Ninety-two black and green table olive samples from the Bursa, Turkey were analyzed. The olives were sampled from 56 brands, four processing methods and three packing types. The concentration of Mg, Cr, Co, Ni, Fe, Cu, Zn, Sn, Cd and Pb were measured by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). While the most concentrated element was Mg (125.11 +/- 5.02), Co, (0.09 +/- 0.01) had the lowest concentration in tested olive samples. The levels of the ten metals studied are within safe limits. The data here obtained will be valuable in complementing available food composition data, and estimating dietary intakes of heavy metals in Turkey. The metals Mg, Fe, Zn, Sn and Pb presented significant differences (p < 0.05) in content between two types, hence processing method, brand and packing material must influence their content. (c) 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.