Thursday, April 2, 2009


Olive trees are extremely long lived and tolerant of drought, salinity and almost neglect, and have been reliable producers of both food and oil for thousands of years. Olive fruits are size oblong, thinner-fleshed having smooth and waxy surfaces. They are colored green when immature and turn to yellow-green, and with red, purple, or black coloration when full maturity. For full maturation, olive fruits require about 6 to 8 months.

Olive leaf

Olive leaves are small and size about 1.5 inch long and 1/4 ot 1/2 inch wide, linear, with entire margins and acute tips, colored in silver-green, and thick. The leaves are live about two years.

Olive leaf and olive leaf extracts, are now being used as anti-aging, immunostimulators, and antibiotics. Clinical evidence has proven the blood pressure lowering effects from the carefully extracted Olive Leaf Extracts. A liquid extract made directly from fresh olive leaves has shown to have an antioxidant capacity almost double as green tea extract and which is 400% higher than Vitamin C.

Table olive fruit

Table olives are harvested when they change their color from green to yellowish-green. Green olives can be kept in refrigeration about 4 to 8 weeks if the sorrounding temperature of 40 to 50'F. The olive fruits are inedible when picked from the tree since the existance of glucoside in their flesh, which make the fruit taste extremely bitter. To remove this glucodise and render the olive edible, the fruit must be cured.

The olives can be tasted at any time as the bitter compounds are not poisonous, and oleuropein is a useful antioxidant in the human diet. The olives are edible within 2 weeks to a month, but the fruits will be left to cure for up to three months. Processed table olives can be stored for about 2 years like other pickled products.
[image: green olives on the tree]

Olive oil

Oil olives are harvested when they have turned their color black, fully matured and reach their maximum oil content (20-30%).

Olive oil can be stored many months, particularly if kept away from light and heat. Olive oil contains some natural acid called oleic acid. Oleic acid is a type of fat. Oleic acis is help prevents the clogged arteries and heart attacks often caused by bad animal derived fat. Even eating small amounts of olive oil is considered to be good for health.

Olive oil products

Virgin olive oil - This is minimally processed oil, and will be extracted by cold pressing. It has three subcategories: extra, fine, and ordinary, and these categories are based on acidity and flavor of the oil.

Refined olive oil - The virgin olive oil will be refined further to remove off flavors and odors by lye or other treatments, which do not alter the glyceridic structure of the oil is called refined olive oil.

Blended olive oil - The Virgin olive oil blended with refined olive oil with acidity <1% is produces the blended olive oil.

Olive-pomace oil or residue olive oil - Oil recovered from pressed olive paste by solvents falls into this category.

Nutritional composition
(per 100 gram edible portion)

Olive oilGreen olives Ripe olives
Water (%)075.271.8
Protein (%) 01.51.8
Fat (%) 10013.521
Carbohydrate (%)04.02.6
Fiber (%) 01.21.5