What is the process that goes into making olive oil?

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    After being picked from the trees, olives are transported in shallow boxes to a processing plant. The boxes must be shallow in order to ensure that the olives don’t crush one another and trigger unwanted oxidation or fermentation.

    At the processing plant, leaves and stems are removed, and the olives are washed. Steel rollers crush the olives into paste, and then water is slowly added to the paste. The process of adding water to the paste is known as malaxation.

    This mixture is then stirred from anywhere between 20 and 40 minutes. The longer it is stirred, the stronger the flavor will be, but stirring it for too long will bring the mixture too much exposure to the air, which will negatively affect its quality.

    The resulting paste is then either pressed an additional time or sent straight to a centrifuge. The spinning of the centrifuge sends unwanted remnants of the paste to the sides, while water and oil from the paste gravitate toward the center. After this, the oil is separated from the water.

    The oil is then either bleached, deodorized, or refined, depending on the desired end result. Before being shipped out, the oil is usually stored in stainless steel containers at a temperature of 65 degrees Fahrenheit.

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