5 Ways Of Using Olives That You Never Thought Of

Agro Sevilla

It is well known that the olive is a staple of Andalusian gastronomy, a versatile food which can be enjoyed both as an appetizer and as an ingredient in some exquisite dishes. But this delicious product has uses far beyond the kitchen. Today, we will tell you about five lesser-known uses of the olive.

1. Olive Pit Art

In 1737, the Chinese artist Chen Tsu-chang created this masterpiece carved in an olive pit. This miniature work of art is just 16 millimetres high and 34 millimetres wide and it represents a small boat with 8 figures, all sculpted with extreme detail.

According to the National Palace Museum in China, where it is on display, the artwork is based on the Ode to Red Cliff by the poet Su Shi. The artist paid tribute to the text by inscribing the 300 character poem on the hull of the boat.

2. Fireproof Paint Made from Olive Residue

Innovative research carried out at the University of Talca (Chile) has provided evidence of the high level of fire resistance of the ashes obtained from olive residues. The aim of the study was to create a highly fireproof paint made from agro-industrial waste. 

It is made from a base of the olive residue, to which lime and plaster are added to create the mixture. Once this base mixture is created, the required shades are added to give it colour. This constitutes a step forward in the search for more efficient and environmentally friendly construction techniques.

3. Pillows Filled with Carbonised Olive Pits

Olives are also used to improve your rest. The use of carbonised seeds as a natural product to improve relaxation and to absorb bad odours is an oriental tradition. Inspired by these ancient habits, an entrepreneur in Córdoba has developed a range of pillows which are filled with carbonised olive pits. 

These pillows are made with two layers of natural wool to provide greater comfort, and are filled with almost 2kg of carbonised pits. The benefits of this include the improved absorption of odours and improved breathability, thus allowing the air to circulate better and prevent perspiration. This is also useful for neck problems as they adapt perfectly to the shape of the neck.

4. Plague Fighting Properties

Another of the olive's unknown properties, or of the water produced in their treatment in this case, is its pesticidal quality. The 'Instituto de la Grasa (CSIC)' and 'Centro Las Torres-Tomejos (IFAPA)' research centres have proven its efficiency in the fight against bacteria and fungal pathogens in various plants, such as strawberries and tomatoes. This could become the most ecological alternative to fungicide contaminants.

5. Natural Biofuel

Biomass heating is becoming increasingly more popular in Spanish homes, in particular the use of olive pit-fuelled heaters.  This natural fuel is excellent due to its high density and calorific value (4,500 calories/gram), therefore making it one of the cleanest and most efficient alternative ways of generating energy. What’s more, it is more economical than keeping an oil heater.