Polyphenolic substances enhance the resistance to oxidation of virgin alive oils, but an excess of polyphenols determines a marked bitter, somewhat tannic taste of the oil, similar to the taste of unripe olives. Tests have been carried out on drupes of different cultivars in industrial productions to evaluate the effect of the machines used to prepare alive pastes on the contents of polyphenols in the oils. Notably greater amounts of polyphenols were found in the oils extracted from hammer-crushed pastes than in the oils extracted from milled pastes. The kneading process which follows, especially if it is long, often reduces the amounts of total polyphenols. Therefore, in order to obtain the best organoleptic and chemical quality in extra virgin olive oils, two systems are suggested for the processing procedures. For olives of certain cultivars (Coratina) and for not-blackened or slightly blackened drupes yielding oils with a very high content of total polyphenols, it is most expedient to use the stone-mill together with a kneader system. But it is more suitable to utilize the hammer-crusher together with a kneader system in processing olives (such as the Ogliarola Salentina or Leccino cultivars) yielding normally ''sweet'' oils with a low content of total polyphenols.
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