Olive Oil

| Home | | Pharmacognosy |

Chapter: Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry : Drugs Containing Lipids

Olive oil is a fixed oil obtained by expression of the ripe fruits of Olea europoea Linn. or Indian olive (O. ferruginea), belonging to family Oleaceae.






Salad oil; sweet oil; oleum olival.


Biological Source


Olive oil is a fixed oil obtained by expression of the ripe fruits of Olea europoea Linn. or Indian olive (O. ferruginea), belonging to family Oleaceae.


Geographical Source


Olive is a native of Palestine and produced extensively in the countries adjoining the Mediterranean Sea. Spain being the largest producer. It is also grown in the south western United States and many other subtropical localities.


Collection and Preparation


The olive is an evergreen tree, up to 12 m in height which produces drupaceous fruits about 2–3 cm in length, pur-plish in colour when ripe. The fruits are collected from November to April. After grinding, the pulp is introduced into coarse, grass baskets, and placed in a screw press. The oil coming out is collected into tubes containing water and the upper layer is skimmed off. The product is called as Virgin oil obtained by gently pressing the peeled pulp freed from the endocarp. The marc is then treated with water and again expressed to yield second grade of edible oil. Finally, the pulp is mixed with hot water and pressed again for technical oil. The pulp may be extracted with carbon disulphide to obtain ‘sulphur’ olive oil of inferior quality. The yield is from 15 to 40%. If the fruit is not fully mature, the yield of the oil is poor and its taste is bitter.





Olive oil is a pale yellow or light greenish-yellow due to presence of chlorophyll or carotenes, nondrying oily liquid with a pleasanting delicate flavour. Taste is bland becoming cloudy and at 0°C it usually forms a whitish granular mass. It becomes faintly acrid. It is miscible with ether, chloroform, and carbon disulphide and is slightly soluble in alcohol. Upon cooling at +5 to 10°, it becomes cloudy and at 0°C usually forms a whitish granular mass. It becomes rancid on exposure to air. It has specific gravity of 0.914–0.919, acid value 0.2–2.8, saponification value 187–196, and iodine value 79–90.



Chemical Constituents


Olive oil contains mixed glycerides of oleic acid (56–85%), palmitic (7–20%), linoleic (3–20%), stearic (1–5%), arachidic (0.9%), palmitoleic (3%), linolenic, eicosenoic, gadoleic, and lignoceric acids. The minor constituents are squalene up to 0.7%, phytosterol and tocopherols about 0.2%. Italy-Spain type olive oil is higher in oleic acid and Greece-Tunisia type oil has higher levels of linoleic acid.


Identification Tests


Under UV radiation it gives deep golden-yellow colour, while refined oil gives pale blue fluorescence. Decolourization with charcoal removes fluorescence.




Olive oil is used in the manufacture of pharmaceutical preparations, soaps, textile lubricants, sulphonated oils, liniments, cosmetics, plasters; as food in salads, and for cooking and baking. It has demulcent, emollient, choleretic or cholagogue, and laxative properties. It is a good solvent for parenteral preparations.


Marketed Products


It is one of the ingredients of the preparation known as Figaro oil.


Contact Us, Privacy Policy, Terms and Compliant, DMCA Policy and Compliant

TH 2019 - 2024 pharmacy180.com; Developed by Therithal info.