For example, olive tree pruning is done to promote good lighting of the branches and thus increase output; if an olive tree is subjected to water stress, it reduces water consumption and, therefore, it will produce olives with a lower output; and pests and diseases weaken the olive tree, reducing its harvest and the output of the olives.