Natural Microtalc is a Silicate of Hydrated Magnesium that can be used to facilitate the process of production of virgin olive oil without causing alterations in the physical characteristics of the oil.
Olive oil production is an industrial process that involves separating the oil from the other constituents of the olive. Whole, healthy, clean, recently picked and optimally ripe olives are ground into a paste. The paste is then mixed thoroughly prior to centrifugation to separate out the oil.
In most olive growing regions, this process can be hindered at various stages by technical problems arising from what are known as “difficult” pastes, which can be characterised visually and analytically as follows:
a) The paste is too thick and gelatinous.
b) There is little sign of oil on the surface.
c) The decanter outputs dirty oil, with a high fines content and a chocolate-like appearance.
d) Low extraction yield
e) High oil content in olive pomace / waste water
When Microtalc is added to the olive paste at the mixing stage, its lipophilic action produces the following effects:
• It absorbs the droplets of oil retained in the cell walls, thus forming larger drops and increasing the amount of free oil;
• It prevents the formation of emulsions and breaks up emulsions that have formed;
• It facilitates the break-up of microgels and alters the paste behaviour from liquid retention to free oil;
• It improves the extraction yield;
• It increases the plant’s production capacity;
• It enables the process to be run at a lower temperature (20° to 25°C), since the lipophilic action is temperature-independent.
Because of its high specific surface area (8 m2/g) , Microtalc improves oil clarity during the horizontal centrifugation stage. Microtalc is added at the beginning of the second third of the mixing stage, to ensure even dispersion throughout the paste. The amount of Microtalc varies from 0.5% to 2% of the weight of theground olives, depending on just how difficult the paste is. In some cases, more than 2% can be added to correct the paste structure. Because Microtalc is a powder, handling precautions must be observed. To use it correctly, the olive mill must be equipped with a special dosing unit (for more information http://www.claudiovignoli.com/products/volumetric-talc-dispensers/).
As a technological aid in the virgin olive oil extraction process, Microtalc provides the following advantages:
• Increases decanter in-put
• Increases industrial yield
• Provides a fruity oil of high quality
• Permits cold extraction processibility
• Reduces oil content in pomace
• Optimises extraction process
• Reduces production costs