Wednesday, August 12, 2009

First hand look at the factory

Here is my tour of the bay oil factory and the process of turning bay leaves into bay oil!

Tending to the fire... this sits below the factory where the bay leaves are placed. Inside the big "oven" is the fire at the bottom, then a basin of water topped with about 15-19 bundles of bay leaves. The oven is completely shut off creating pressure to extract the oil from the leaves. This evaporates into the top of the oven traveling through a pipe into the basin of water, pictured below.

Here is the water where coils are; here the evaporated oil comes down and passes through turning into oil upon hitting the water. The pipe on the left is cold water coming from a natural spring, it rests on the bamboo which keeps it from going into the basin. This is so there is no cold water in the basin, over time the water has been heated from the oil passing through the coils.

This tube comes from the water basin and is used to fill the oven of water every 2-3 hours. At the time it is filled the oil stops producing for a short while until the pressure inside the oven builds up again.

This pipe sits below the water basin (what you see behind it). Here both water and oil are coming out of the pipe. Once it hits this final stage the oil and water separate, the oil floats on the water and the water passes through the opening in the bottom of this canister leaving, in the end bay oil!

After the oil has been processed it is sold to an individual in the city who further exports it to places such as New York, England and other countries outside the Caribbean.

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