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Remains of olive oil have been found in jugs over 4,000 years old in a tomb on the island of Naxos in the Aegean Sea.
Olive oil was also popular as a form of birth control; Aristotle in his History of Animals recommends applying a mixture of olive oil combined with either oil of cedar, ointment of lead, or ointment of frankincense to the cervix to prevent pregnancy. Australian olive oil is exported to Asia, Europe and the United States. olive oil imports come from Italy, Spain, and Turkey.Extra virgin olive oil is required to have no more than 0.8% free acidity and is considered to have favorable flavor characteristics.Until 1500 BC, eastern coastal areas of the Mediterranean were most heavily cultivated.Olive trees have been grown around the Mediterranean since the 8th millennium BC.Spain is the largest producer of olive oil, followed by Italy and Greece.
These presses are estimated to have had output of between 1,000 and 3,000 tons of olive oil per season. Spain produced 1.7 million tonnes or 56% of world production.