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Research Journal of Medicinal Plants
Year: 2009  |  Volume: 3  |  Issue: 4  |  Page No.: 146 - 150

Chemical Composition of Fixed Oil of Olea europaea Drupes from Iraq

R.A. Kaskoos, S. Amin, M. Ali and S.R. Mir    

Abstract: The present study was aimed to describe the fatty acid composition, stability and nutritional characteristics of fixed oil of Olea europaea drupes from Iraq, locally known as Zaytoon. The oil is commonly known as olive oil and is used throughout the world and is believed to have an important role in human health and nutrition. It is considered as one among newer source of edible oil. The oil is classified as generally regarded as safe (GRAS). The fact that there are few reports of analysis of olive oil from Iraq in comparison to other parts of the world also lured us to examine chemically. Fatty acid composition of the olive oil was determined by capillary GC-FID. Thirty fatty acids (95.88%) were identified in the oil. The major fatty acids of the oil were oleic acid (68.07±1.089%), palmitic acid (12.12±0.162%), arachidic acid (9.78±0.155%), docosahexaenoic acid DHA (2.65±0.041%) and eicosapentaenoic acid EPA (0.53±0.01). The DHA and EPA are highly valued polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) and part of several health foods and nutraceuticals. Peroxidizability index calculated for the oil was 27.37% and unsaturated/saturated ratio was 3.25. High unsaturated fatty acid content signified its potential as a health promoter. Moreover, it can be expected to offer considerable resistance to oxidative rancidity during storage.

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