Does olive juice have calories?

Olive juice, sometimes called olive brine, is a liquid made from olives and water. It’s commonly found in jars and cans of olives, keeping the olives fresh and flavorful. But does this tangy liquid have any calories?

The short answer is yes, olive juice does contain calories, but not many. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at olive juice nutrition facts, including:

  • How olive juice is made
  • Olive juice ingredients
  • Calorie and nutrient content
  • How it compares to olives
  • Potential health benefits

Knowing more about the calorie content and nutrition profile of olive juice can help you make informed dietary choices.

How Olive Juice is Made

Olive juice originates during the olive production process. Here are the key steps:

Harvesting Olives

Olives are harvested from olive trees, which grow well in warm Mediterranean climates. The optimal time to harvest is when the olives turn deep purple or black, which indicates ripeness.

Washing and Sorting

After harvesting, the olives are washed to remove debris and then sorted based on quality, size, and ripeness.

Brining Olives

The raw olives are very bitter, so they need to go through a brining process to remove the bitterness. First, the olives are soaked in a solution of water, salt, and other ingredients like vinegar or lemon for 8–12 hours. This removes the bitterness.

Packing in Olive Juice

Finally, the brined olives are packed into jars or cans and covered with olive juice. The olive juice is made by combining the brine solution with water. This keeps the olives hydrated and adds flavor.

So in summary, olive juice is the liquid left over from the olive brining and packaging process. Now let’s look at the ingredients.

Olive Juice Ingredients

Olive juice typically contains just two main ingredients:


Purified water makes up the bulk of olive juice. It keeps the olives hydrated.


Salt is added to the water to make a brine. It removes bitterness from raw olives and also acts as a natural preservative.

Some other ingredients may be added in small amounts:

– Vinegar or lemon juice: Also helps remove bitterness
– Preservatives: Help prevent spoilage
– Firming agents: Help maintain olive texture
– Acidity regulators: Adjust acidity
– Flavorings: Enhance taste

However, most bottled olive juice contains around 95–98% water and just 2–5% other ingredients like salt, vinegar, and preservatives.

Now let’s analyze the nutritional value.

Olive Juice Nutrition Facts and Calories

Here is the nutrition information for 100 grams (3.5 oz) of bottled olive juice:

Calories in Olive Juice

Olive juice contains around 13 calories in 100 grams. Since a typical serving size is often much less than 100 grams, this is very low-calorie.


There are 2.2 grams carbohydrate per 100 grams olive juice, which mainly comes from naturally occurring sugars.


Olive juice contains zero grams of fat per 100 grams.


Olive juice contains no protein.


There are 729 mg sodium in 100 grams olive juice. This comes from the salt added during brining. However, the sodium content can vary widely between brands based on how much salt is added. Lower sodium options are sometimes available.

Vitamins and Minerals

Olive juice has small amounts of potassium, calcium, iron, and vitamin A, but it is not a significant source of vitamins and minerals.

Here is a nutrition facts table summarizing the key macronutrients and micronutrients:

Nutrient Per 100 g
Calories 13
Carbohydrate 2.2 g
Protein 0 g
Total Fat 0 g
Sodium 729 mg
Potassium 17 mg
Calcium 16 mg
Iron 0.29 mg
Vitamin A 58 IU

As you can see, olive juice is very low in calories, fat, protein, and micronutrients. The main nutrients are sodium from salt, and a small amount of carbohydrate. The calorie content is negligible.

Now let’s see how this compares to whole olives.

Olive Juice vs Olives

Below is a comparison of the nutritional value of 100 grams of olive juice versus 100 grams of black olives:

Nutrient Olive Juice (100g) Black Olives (100g)
Calories 13 115
Fat 0g 12 g
Carbs 2.2 g 2.4 g
Protein 0 g 1 g
Sodium 729 mg 323 mg

Key differences:

– Olives contain far more calories and fat than olive juice.
– Olive juice is lower in protein than olives.
– Olive juice typically has more added sodium from brining.

So olive juice has a very minimal impact compared to olives in terms of calories, fat, carbs, and protein. The sodium content is higher in olive juice.

Calorie Density Comparison

Another useful comparison is calorie density. Here are the calorie densities:

– Olive juice: 0.13 calories per gram
– Black olives: 1.15 calories per gram

This shows that olive juice provides nearly negligible calories per gram, while olives are much more calorically dense.

