Olives are ruling the roost in the health segment since more than a decade now! Be it various varieties of olive oil or many colored, sliced and stuffed variants of processed olives, this Mediterranean staple is on must a have list of everyone these days. However, you will hardly find it in the fresh fruits and veggies section at any of the supermarkets. Read on to know why you can not find fresh whole olives lying on the grocery shelves ever!

Even though we all are aware of the many incredible ways in which fresh fruits and vegetables benefit our health, there are a few that you will never find in the fresh produce section of any super market. On top of the line is every one’s favorite, olives that you will not find being sold in the fresh form at any grocery shop. We are sure, a majority of you had this question in your mind, since like forever…right?

Olives are grown on trees and then picked or plucked to be sold in jars and bottles after going through a preservation process or churned/ ground many times over to extract its precious oil. But, why is this fruit with so many benefits always sold in brine or as oils?

The answer to this query is actually pretty simple. If tasted raw olives taste horrible! Difficult to accept right, but that’s the only reason for you to find it only in processed form. Nobody sells it out raw as it tastes pretty bitter and unappealing owing to the compound oleuropein. This chemical compound makes olive unpalatable and you won’t be able to load it up on your salads and soups with that bitter taste.

To enjoy health benefits of olives, you have to eat it in the first place. But, the way raw olive tastes, you will not be able to eat even one or with utmost dedication and convincing up to just about a couple of these.

The professionals in food processing industry have tried to remove oleuropein by soaking olives in water or brine for many weeks to remove its bitterness. This process takes a long time and with advancement in technology, scientists have found another shorter way. They soak the olives in sodium hydroxide or lye that quickly breaks the bitter compound to less bitter and tastier compounds within a week.  After getting thoroughly rinsed to remove the chemicals, olives are packed in brine and sold for our consumption.