olive oil

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Acronyms, Wikipedia.

olive oil,

pale yellow to greenish oil obtained from the pulp of olives by separating the liquids from solids. Olive oil was used in the ancient world for lighting, in the preparation of food, and as an anointing oil for both ritual and cosmetic purposes. It is produced mainly in Algeria, Greece, Italy, Morocco, Portugal, Spain, Tunisia, and Turkey. The characteristics of the oil vary with the climate, cultivation, and variety of olive. Olive oil is one of the most digestible of the edible oils. To make the finest, or extra-virgin olive oil, the fruit is gathered when fully ripened, ground to a paste under granite or steel millstones, layered over straw mats, and pressed in a hydraulic press. Today, most olive oil is produced by just one pressing. The resulting oil is separated from the juice by settling or by centrifuge and then filtered. Olive oil of good quality is ready to use, without further refinement. Although olive oil occupies a relatively minor place in world food consumption, it has, in recent years, become a stronger export item, and a succession of international agreements have been signed since 1959 to protect its market. Olive oil is now the third best-selling cooking oil in the United States. Both gourmets and health professionals have praised its qualities, thereby contributing to its growing popularity. Olive oil is a monounsaturated fat and, unlike butter, lard, and other fats, contains a large proportion of easily digested fats and no cholesterol. Olive oil is also a good source of vitamin E, which is thought to help protect humans against cancer and heart disease. The principal fat in the diet of countries where it has long been cultivated, olive oil is often used in place of cream and butter and as a cooking fat and salad oil. Although olive oil is chiefly used as a food or in food preservation, it is also used in soaps, certain pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics.


See A. Dolamore, The Essential Olive Oil Companion (1989).

Olive Oil


a fatty vegetable oil extracted from the pulp of the olive. Olive oil is characterized by a high content of oleic acid glycerides (about 80 percent) and a low content of linoleic acid glycerides (about 7 percent) and saturated acid glycerides (about 10 percent). The fatty-acid composition of olive oil may vary considerably, depending on climatic conditions. Olive oil has an iodine number of 75–88 and a pour point of –2° to –6°C.

Olive oil is widely used in the canning industry and in cooking (for example, as salad dressing). It is also used in cosmetics manufacture and in medicine (preparation of solutions of vitamins and medicines for injections).

olive oil

[′äl·əv ‚ȯil]
Pale- or greenish-yellow edible oil; main components are olein and palmitin; soluble in ether, chloroform, and carbon disulfide; derived from the pulp of olive tree fruit; used in foods, ointments, linaments, and soaps, as a lubricant, and for tanning. Also known as Florence oil; lucca oil; sweet oil.
References in periodicals archive ?
As such, it is no surprise that the olive oil industry is considered among the most significant agro-industries in Lebanon.
The Minister of Agriculture has indicated that the harvest of olive oil for the season 2017/2018 varies between 260 and 280 thousand tonnes including 200 to 220 thousand tonnes are for export and 60 thousand tonnes will be injected on the local market, with a capacity of between 30 and 35 thousand tonnes.
A wealth of practical information is given, from advice on what kinds of olive oil to use with different foods -- including a number of delicious recipes -- to what to look for on the label when choosing a bottle from the numerous choices at the store.
A 2013 study found that these benefits are greater when extra virgin olive oil is substituted for regular olive oil.
Olive oil appeals to Millennials and to Generation X, says David Neuman, master panel taster and CEO for Gaea North America.
To be competitive on a highly aggressive market, the valuation of the olive oil sector has to be based on olive oil's differentiation and designation of origin, she said.
Since the start of 2015 this exceptional olive oil has garnered a Gran Prestige Gold from amongst 500 competing olive oils at the Terra Olivo Mediterranean International Olive Oil Competition, a Gran Menzione (Grand Mention) from the Italian LOrciolodOro, and a Gold medal at the New York International Olive Oil Competition.
Market pundits say that olive oil prices are likely to remain the same this season as the previous season since producers failed to make a strong comeback in their harvests.
The health advantages of olive oil are incomparable and research exposes more benefits every day.
Extra virgin olive oil contains a substance called oleocanthal, which has anti-inflammatory agents, meaning olive oil is like a natural Ibuprofen.
Over the last few years, the EU parliament and council have issued new legislation in order to combat olive oil fraud, in addition to the prior standard EEC 2568/91, which established the characteristics of olive oil, olive residue oil and the relevant method of analysis.
As a food, olive oil was central to the diet of the Israelites: In addition to grain and wine, it formed the triad that was the gastronomic and economic cornerstone of Mediterranean culture.