Published On: Sat, Apr 13th, 2013

Olive Oil : Chemical Constituents, Preparation and Uses

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Morphology and Distribution of Olives:

oil is the fixed oil expressed from the ripe of Olea europoea belonging to the family Oleaceae. It is also called as oleum olivae.

Olive tree is native to Palestine and countries near to Mediterranean sea. Olive trees are also found in United States and Southern .

, Spain and Greece are the leading producers of the oil. The other producers are United States, , Morocco and Syria.

English: Olives in olive oil.

English: Olives in olive oil. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Preparation of the Olive oil :

Olive oil is prepared by pressing or crushing the ripe fruits called olives. It contains the oil. Hydraulic presses are used to squeeze the oil under the low pressure. This method is called as cold pressing method as very less heat is generated. The oil obtained by this method is called as virgin olive oil as it is in very pure form. Further pressing gives low quality oil and it is called as olive residue which is used for cosmetics and medicines. The olive oil is pale yellowish or greenish yellow in colour with a slight and characteristic smell and bland and faintly acrid taste.

Chemical constituents of Olive Oil :

The olive oil contains triglycerides in the form of olein, palmitin and linolein.

Uses of Olive Oil:

  • When olive oil is used externally it acts as an emollient
  • Soothing agent for inflammed surfaces
  • Used for softening the skin and crusts in and psoriasis.
  • Ingredient of wax
  • When taken internally, it is used as a nutrient.
  • Demulcent
  • Mild laxative
  • Vehicle for oily suspension for injections
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