Fatty acids | The Olive Oil Source

Fatty acids


Olive oil is a complex compound made of fatty acids, vitamins, volatile components, water soluble components and microscopic bits of olive. Primary fatty acids are oleic and linoleic acid with a small amount of linolenic acid. A fatty acid has the general formula: CH3(CH2)nCOOH where n is typically an even number between 12 and 22 If no double bonds are present the molecule is called a saturated fatty acid. If a chain contains double bonds, it is called an unsaturated fatty acid. A single double bond makes a monounsaturated fatty acid. Oils with more than one double bond are called polyunsaturated fatty acids. Oleic acid is monounsaturated and makes up 55-85% of olive oil (C17H35COOH) or CH3-(CH2)7-CH=CH-(CH2)7-COOH, also known as oleate. The IUPAC name would be cis-9-octadecenoate. Linoleic is polyunsaturated and makes up about 9% (C17H29COOH) or CH3-(CH2)4-CH=CH-CH2-CH=CH-(CH2)7-COOH. Linolenic, which is polyunsaturated, makes up 0-1.5%