The harvesting of olives to make olive oil can take up to 5 months in both hemispheres, depending on the variety, weather, maturation, quality of the juice, etc. Harvesting methods vary from area to area and greatly affect quality.

In Europe, autumn is the time of year in which the fruit is in optimal condition to extract its juice and, therefore, olives begin to be harvested. Only a small part of that oil, the one that is extracted at the beginning of the harvest, will be #EVOO of superior quality.

Until now, no viable technological or economical applications have been found for the subproducts generated from olive tree pruning carried out during the olive harvest (wood, brushwood and leaves).

The Best Time In The Year To Harvest Olives In Europe

Frequently, these are eliminated on site at the crops through cremation. But this practice entails inconveniences such as the spread of pests, soil mineralization, atmospheric pollution, increased fire risks, useless release of carbon dioxide, etc.

The olive leaf biomass produced during this process will be studied by the OLEAF4VALUE consortium to develop an #upcycling system, providing a solution for the valorisation of the tons of olive leaves produced annually in the world by the olive oil industry.

The goal of OLEAF4VALUE is to set up the basis of six smart value chains based on a newly developed 4.0 concept: Smart Dynamic Multi-Valorisation-Route Biorefinery (SAMBIO) for the cascade valorisation of the olive leaf biomass according to its initial composition (Biomass Suitability Index – BSI).

In other words, OLEAF4VALUE will give a new life to olive leaves, solving the problem of its removal from the fields while obtaining high added value bioactive compounds with high-market potential.

Our partners Oleícola El Tejar and Ingecor Agroforestal are already receiving samples from the 2021 autumn olive harvest.

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