Taking an idea from a basic concept to a commercially available product is highly rewarding, but it can be a very long, complex, and difficult journey. Recognizing and understanding the stages of the process and using the right support to help you navigate through it can mean all the difference between success and failure. The road from concept to market is marred with obstacles, and many businesses fail to pass beyond the development stage. A better understanding of the innovation process is essential from the outset if the pioneers of innovation are to overcome the dangers that they are likely to face along the way and maximize their opportunities for success. In the olive oil sector, the most recent radical innovation is the introduction of ultrasound into the industrial extraction process. Many efforts have been made in order to overcome the Valley of Death. The strategy of designing, implementing, and testing an innovative system that combines the mechanical energy of ultrasound with the possibility of modulating the thermal exchange of olive paste (heating or cooling) has enabled the following: (1) Eliminating malaxation by realizing a real continuous process; (2) raising extraction yields by recovering a further quota of extra-virgin olive oil that is usually lost in the pomace; (3) improving the content of antioxidant molecules simultaneously with yields; and (4) offering a sustainable plant solution that can guarantee the right income for producers.
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