Overall, olive juice is an extremely low-calorie component compared to the olives themselves. But does it offer any potential health benefits? Let’s explore.

Health Benefits of Olive Juice

Here are some of the potential health benefits associated with olive juice:

Source of Antioxidants

Olive juice contains hydroxytyrosol, an antioxidant that is also found in olive oil. Antioxidants help reduce oxidative stress and may provide protection against chronic diseases. However, olive juice is not a concentrated source of antioxidants like extra virgin olive oil.

Anti-Inflammatory Effects

Some research indicates olive oil polyphenols like hydroxytyrosol have anti-inflammatory properties in the body. Olive juice provides a small dose of these beneficial plant compounds.

Source of Flavor

The salty, tangy flavor of olive juice enhances the taste of olives and makes them more palatable as part of antipasto, tapenade, salads, pizza, sandwiches, and Mediterranean cuisine. This can make following a healthy diet more enjoyable.


Olives are fermented in brine, which promotes the growth of probiotic bacteria like Lactobacillus. Some of these beneficial microbes remain present in olive juice and may aid digestion when consumed. However, olive juice is not a significant source of probiotics.

Supports Hydration

The high water content of olive juice can help contribute to daily fluid needs and prevent dehydration.

So in moderation, olive juice may provide antioxidants, anti-inflammatory compounds, flavor, probiotics, and hydration. However, it is not a major source of nutrients or key health benefits compared to whole olives and olive oil.

Risks and Precautions with Olive Juice

Olive juice is generally safe to consume in moderation for most healthy adults and children. However, here are some precautions:

– High sodium: Avoid excess intake if on a low-sodium diet.
– Allergies: Some may be allergic to olives or olive juice. Discontinue use if signs of an allergic reaction occur.
– Acidity: The acidic brine may cause gastrointestinal issues if consumed in excess, especially for those with reflux or ulcers.
– Botulism risk: Very low risk if jars are properly handled and stored after opening. Only consume olive juice from uncontaminated jars.
– Interactions: The high sodium content may interact with blood pressure medications or corticosteroids. Check with a doctor.

Overall, olive juice is safe for most people when used to flavor olives or recipes. Those with olive allergies or on sodium-restricted diets should exercise caution.

How to Select and Store Olive Juice

Here are some tips for selecting and storing olive juice:

Selecting Olive Juice

– Choose olive juice with no additives or preservatives for a more natural product.
– Look for olive juice that is free of cloudiness or sediment which can indicate spoilage.
– For less sodium, opt for lower sodium olive juice varieties if available.
– Select olive juice that comes from quality olives like Kalamata or Castelvetrano. This provides better flavor.
– For smooth texture, choose finely filtered olive juice.

Storing Olive Juice

– Keep unopened olive juice in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight.
– Once opened, refrigerate and use within 2-4 weeks for best quality.
– Store olive juice in containers with tight fitting lids. Mason jars work well.
– If olive juice smells off or you see mold, it has spoiled and should be discarded.

Proper selection and storage helps maintain the quality and safety of olive juice.

How to Use Olive Juice

There are many great ways to use olive juice:

– Use it to brine or marinate olives, vegetables, fish, chicken or pork. This infuses flavor and moisture.
– Add it to salad dressings, marinades, and sauces to provide a tangy, salty flavor.
– Drizzle it over pizzas, flatbreads, sandwiches, grains or legumes to liven up the dish.
– Mix it into hummus, bean dips, or baba ghanoush to add flavor.
– Use it to create olive-based broths or soups.
– Add it to a Bloody Mary cocktail for a savory, briny twist.
– Skewer olives, cheese, artichokes, tomatoes or other bite-size foods and marinate in olive juice.

Olive juice can be used in small amounts to add big flavor to many Mediterranean-style dishes.

Final Thoughts

Olive juice is the tangy, salty liquid that olives are packed in. Although it contains minimal calories and nutrients itself, it does provide antioxidants, probiotics, and a tasty, briny flavor.

In moderation, olive juice can be enjoyed safely by most people and used to add flavor to recipes and dishes. Those on sodium-restricted diets may want to limit intake. Overall, olive juice makes a flavorful low-calorie addition to a healthy diet.

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