Summary & Chemistry:
Oleic acid is the main compound found in Olive oil, an oil pressed from the fruit of an Olive tree. Oleic acid is said to have been the reason for the affluence of Mediterranean societies. It was an extremely valued trade item and was centered around the cultures of these civilizations.
Oleic acid is also known as a triglyceride, a compound formed from a glycerol and three fatty acids. It is a mono saturated, eighteen carbon acid that makes up between 55- 85% of olive Oil. Olive oil as increases the amount of good lipoproteins that are produced. It also doesn’t spoil as quickly as other oils. This is due to the fact that olive oil’s proportion of polyunsaturated fatty acids is 10% lower than other oils. Furthermore, olive oil contains small amounts of polyphenols and vitamin E and K. These molecules are all antioxidants, which plays an important role in the natural preservation of of the olive oil.
Based on Ancient Greek mythology, Athena gave Romans an olive tree to symbolize peace, and be a provider of food and fuel. Athens was named in her honor, to show their appreciation to her. Olive Oil became a valued trade item. It was also was used in all aspects of life, from light to cosmetic purposes to medicine. It began to symbolize prosperity, victory, wisdom, strength, power, wealth, fertility and many other things. Oleic acid was also mixed with ashes to produce the first soap, allowed for some since of personal hygiene to be obtained.
Impact on the World:
I think that oleic acid definitely contributed to society in the past. However, it is still used to this day for various things, especially cooking. It still is a major export from the Mediterranean, and also is still a very prominent part of various cultures.
I think that the authors made some very good points. Olive Oil was a very valued commodity, and many societies centered around the uses of the oil. However, I think it was a stretch to say that all of western civilization’s ideologies were fostered from olive oil. However, the acid did bring wealth and affluence to the people, which allowed them to be educated.
Ch.14 Oleic Acid
Summary & Chemistry: