The primary fatty acid found in Extra Virgin Olive Oil is oleic acid (C18:1) – a mono-unsaturated fatty acid. Oleic acid has only one double bond in its chemical structure, making is less susceptible to oxidation – this contributes to the high stability of Extra Virgin Olive Oil.1,2


Evidence also exists to demonstrate that the oleic acid content of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, has associated health benefits:3

  • Oleic acid has been identified as an essential element in the prevention of ischaemic cardiovascular disease.
  • There is specific evidence that diets which are rich in oleic acid (and linoleic acid) can reduce thromboembolic risk, by reducing platelet aggregation.


Click on the below images to magnify:

Figure: Extra Virgin Olive Oil composition
Figure: Triglycerides in Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Oleic acid)
Figure: Fat profiles of common oils – how they compare



  1. Fats and Oils in human nutrition. FAO. Chapter 6. Cooking Oils.
  2. Boskou D. Olive oil chemistry and technology. 2nd 2006. AOCS Press: Illinois.
  3. Cocchi M, Tonello L, Lercker G, et al. Extra virgin olive oil and oleic acid. Nutr Clin Diet Hosp. 2009;29(3):12– 24.


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