acid (C18:1). This mono-unsaturated fatty acid reduces
harmful low density lipoprotein in the bloodstream, which
is implicated in the development of arteriosclerosis. Oleic
acid also increases the proportion of beneficial, high density
lipoprotein in the bloodstream.
(terpene). This long-chain hydrocarbon is present
in high percentages in olives. Studies in Spain and Greece
indicate that a diet rich in olive oil, and containing squalene,
markedly reduces the risk of breast cancer in women. Squalene
also reduces low density lipoprotein levels by antagonising
the activity of HMG-CoA reductase, an enzyme involved in cholesterol
Olives and olive oil contain vitamin E (a-tocopherol).
The ratio of vitamin E to polyunsaturated fatty acids in
olive oil is better than any other edible oil.
Olives contain the pigments chlorophyll and pheophytin.
compounds. These compounds increase the oxidative
stability and improve the taste of olives and olive Products.
Hydroxytyrosol, tyrosol and other phenolic acids are found
in olive oil.
Aromatic components. Trans-2-hexanal
is the predominant aromatic component of olives and is responsible
for many of the sensory characteristics of olive fruits.