Olive cultivation: Extra Virgin Olive Oil Veneto DOP
The olive farm reported below is situated in the countryside of Pove del Grappa (VI) Italy, in an area called “Conca degli Ulivi”- “The Valley of olive trees”. It is in a slightly sloping land, facing south and along the valley of the Brenta river, in the southern slope of the Grappa Massif. In the same area, there are various plots cultivated with olive trees with a fair number of producers and a limited but significant production (also considering the latitude: 45 ° 48 ‘N). The territory, besides being an excellent natural frame for the olives cultivation, is the perfect place for the extra virgin olive oil production, today recognised as Italian excellence obtaining the Protected Designation of Origin – Veneto DOP.
Cultivation of olive groves for the production of extra-virgin olive oil DOP (Appellation of Protected Origin)
An extra virgin olive oil DOP is an oil that has been produced in a specific and delimited territory. In Italy today there are 42 extra virgin olive oils that have obtained the DOP certification (Appellation of Protected Origin).
The DOP is a brand that imposes strict rules on the farmers, mostly to protect the consumers. A DOP extra vergin olive oil has to be made with olives produced and processed in the recognised DOP area. The oil production has to take place according to a precise Production Regulation containing all the farming rules, in particular:
- Delimits the oil production area;
- Identifies the allowed olive varieties (cultivars);
- Indicates the farming techniques, methods for harvesting, transporting and storing the olives, and also the techniques to be used for the oil extraction;
- Establishes the physical parameters (for example colour) and chemical parameters to be achieved (for example acidity, polyphenols and peroxides content);
- Establishes the organoleptic parameters (smell, taste) that the olive oil must have.
Olive cultivation: field experience in a Frantoio variety olive grove
This case study is about a farm run by a passionate and innovative olive grower, Mr Bresolin Valerio of Pove del Grappa (VI), Italy. Since March 2012 the passionate grower has started the use of Bio Aksxter® in his olive grove of about 4,000 square meters – Frantoio variety, a plot composed of ancient trees (even 400 years). His main goal was increasing the milling quality and obtaining an oil with the best nutritional and organoleptic characteristics.
Regarding the phytosanitary condition, the olive grove and more precisely the younger branches of many olive trees randomly spread, were infected by Olive knot, a disease caused by pathogen bacteria Pseudomonas savastanoi.
Achievements and results obtained in the cultivation of the olive grove
As anticipated the use of Bio Aksxter® M31 agriculture line in the olive grove in question started in March 2012. Since the first year of treatments (year of preparation), the olive grove as a whole has shown remarkable signs of improvements both from a vegetative and phytosanitary perspective, trend that was consolidated in the following years. “The olive knot disease, a bacterial infection that affected olive trees, already at the end of the first treatment cycle has shown an outstanding improvement with no more infections detected in the younger branches” (customer statement).
During the period in consideration, the olive grove showed a progressive tendency of self-regeneration and vegetative rebalance, with regular lymphatic flows and full optimisation of the metabolic activities that favour the absorption of nutrients.
The regular use of Bio Aksxter® in the 4 years of observation, together with appropriate agronomic practices has led to significant results proven by the various tests on the extra virgin olive oil parameters such as acidity, peroxides and the polyphenols.
Thanks to the periodic tests carried out by the olive grower and the consortium; it was possible to record and make a precise comparison of the quality parameters of extra virgin olive oil appreciating the significant improvements.
- The content of polyphenols has increased from 99 mg/kg in 2012 (Bio Aksxter® treatment first year) to 213 mg/kg in 2015 with an increase of 115%;
- The acidity levels in the same time span have gone from 0.24 to 0.06 with a 75% reduction;
- The peroxides despite a slight increase in the last year of consideration were in a very good quality range, 6.5 meq O²/kg.
The olive grower reports that “no other olive grower in the area has achieved the aforementioned results”. In particular for polyphenols, no one has exceeded 140 mg/kg.
Profitability of the olive grove
Over the years, in addition to the increase of the oil yield, a marked improvement has been noted in the extra virgin olive oils quality parameters, above all the polyphenols.
These results translate concretely into a superior tasting perception, also appreciated by experts and judges of specialised international competitions as stated by the olive grower himself, as he has been participating in olive oil competitions.
The achieved results express a superior nutritional, organoleptic quality and better oil yields for a greater pleasure of the olive oil enthusiasts and the maximum profitability of the olive farms.