What does the olive pit contain with comparison to the fruits? If we had the option of making the oil without using the pit - is it good thing to do (oil within, bitterness, etc.)?
The fruit is technically a drupe with three parts; the epidermis (epicarp) which remains green throughout the growth phase, then turns purple and brown when ripe; the fleshy part (mesocarp) which contains the oil; and the stone or pit (endocarp) which holds the seed. The pit is primarily lignin, a component of wood, with very little oil or flavors. There is some debate in the industry if the pit contributes any oil during processing.
When oil was primarily produced with hydraulic presses, the pit fragments were important in keeping the olive paste on the mats. Today most large oil producers use centrifugal machinery and the pit provides no particular advantage or disadvantage to the processing.
There are olive oil companies which pit the olives before extracting the oil. They claim a better tasting oil but in California these oils have not distinguished themselves in blind competitions such as the L.A. County Fair.
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