Effects of a manual harvesting device on the quality of the fermented green olives (cv. Manzanilla)


Plasquy E., Florido M.C., Sánchez A.H. (2021): Effects of a manual harvesting device on the quality of the fermented green olives (cv. Manzanilla). Res. Agr. Eng., 67: 164–170.

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In order to make harvesting table olives profitable, mechanical harvesting has become an absolute necessity. Many small Andalusian producers face structural and financial constraints in implementing the mechanisation of harvesting and, as a consequence, the fruit is still harvested manually. A manual inverted umbrella (MIU), initially designed for harvesting oil olives, was evaluated in order to determine the extent in which this device can optimise the harvesting without jeopardising the fruit quality. Simultaneously, the effects of a diluted lye treatment, applied to prevent the proliferation of brown spots caused by bruising during mechanical harvesting, was also studied. The quality of the harvested fruit was evaluated after complete fermentation. The results indicate that when no diluted lye treatment was applied, using the MIU resulted in a slightly inferior fruit quality. However, when the amount of heavily damaged fruit is taken as a standard, the MIU presented results comparable to those obtained by manual harvesting. The MIU does, therefore, offer small producers an efficient alternative, given that manual harvesting costs are up to three times higher than the costs incurred during MIU harvesting.

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