Chemical extraction of olive oil from natural and dried olive cake (obtained from Alyarmouk press, Irbid, Jordan) using organic solvents like hexane, ethanol, petroleum ether, isopropyl alcohol and carbon tetrachloride was carried out in a Soxhlet extractor. Olive cake samples were dried in an oven at 70°C and 105°C for 3.5 hours before being used in the extraction experiments. Hexane was found to be the best extracting solvent with an oil yield of 12.7%. Oil yield increased from 10% to 16% when olive cake was soaked with aqueous sodium chloride solution for 24 hours. Sorbitan monoleate surfactant enhanced the extraction of oil. Particle size of olive cake and solvent volume had significant effect on oil extraction.
Keywords: olive oil, extraction, choice of solvent, particle size, solvent-to-solid ratio(10.14266/ajoct14-1)