How It’s Made

We pride ourselves for making high quality, affordable extra virgin olive oil. Extra virgin olive oils are very different from refined grades of olive oil – such as “light” or “pure” oils – which are made using excessive heat or chemicals which alter the taste and quality of olive oil. Extra virgin olive oil, by contrast, essentially is freshly pressed fruit juice. We crush the olives and extract the oil using only mechanical methods, never using any high heat or solvents. All of our oils at California Olive Ranch are certified extra virgin by Applied Sensory, passing both rigid chemical and sensory evaluations. Our extra virgin olive oils are also verified non-GMO by the Non-GMO Project, as well as certified kosher by Orthodox Union. Our California Reserve Collection, which features exclusively California extra virgin olive oil, also carries the Olive Oil Commission of California (OOCC) seal. 

This diagram depicts the milling process of extra virgin olive oil.
Hover over the images to learn more about how extra virgin olive oil is made.

  1. Milling
  2. Olives
    Harvested olives are transported to the mill in gondolas within hours of harvest to ensure the freshest olive oil possible. Once at the mill, the olives are emptied into hoppers and sent on a conveyor to the sorter where branches and leaves are removed.
  3. Crushing
    Olives are crushed by a hammer mill into what looks like an oatmeal paste.
  4. Malaxing
    The olive paste is then malaxed or “relaxed” by slowly churning or mixing without the addition of heat which could alter the taste and quality of the olive oil and keep it from being designated “extra virgin.” This stage of the process allows oil to begin releasing from the fruit and separate more easily.
  5. Decanter Centrifuge
    Once the oil begins to separate from the paste, it is transferred into the first separator, separating solids from liquids. Solids are separated, which we call pomace, going on to become animal feed.
  6. Pomace
    Pomace, which includes the olive skin and pit, is separated, dried and used by other farmers as animal feed.
  7. Oil + Water Mixture
    The liquid, which is a mixture of oil and small amounts of water, separated from the pomace moves onto the vertical high-speed centrifuge.
  8. Vertical High-Speed Centrifuge
    The oil and water mixture is spun once again at twice the speed to separate the oil from the water.
  9. Water
    Extracted water is used to irrigate our trees once again.
  10. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    What remains is premium extra virgin olive oil.