Olive Oil is obtained from Olives by grinding them and extracting oil from them mechanically or chemically.
What are the types of olive oil?
1.Extra Virgin Olive Oil: It has the highest quality and has the most superior taste of all types. Its acidity is about 0.8%. It contains antioxidants and is mainly used on salads.
2.Virgin Olive Oil: It has good taste with acidity <1.5%.
3.Refined Olive Oil: It is obtained from Virgin olive oil by refining method.
4.Pure Olive Oil: It is the mixture of Virgin and Refined olive oil.
5.Olive Pomace Oil: It is also fit for consumption.
What are its constituents?
It mainly consists of triglycerides and small quantities of free fatty acids, glycerol, pigments, sterols, phenols, vitamins and flavor compounds.
a.Oleic acid: It is a monounsaturated fatty acid, also known as omega 9 fatty acid. It is known to reduce the risk of heart disease and prevent cancer. It makes 55-83% of olive oil.
b.Other fatty acids are:
i.Palmitic acid: It is a saturated fatty acid and makes 7.5-20% of olive oil.
ii.Linoleic acid: It is omega 6 fatty acid and makes 3.5-21% of olive oil.
iii.Linolenic acid: It is omega 3 fatty acid and makes 0-1.5% of olive oil
iv.Stearic acid: It is a saturated fatty acid and makes 0.5-5% of olive oil.
2.Vitamins: Olive oil contains Vit. E which is a natural antioxidant. It also contains Vit. K.
3.Pigments: The colour of olive oil is attributed to the presence of pigments- Chlorophyll, Carotenoids and Pheophytin.
4.Phenols: Hydroxytyrosol and tyrosol are some of the phenols found in olive oil. They contribute to its oxidative stability and bitter taste. These are shown to lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease.
What are its benefits?
1.Decrease the risk of Heart Diseases: As described earlier, olive oil helps in lowering cholesterol which lowers the risk of coronary disease.
2.Prevent Cancer: This property is due to the presence of phytonutrient, oleocanthal which reduces the risk of breast cancer. Also, it is shown to prevent colon cancer and skin cancer.
3.It also reduces the risk of Diabetes Mellitus Type II.
4.Prevent onset of Osteoporosis: Olive oil helps in improving bone mineralization and calcification.
5.Olive oil for Skin: It helps to make the skin soft and elastic(due to Vit. E). Mixing with sugar, it can be used as facial scrub. Also, it can be used on lips to prevent and alleviate chapping.
6.Olive oil for Hair: It conditions the hair and help control dryness and dandruff problems.