What is the caliber of olives?

Caliber of olives in Aceitunas Torrent
Black Olives|

Today we’re going to talk about the caliber of olives – in other words, how to measure them and classify them according to size.

The caliber is defined as the number of fruits in a kilo of olives and here, at Aceitunas Torrent, we have as many as eleven different measurements, for both green and black olives: the largest is caliber 140-160 and the smallest 420-440.

Size Matters

There’s a wide variety of kinds of olives and they usually range between 1.5 and 3 cm. The largest is called Gordal and the smallest is Arbequina. The caliber is calculated as the number of olives per kilogram and this is an obligatory step for whole olives (those that retain the same shape as when they were picked from the olive tree and are not pitted for consumption), pitted olives (where the pit is extracted by piercing the olive when it is being processed, but its original shape is kept), stuffed olives (olives which are pitted and one or more ingredients are put inside) and halved olives.

Each group has to have a maximum difference of 3 millimetres in diameter between them. From 150 fruits per kilogram upwards, the largest diameter should not exceed the smallest by 5 millimetres. However, in packages of 2.5 kilograms or more, two consecutive sizes may be grouped together, starting from 220 (inclusive).

The caliber scale goes from 60/70, 71/80, 81/90, all the way up to 401/420, and as long as this does not affect the good appearance of the whole olive or the organoleptic characteristics of each individual fruit, they may present slight defects in colour, shape, epidermis or pulp firmness within the same group.

Calibers in Aceitunas Torrent

To find out the weight of each olive, all you have to do is divide the number 1,000 by the size of the olive. So, ‘size 240’ olives weigh approximately 4.16 g each. Another requirement is that the size of the olive must be included on the packaging.