Facts about olives

We found 21 facts about olives

"Where the olive refuses to grow, there the Mediterranean world ends"

It is not known exactly when and where the first olive tree, characteristic of the Mediterranean region, grew. Paleobotanists claim that wild olives grew as early as 50.000 years ago, but growing olives and producing oil began about 5000 years ago. Olives began to be grown first in Palestine and Syria, then spread to Turkey, Greece, Italy, France, and Spain. Hippocrates recommended olive oil for ulcers, muscle pain, and cholera. Today, we can't imagine life without olives and oil.

Olives are the fruit of the European olive (Olea europaea).

They are drupes.

The fruit is 5-25 mm long and 4-12 mm in diameter.

The appearance of the fruit varies depending on the subspecies of the European olive.

The edible part of the fruit makes up about 70-85% of its weight.

Vegetable oil accounts for 14-40% of the fruit's weight.

Mature fruits are purple, purple-black, or blackish-brown, with a bluish or violet tint.

There are also ivory-colored olives.

The color of the olives depends on when they are harvested.

Green olives are harvested before ripening and coloring but after they have reached the right size. Color-changing olives are harvested as they ripen and black olives are harvested at full maturity.

Olive fruits contain oleuropein, which gives them a bitter taste.

Oleuropein belongs to the coumarin derivatives. It is present in every part of the plant, although its concentration can vary considerably from one part to another. The concentration of oleuropein in young fruit can be as high as 140 mg/g. Oleuropein acts against viruses, bacteria, fungi, molds, and parasites. It can also inhibit platelet aggregation.

The olive tree is considered one of the best-adapted tree species for living in a semi-arid environment.

That's why it has been cultivated in dry climates for thousands of years.

The ability to survive in such harsh climatic conditions and thus to take up water is related to the morphological and anatomical structure of the leaves.

Leaves have a layer of hairs on the surface, a high density of tissues, and a thick cuticle. The constriction of the stomata also affects the regulation of the plant's water economy.

Olive leaves are single, thick leathery, lanceolate, or inverted ovate.

The length of the leaf is 30-50 and the width is 10-15 mm. The upper surface of the leaf is gray-green, smooth, and glossy, the lower surface is paler and mossy.

Fruits are harvested from 8-10 year old trees.

An abundant crop is usually harvested every two years.

Olive trees live about 800 years and a good crop is harvested for 200-300.
Olives for oil production are harvested from mid-December to March.
Black olives are harvested in December.
One olive tree can yield 50-65 kg of olives.

If the trees are irrigated, the yield per tree can reach 100 kg in commercial cultivation.

World production of table olives in 2016/2017 was 2.899.500 tons.

The European Union countries produce the most, at about 30%, followed by Turkey and Egypt.

In Europe, Spain dominates olive production.
Olives gained their greatest fame from the oil pressed from them.

Olive oil called olive oil is pressed from the ripe, black fruit. Oil pressed from the first pressing, without heating or using increased pressure is referred to as "extra virgin "and is the best table oil. Subsequent pressing yields an oil of inferior quality - kitchen oil. The third pressing, which involves heating the fruit or adding hot water to it, yields the worst quality oil, for non-food purposes.

Olive oil occurs 140 times in the Bible.
Olive oil is a monounsaturated fat.

It helps lower levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), commonly known as "bad cholesterol." Studies have shown that olive oil raises levels of high-density lipoproteins (HDL), which are positive for the body.

Olive oil is rich in vitamins A, E, and D and also K.

Wonderfully cleanses and regulates digestive processes. It slows down the aging process of the body, prevents the formation of free radicals, assimilates sugars, and balances their level in the blood. It is a gluten-free product.

The caloric value of 100 g of olives is 115 kcal.

Olives are low in calories, aid digestion, relieve migraines, and contain many vitamins and healthy fats.

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