Poly-unsaturated fatty acids | The Olive Oil Source

Poly-unsaturated fatty acids


Regarding the poly-unsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), there is a wide range acceptable for EVO but the linolenic has to be less than 0.9% (IOOC). There is no problem if the levels are higher (eg 1.5%) regarding the olive oils nutritional value. But the IOOC linolenic acid level is used to establish the authenticity of the olive oil. Seed oils like Canola have higher levels of linolenic acid. Also the higher the level of unsaturation,i.e. more PUFAs, leads to a less stable oil. This has to be counterbalanced by the levels of antioxidants that protect the oil. These will also vary by similar factors to the fatty acid profile as well as stress, such as drought. A linolenic level higher than the IOOC's may actually be of benefit nutritionally for reasons other than those associated with oleic acid.