Tuesday, 29 May 2012

And now let me show you pictures of the pressing

The fruit is tipped into this machine, which is called a DLE or deleafer. Leaves are blown into the white bag, and the fruit falls into a lower section full of water, where it is washed.  It is augered from here up into the hopper of the press.

This shows the top of the DLE auger.  It spits the fruit into the press hoppper.  It has to be closely watched in case it overloads it.  Although the machine is supposed to be automatic, it is a sensitive little thing, and works better if operated manually.

After the press is fully loaded, and the fruit has been pulverised by the hammer mill, it is mixed for about 40 minutes until you see the oil starting to accumulate on the surface.  Then you start extraction.  The paste is pumped through to the centrifuge and startes to separate into oil and waste.  Here is the oil coming out.  Not much, because I chose to have a smaller flow of cleaner oil, over a thick flow of dirty oil.  And these fruit, Arbequina, are not very high yielding in any case.

Here is the waste product coming out.  It looks like it should be edible and I believe in Europe it is turned into stock food with the addition of molasses and other ingredients.  It can be made into compost also, by adding hay and manure.  All we do with it is tip it around plants to keep weeds down, and to stop the sand blowing away.  Eventually it breaks down and I hope contributes to organic material in the soil.

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