Tours and Activities:
Product of the oliveMarcelo SolaMarcelo Sola
We visited the Borgiolo olive oil factory and learned about the manufacturing process of one of the tastiest and healthiest oils produced in Argentina.
Argentina is the main olive oil producer in South America. The production of this valued oil is growing. This is the result of its virtues which have increased the consumption in the domestic market, and the current droughts that other countries are experiencing throughout world. The main areas in which this activity is developed are the provinces of Catamarca, La Rioja, San Juan and Mendoza.
Seizing the opportunity of being in Chilecito, we decided to visit one of most popular local producing facilities to learn more about this valuable product.
The factory we visited belonged to Compañía Olivarera de Chilecito S.A., which has been working since 1994 to obtain premium olive oil.
Once inside the facility, we were welcomed by one of the workers in charge of showing us the previous steps to the making of this oil.
The olive oil is extracted from Olea Europea. In this factory, the arbequina olive is mostly used, which is one of the smallest with a round shape rather than long and it reaches its ripeness early. It seems that the composition of the oil at the time of its collection is variable. It is thought that at the time of its collection, the olive has between 18 and 32% of oil, between 40 and 55% of water and 23 to 35% of vegetable tissue and olive pit.
The olive making process begins with the collection of the olives. Then, they must be carefully cleaned and once they are clean, they must be sieved. Next, the olives are carried with a hopper to a machine where the grinding and mixing process begins.
The aim of grinding the olives is to break the cells where the oil is contained and the mixing aims at forming the oleic paste that can be separated from the oil. Thus, a kind of paste is obtained and it is taken to a mixer where its temperature is raised to about 28ºC.
As the guide explained the different steps, we walked further into the factory to better understand how these processes were carried out.
After this, we are ready to get virgin olive oil. First, the paste needs to be centrifuged and pressed. If it is centrifuged, the paste, the dark smelly juice and the alcoholic contents are separated from the oil, while if it is subject to pressure in hydraulic presses, the oil itself is obtained.
The oil is taken to a big aluminum barrel where it is filtered and then bottled. The end product of virgin olive oil has a remarkable smell and color but above all an unbeatable flavor.
After the tour inside the factory, our guide gave us an outstanding class of olive oil tasting so that we could learn whether the oil bears the desired quality.
Then, we were invited to taste the oil from the Borgiolo factory. “Olive oil is rich in vitamin E, which has antioxidants and phytosterols, substances that contribute to reduce the bad cholesterol level in the blood”, stated our host.
Thus, we ended our visit to the olive oil factory in Chilecito while a special taste still remained in our mouth.