The only cultivar used in the process of Agrofood Srl products is Nocellara Del Belice, a dual-purpose cultivar (olive oil and table olives) grown in the municipalities of Castelvetrano, Campobello di Mazara, Partanna, Poggioreale, Salaparuta and Santa Ninfa.
The appropriate soils for the growing of Nocellara del Belice are mainly loose, with a sandy texture but also clayey and deep. Irrigation, fertilisation and all other cultivation and farming practises are carried out according to the reference Disciplinary. Harvesting starts at the end of September when olives are still very green, but their size is already well defined anyway. According to tradition, Nocellara is manually harvested using the method called “brucatura” (milking) since olives do not have to be damaged in order to ensure the best quality, especially for table olives: the fruits are removed from the branches by hand and dropped in the baskets carried by the pickers. The olives are harvested during the same day and undergo an initial selection to remove the ones with blemishes. They are eventually stored in a cool and aired environment, waiting to be processed.
The olives are sent to processing within and no later than 24 hours from the harvest. After the harvest, the olives are calibrated and washed. Their colour is deep green and the flesh is crunchy: their organoleptic characteristics make them (according to the experts) one of the finest table olives in the world. The taste is pleasantly bitter-sweet, savoury and with a slight hint of bitterness that may vary depending on the kind of processing. The debittering of the olives is either performed with a natural method with brine or with the Castelvetrano method: in this case, the olive stored in barrels are processed in a sodium hydroxide solution.
The day after, the olives are salted: the salt slowly dissolves in the liquid and spreads inside the whole barrel by gravity.
By implementing HACCP method, Agrofood Srl makes sure that strict hygiene and safety standards are met at every processing step: the quality of the products, processed with no artificial colourings and preservatives and a certified processing, work together to achieve the highest standards in terms of quality and customer satisfaction.
The last stage of the processing is packaging the finished products before its distribution to customers. The olives are marketed in glass or tinplate containers, in plastic pouches such as heat-sealing film, or in plastic containers for food: a label is eventually automatically attached on the package indicating the type of olives, the processing, any seasoning, as well as the PDO indication.
In all cases the product is sealed in such a way as to prevent the content from being extracted without breaking the container. The requirements followed during the packaging stage are: labelling in accordance with the regulations in force, the chemical characteristics that guarantee the stability of the packaged product: free acidity (between 0.4 and 0.6%), salt (between 5% and 6%).
The packaged olives are stored in special departments of the facility, at controlled temperature, while awaiting sale. In organizing its marketing policy, Agrofood Srl relies on an organized and structured network of sales agents, but it is also possible to buy our olives in the best grocery stores and Sicilian boulangeries, or enjoy it with an aperitif in the best local restaurants.
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