Dimitris Petropoulakis studied Agronomy in University level of education in Italy. In early age hehas been given his love and interest for the cultivation of olives. Participating with him in harvesting procedures will help you to gain profound knowledge and have fun at the same time.
The season the harvesting olives is approximately winter early time depending on the species of olives for accurate dates. Green olives are harvested while still unripe to the end of September to mid-October, depending on the variety and the region. Olives are consumed as black harvested later when the flesh blackened to a depth of 2/3, but before beginning to soften the skin. Only in special cases (savory, salted black) fruit are left to ultra matured.
The characteristics of a good table olives are:
- the ratio of the weight of flesh weight core is large enough (7/1 or 10/1)
- thin thin skin
- The firm flesh that does not soften and not altered during processing
- small oil content (because oxidized and become rancid olives)
- large sugar ingredientes content (necessary during the lactic fermentation)
- the nice appearance, shape and color of oils etc. (secondary traits)
Generally, the flesh relationship to core is an important criterion of quality assessment of a variety.
Based on this criterion, the larger the content of a fruit flesh with respect to the core, the greater is considered the value.
Olives for Olive oil
The stage, which most fruit will gain full black color external to irrigated crops, a reliable fruit collection criterion for an economic extraction of oil, regardless of fruit size and current production.
But in non-irrigated land, the use of the change of color is not sufficiently reliable criterion for harvesting.
In some varieties have shown that the accumulation of oil in black ripe fruit is relatively short. Therefore an earlier harvest, before the complete change of the fruit color, may be preferable because it reduces the risk of damage to the fruit from insects, and the loss of production and eats the kernel gives the highest quality olive oil.
Moreover, the mechanical harvesting all fruit regardless uniformity of maturation, are harvested from the tree once. The speed of the mechanical collection significantly shortens the period picker, so the collection time based on the maximum oil accumulation is very important.
But reliable criteria for calculating the end of the period of primary accumulation of oil for each variety have not been determined.
Harvesting is usually November-December, depending on the variety, region and year.
Exceptions are areas of low quality olive.
The harvest time plays an important role in the production of good quality oil.
Harvesting the fruit before physiological maturity will give less oil quantity but high quality olive oil.
Oil from immature fruit easily distinguished by its deep green color and distinctive flavor and freshness "greenery" that gives the mouth (green olive oil).
Low-quality olive oil is harvested when overripe fruit.
For the production of aromatic oil, harvesting must be done at the beginning of fruit ripening period, whether lost little oil.
The fruits fall prematurely to the ground (chamades) due to attacks or drought should be gathered first and do not mix with others because they give lower-quality oil.
The harvest season has effect and in production next year.
When the fruits are left for long periods on the trees, the flowering trees for next year is quite limited.
When the fruits are harvested green, or early in the vesting period for desktop use (but not beyond mid-October), then production next year is greater than that of trees harvested later.
The season and harvesting techniques are of great importance and to reduce the fly population.
Keeping fruit on the trees allows the fruit fly to continue spawning and reproductive activity between the end of a growing season and the beginning of the next resulting in the development of a spring generation. For the same reason, the collection of olive fruit from all neighboring trees is considered necessary.
- The fruits are harvested either by hand or mechanically.
- The harvesting by hand is applied to fruit for table use, to avoid the injuries and deterioration of quality (time consuming and very costly process).
- Mechanical harvesting is mainly elaiopoiisimes varieties.