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Smart NIR Olive Oil Extraction Control and Measurement System

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - Almazara 4.0 (Smart NIR Olive Oil Extraction Control and Measurement System)

Reporting period: 2018-06-01 to 2018-09-30

Currently, the olive oil extraction process and product quality are assessed off-line, which leads to delays in adjustment decision and consequent yield and quality loses. There is a strong need for in-line monitoring solutions capable of enabling rapid adjustments in the equipment.

Utilizing Near Infrared (NIR) spectroscopy, Almazara 4.0 addresses this need of the industry through its non-intrusive design, cloud data management and storage, and real-time process monitoring, Almazara 4.0 enables production managers sufficient time to make rapid or even instantaneous adjustments to the process. Almazara allows for a 35% improvement in the efficiency of the extraction process and continued evaluation of oil quality, being an outstanding decision support tool.
After 3 years of work, a first prototype was tested in-house (in Picualia de Bailén, Jaén) and in an industrial environment. Ever since, a multi-platform, cloud-based software is being developed. The full design has been improved, including a new attachment system, optimising the device’s encapsulation, and adding an Ethernet connection, internal lighting system, and heat sink.

In order to reach final product commercialisation, the hardware must be optimized (enhancing internal and external components’ robustness), as well as the software (a web application and database in the iSR-Cloud shall be developed, as well as a user-friendly interface). Subsequently, 20 further prototypes shall be built and tested in different geographical locations in order to validate the calibration models.
Almazara 4.0’s main strengths are its non-intrusive design, and its unique combination of measurement and control capabilities. Allow production managers sufficient time to make rapid or even instantaneous adjustments to the process. Its direct competitors do not succeed to offer a solution that integrates advanced processing algorithms, remote-controlled in-line measurements, efficient service, and a design and function geared to and optimized for the oil industry.

Aside of benefits for olive oil producers, Almazara 4.0 will also foster health and societal benefits:
- Health: Almazara 4.0 allows for the optimization of the process determining the phenolic content in the oil, enhancing is health benefits.
- Societal: higher and more stable profits for producers would translate into quality, stable jobs.