- Olive oil is a fruit oil obtained
from the olive (Olea europaea; family Oleaceae along with lilacs,
jasmine and ash trees), a traditional tree crop of the Mediterranean
- It is commonly used in
cooking, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and soaps and as a fuel for
traditional oil lamps.
- Olive oil is a blend of virgin oil
and refined oil, containing no more than 1.5% acidity. It commonly lacks
a strong flavor.
- Olive oil is composed mainly of
oleic acid and palmitic acid and other fatty acids, along with traces of
squalene (up to 0.7%) and sterols.
- The application of olive oil is
effective on boils,rashes and itching.
- It strenthens the hairs and
- It is also useful in sexual
- Combination of normal saline with
olive oil is highly effective in burns cases.
- The most traditional way of making
olive oil is by grinding olives.
- Green olives produce bitter oil,
and overly ripened olives produce rancid oil, so care is taken to make
sure the olives are perfectly ripened.
- First the olives are ground into
an olive paste using large millstones. The olive paste generally stays
under the stones for 30–40 minutes.
- The oil collected during this part
of the process is called virgin oil. After grinding, the olive paste is
spread on fibre disks, which are stacked on top of each other, then
placed into the press.
- Pressure is then applied onto the
disk to further separate the oil from the paste. This second step
produces a lower grade of oil.
- Demand for olive oil has soared in
the United States. In 1994, exports to the US totaled 28.95 million
gallons, a 215% increase from 1984.
- The US is Italy's biggest
customer, absorbing 22% of total Italian production of 131.6 million
gallons in 1994. Despite shrinkage in production, Italian exports of
olive oil rose by 19.2% from 1994 to 1995. A large share of the imports
went from the EU, especially Spain.
- Greece devotes 60% of its
cultivated land to olive growing. It is the world's top producer of
black olives and boasts more varieties of olives than any other
- Spain's production alone accounts
for 40% to 45% of world production, which was 2.6 million metric
- Olives are grown for oil in
mainland Greece, with Peloponnese being the source of 65% of Greek
production, as well as in Crete, the Aegean Islands and Ionian
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