Table olive harvesting takes place in the months of September and October, when the fruit reaches its correct size and before it begins to change color. A very important part of the production is collected by the traditional method, by hand and one by one, to avoid damaging the fruits, as it is the case of the Manzanilla and Gordal varieties; but in other varieties, such as Hojiblanca, mechanized harvesting is increasingly used. Subsequently, the most advanced technologies are used throughout the manufacturing process. There are mainly two different elaboration processes, depending on whether the olive is black or green:
- GREEN : Once the olive arrives in the industry, it undergoes a first treatment to eliminate the bitter taste and prepare it for subsequent lactic fermentation. It also serves to develop the organoleptic characteristics of the fruit. Subsequently they are placed in brine for a period that varies between three and six months, depending on the type, variety and future presentation of the olive. In this phase the fermentation takes place that turns the olive into an edible fruit.
- BLACK: Their treatment is different. Upon arrival in the industry, they are directly preserved in brine and once classified they are subjected to a treatment that gives them their characteristic color. They are packaged and preserved by heat sterilization.
ELABORATION basic processes:
- Dressing. It is the process by which green olives, color changing or natural black, are subjected to an alkaline treatment to eliminate their bitter taste and subsequently packed in brine, where they undergo complete or partial fermentation.
- In brine . It is the process by which green olives, color changing or natural black, are treated directly with brine, where they undergo complete or partial fermentation.
- Dressed . It is the process of adding seasonings or spices, possibly vinegar, and any other foodstuff to the brine.
- Oxidation. It is the process by which olives of the green and changing color types, which in a previous phase are preserved in brine, fermented or not, are blackened by oxidation in alkaline medium .
- Dehydration. It is the process by which olives lose part of their moisture by treatment with dry salt, heat application or any other technological process.
- Other processing processes. Olives can be made in different or complementary ways than those indicated above, provided that the fruits used meet the requirements established in this quality standard.
In the preparations of olives any food product used as an accompaniment or filling can be used - water, salt, vinegar, olive oil, sugars, spices, aromatic plants or their natural extracts - provided they are authorized according to current European regulations and, in particular , the one related to new foods.