Ch.14 Oleic Acid

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.

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5 thoughts on “Ch.14 Oleic Acid

  1. This is a concise-yet-informative summary of the chapter. I think you did a great job of getting the points across in relatively few words. I also agree with your doubt concerning how large a role olive oil played on all of Western civilization’s ideologies. While it obviously had an impact, was it truly that large?

  2. I also appreciate how concise your essay is. I struggled a little with this chapter because, outside of cosmetics and aesthetic purposes, oleic acid isn’t known for much. There are no major events to cite that took place because of oleic acid. However, you made your case very fluently.

  3. angelakeele

    Wonderful job! I think you did a great job explaining the history and liked how you kept to the point. I alsolove how you mentioned all the things that just one thing can symbolize. You made solid, logical points too about its contribution to society in both the past and present.

  4. This is a great summary of the chapter. After reading the chapter, I was left asking for more because it wasn’t apparent that its impact to society played a huge role. Your summary helped clear up its purposes in the world. I also like the way you expressed the argument of the author.

  5. ambermiller1

    As stated above, I also agree that your blog was very concise and I enjoyed that. Being able to get straight to the point helps me understand something more than when someone drags an explanation out. It was well thought out and was overall very good.

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