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Olives hang from an olive tree in an olive grove near Pienza, 06 October 2007. Olive picking started early November all over the country as world famous italian olive oil is produced on a 24-hour process.  In order to extract the oil from the mesocarp, or flesh cells, of the olive fruit, the extraction process focuses on the separation of the oil and supplementary liquids from the solid material. The first step is washing, then comes the crushing with either stone mills or metal crushers that produce a paste. Extraction of the "liquid gold" is accomplished by pressing, percolation or centrifugation. Pressing is the oldest and most common method of oil extraction by applying pressure to stacked mats, smeared with paste, that alternate with metal disks. The oil is then expressed through a central spike.   AFP PHOTO / FILIPPO MONTEFORTE (Photo credit should read FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images) FILIPPO MONTEFORTE