Technological advances are moving the production of extra virgin olive oil forward. For ages, producers would grow trees far enough apart that they could place nets below and shake the olives down to catch them. Using the new high-desnity growing method, olives are picked by a mechanical harvester that rakes the fruit right off the trees. It yields fresher fruit and requires less labor.
Some still contend that the old tradition is better, but that may soon change. Using the new method Chilean olive oil producer Olisur is able to get the fruit from the tree to the mill within two hours. The retained freshness helps them produce an extra virgin olive oil with a low acidity level at .2%. The recent regulation of EVOO in the US requires that oils be cold-pressed, free of defects, and the acidity may not be more than .8g per 100g.
The new efficient process makes for an affordable oil as well; a 500mL bottle of normal use cooking EVOO sells for just $7 to $8. As for quality, their premium oil, Santiago Premium, won Gold in Italy's L'Ociolo d'Oro competition for the last two years in a row.