Olive oil

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Olive oil


Olive tree Olea europaea

A pale, greenish-yellow nondrying oil expressed from the fruit of the olive tree, Olea europaea. Olive oil contains glycerides of Oleic acid (56-83%), Palmitic acid (8-18%), Linoleic acid (4-19%), Stearic acid (2-5%), Linolenic acid (0.3-1%) and arachidic acid (0.9%) with small amounts of squalene, phytosterol, and tocopherol (Serpico and White 2000). Olive oil has a delicate flavoring and is primary used for cooking. It becomes rancid on exposure to air and turns cloudy at cold temperatures. Olive oil has been used to dress leather. It is also used in the manufacture of Castile soap, and textile lubricants.

Olive tree Olea europaea

Synonyms and Related Terms

Olea europaea; huile d'olive (Fr.); aceite de oliva (Esp.); olio di oliva (It)




  • Combustible. Flash point = 225 C.
  • Contact may cause irritation.
  • Fisher Scientific: MSDS

Physical and Chemical Properties

  • Saponification value = 187-196
  • Iodine value = 79-90;
  • Soluble in ether, chloroform and carbon disulfide.
CAS 8001-25-0
Melting Point -6.0 C
Density 0.910-.918 g/ml
Refractive Index 1.466-1.468

Resources and Citations

  • The Merck Index, Martha Windholz (ed.), Merck Research Labs, Rahway NJ, 10th edition, 1983 Comment: entry 6973
  • Richard S. Lewis, Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 10th ed., 1993
  • Hermann Kuhn, Conservation and Restoration of Works of Art and Antiquities, Butterworths, London, 1986
  • A.Lucas, J.R.Harris, Ancient Egyptian Materials and Industries, Edward Arnold Publishers Ltd., London, 4th edition, 1962
  • Ancient Egyptian Materials and Technologies, Paul Nicholson, Ian Shaw (eds.), Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2000 Comment: M.Serpico, R.White, "Oil, fat and wax"
  • CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, Robert Weast (ed.), CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida, v. 61, 1980 Comment: melting point = -6.0, density=0.918, ref. index = 1.4679, iodine value=81.1, saponification value = 189.7