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New Way for Olive Oil to Light up Religious Rituals

Sep. 25, 2013
By Julie Butler

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A way to make solid olive oil-based can­dles has been devel­oped by an inven­tor in Israel.

Avi Kosovski-Shahor, from Modi’in Illit, is said to have found an alter­na­tive to other meth­ods that use only small con­cen­tra­tions of olive oil and usu­ally result in “semi-solid, jelly-like can­dles.”

According to a patent appli­ca­tion before the World Intellectual Property Organization, present olive oil can­dles are mostly in a jelly or pseudo-oint­ment state, and usu­ally in hous­ings to main­tain the candle’s struc­ture.

However, the inven­tion pro­vides for a solid olive oil candle, “con­tain­ing rel­a­tively large con­cen­tra­tions of olive oil, wherein the candle is suf­fi­ciently solid to enable a user of the candle to hold the candle in his hand, and/or to make use of the candle with­out requir­ing any hous­ings and/or struc­ture sup­ports of any kind.”

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The patent appli­ca­tion says that in the Jewish reli­gion there is a strong pref­er­ence for using olive oil when light­ing can­dles “as it is con­sid­ered a tool for the beau­ti­fi­ca­tion of a ritual.”

“Particularly, when light­ing the Shabbat and Chanukkah can­dles, as olive oil is easily drawn into the wick, its light burns clearly, and to com­mem­o­rate the fact that the mir­a­cle of Chanukkah hap­pened with olive oil.”

However, using olive oil for light­ing can­dles is not nec­es­sar­ily easy. Indeed, it “places a heavy burden on the prac­ti­tion­ers of a cer­tain ritual as it involves some­how com­bin­ing the liquid olive oil with the solid waxed candle prior to light­ing,” the appli­ca­tion claims.

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The solu­tion involves a com­po­si­tion prefer­ably con­tain­ing paraf­fin and an amount of olive oil of no less than 12 per­cent — but prefer­ably at least 50 per­cent — weight per weight of the entire com­po­si­tion.

“Preferably, one or more anti-oxi­diz­ing agents are added to the olive oil, e.g., to pre­vent oxi­da­tion of the olive oil, and pro­vide longer shelf life for the result­ing solid olive oil candle.”

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The method is said to involve melt­ing paraf­fin in a first con­tainer and warm­ing olive oil in a second con­tainer then adding the liquid paraf­fin to the olive oil in the second con­tainer and pour­ing the result­ing mix­ture into molds.

A solid olive oil candle pos­sess­ing a den­sity of at least 750 gr/cm3 can thereby be pro­duced.